How to Transition to Eating Healthier in the beginning
Q+A Tuesday: How did you transition to eating healthier in the beginning?
When I started seriously trying to lose weight, It was so frustrating.
Eating healthy was so boring to me (who the hell wants to eat steamed broccoli + Chicken breast every day?! Not me, sis! 🙅🏾)
after a few months of feeling sorry for myself, using food as an emotional stabilizer (and no longer being able to fit into any of my clothes), I decided I needed to get my shit together.
I signed up for the gym to finally get my power back.
I remember slaving at the gym on the elliptical or treadmill putting in a sh*t ton of work to only look over at the scale and see the numbers look exactly the same or go up.
It got me so discouraged and then I figured okay it's probably my diet. So, I tried every diet I could think of.
BUT then would give in to my cravings and my initial plan or goals would go out the window because of my out of wack emotions.
I made A LOT of mistakes and it was a constant yo-yo or see-saw in a way and I want to help you not make the same mistakes I did.
Here are my 5 tips on how you can transition to eating healthier in the beginning:
Swap, do not eliminate. When you're a beginner, have decided that you want to develop a new healthy lifestyle & you want to start eating healthy don't make the huge mistake of feeling like you need to do everything at once. Transitioning to eating healthier is a process. It's a journey of learning how to do something in a new way. Trying to change everything at the same time is a recipe for DISASTER, overwhelm and getting disappointed real quick. I encourage you to give yourself the grace to learn and make mistakes along the way. There's going to be a lot of trial and error - just like riding a bike. Work on making some simple, easy meals and recipes that you'll be able to adapt without feeling like you're restricting yourself. Instead of eliminating and doing a complete kitchen overhaul, just start swapping a few meals for breakfast lunch and dinner. Start with the meal that will give you the most bang for your buck. If you tend to skip breakfast, start there. If you know there’s a never-ending supply of snacks & sweets at the office and you're a stress-eater who struggles with self-control focus on swapping lunch options. Go with whichever meal will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Stay away from artificial and overly processed foods. The goal of healthy eating is about how much real, whole and unprocessed foods as much as possible. Frequently when we're eating a large number of processed foods or eating out a lot that food tends to be high in sugar, sodium, and calories while simultaneously being super-low in satiety, meaning you eat a lot of calories yet somehow still manage to not feel full. You want to consume foods that make you feel good. Focus on quality foods.
SWAP drinking (Juice/Soda for water): When you're trying to lose weight you want to remember that to do that you are trying to create a calorie deficit - which means that soda and juice or any other sugary beverages should be the last choices on your list. When we drink our calories our bodies do not react the same way as eating them. These sugary drinks are primary sources of belly fat gain thanks to the flux of sugar impacting the liver. Many studies have suggested that artificial sweeteners (like the ones in soda - whether it's regular or dier) might actually make you hungrier which of course leads to eating more calories. Calories from drinks don’t satisfy your hunger the way “real” calories do — so you’re more likely to consume more, even if you don’t technically overeat. Your best bet is to drink plain water -- it's cheap, widely available and calorie-free. Fun Fact about water = Fat is mobilized through a process called hydrolysis, and not drinking enough water will slow down fat breakdown. One is to remember that the human body is a bit out of sync: by the time it tells you your thirsty, it's already deficient. Try not to wait until you're thirsty you want to know how to start IBut if you're craving carbonation, try sparkling water. You can also infuse your water with fruit like lemon, raspberries, strawberries, or even some spiral-cut cucumber slices if you're tryna get fancy this adds flavor to your water, minus the sugar.
- Learning how to read nutrition labels: You want to become a nutrition label detective at the supermarket. I encourage you to begin recognizing what's going into your body and how it makes you feel. Always check the nutrition label before you buy your food. Some of the culprits that we often ignore and I like to focus on first with my clients are things like breakfast cereal and granola bars. I used to be a cereal addict myself. It's easy, convenient and nostalgic but the reality is that it's making you go backward. I used to think I was being all extra healthy adding slices banana & milk into my cereal not knowing I was basically giving myself an empty sugar high. Some cereal contains as much sugar as a Snickers bar. YES! You heard that right. Start to be a detective: How much is 1 serving, how much are you having? Are you giving yourself a sugar bomb every day for breakfast that's causing you to be hungry later on in the day?
- Meal Prepping: (This one is my favorite!) A lot of women get scared when I say meal prepping because their first thought is a bodybuilder or eating the same boring foods for 7-days straight. However when I say meal prepping, what I want you to think about is starting off super small. Get into the habit of cooking once to eat twice (or maybe even 3 times.) So maybe you want to make a soup in your crockpot and have it throughout the week. Or you want to make overnight oats, Peanut butter, chocolate, brown sugar. OR cutting up your morning smoothie ingredients (your banana, mango and spinach) and throwing it in a ziplock, putting it aside so that you can grab and go in the morning.
I want to remind you not to get discouraged if you have a lot of weight to lose or have already tried this before but it didn't work - it didn't take you 2 weeks to gain the weight and it won't take you 2 weeks to lose it.
Whatever approach you decide to take or diet you decide to go with, I want you to remember that it's about being satiated and feeling GOOD.
If you feel hungry all the time or are bingeing - something is very wrong.
90% of weight loss and toning up is about your mindset. If you've read this far down you're probably ready to make a change.
Awareness of what you've done wrong before is always the first step. Now you know that you do have control.