Lifestyle changes can be hard work, and tips for healthy eating are great. But what if your husband/boyfriend/parents don’t want to change the way they eat?
I’ll be honest with you. It can be hard work to start with, but it’s worth it.
One of the things that helped me the most was having my WHY. Knowing the reason I wanted to eat more healthily (reducing my risk of T2 diabetes and losing weight) was what kept me going. Especially when there’s so much temptation around to keep you in your comfort zone.
Why healthy eating is important
Nutrition and the food we put into our body is the building blocks for everything. If our body doesn’t have the proper nutrients to fuel itself it can’t do its job properly. Whether that’s working out to our full potential, being able to focus at work, or even a good night’s sleep!
If your main goal is to lose weight and work out hard every day, you can’t outrun a bad diet.
For more tips for healthy eating, the NHS Eat Well offers recommendations for what to eat for a healthy, balanced diet.
What is the best diet?
The word diet is often associated with fad diets that involve restriction and let’s face it…they’re not much fun! When I talk about a diet, I mean what I eat on a regular basis – there’re no fad diets here!
The best diet depends on a number of factors and also what works for each person. I find a balance by eating whole, nutritious foods, and cutting back on sugar and processed foods, but I don’t restrict myself from anything.
I love to think of it as an 80/20 way of eating.
80% of the time I’m eating home-cooked, whole foods, and 20% of the time I don’t. We all have busy lives and sometimes don’t have things prepared. So thinking in an 80/20 mindset stops me from getting stressed when things don’t always go to plan – coz let’s face it, we can’t control the traffic or our moods!
Sometimes the thought of having to cook makes me want to cry! There’s so much else I need to be doing! So having something healthy to hand makes taking that one hour at the weekend to prep it all the more worth it!
How can I eat healthy if my family doesn’t?
Here’s the hard bit. Especially when you’re just starting out.
When everyone around you is tempting you with food that you’re used to eating, or the thought of having to cook more than one meal can easily make you just want to give up and go back to old habits.
Tips for healthy eating
One step at a time
Don’t try to do a complete overhaul in one go. Trying to change too much at once can be overwhelming and it’s easy to give in when you’re not sticking to your new routine. Take it easy. Habits take time to change.
Make the most of breakfast and lunch
For me, breakfast and lunch were two meals I ate by myself. Everyone’s gone to work so I’m in full control of my breakfasts and my lunches (which are normally dinner leftovers!). Then when it came to dinner with my husband, I felt less guilty if we ate meat (when I was trying to be more plant-based) or if he added a store brought sauce (which I try to avoid!).
I’ve already mentioned this but having the 80/20 rule really helps me when it comes to not stressing out and feeling guilty. Especially when going out for a meal, to family or friends, or just being in a rush to get something quickly.
Talk to your family! Communication is so often overlooked and if you don’t tell them why or what you’re doing it for, how will they know?! Explain why it’s important to you, your reasons, and what it is you want to change. Even if they don’t want to change their ways, they can support you. And who knows, your changes may encourage a healthier lifestyle for your family!
Prepping meals ahead of time or batch cooking is great so mealtimes don’t become stressful. If you don’t want to cook more than one meal, try batch cooking on the weekend so you’ve got meals ready to warm up.
If you want to make changes, you are in control. But you have to make the effort – I know, a bit of tough love, but it’s true. That doesn’t mean it has to be hard work.
Creating a healthy lifestyle should be something sustainable for who you are as a person, your life, and what works and fits in for you. There is no one size fits all approach and making small changes daily helped me find what worked for me and change habits that actually stuck.
Here are five habit changes you can make today.
For me, it’s about progress over perfection, as there’s no such thing as perfect. I want to enjoy my life and not deny myself of something that I find enjoyable.
Doesn’t that sound good?!