Did you brush your teeth this morning?
Let’s assume the answer is “yes.” You probably didn’t even have to think about it. You brush your teeth every morning. (Hopefully, lol.)
It’s something you learned to do as a child and it is so much a part of your routine that you do it without even having to remind yourself. Rarely do you leave the house and think “Oh, shoot – I didn’t brush my teeth!”
That’s how eating healthy is for me. I’ve been doing it so long I don’t even have to think about it. Clean eating is second nature, it’s the way I live every day. It’s like brushing my teeth. I just do it.
In the beginning though, it was tough. It took me years to learn what to avoid, to what to include and how to make it a routine.
There is a lot of information out there and it can certainly be confusing. That’s why I am making it simple for you – 13 easy rules to remember for eating healthy.
That may sound like a lot of rules, but as you will see they are simple and easy to execute. And the more you practice them over time, the more they will become second nature. I’ve split these rules into things to do and things to avoid. Try to focus on building new habits – the “dos” – and those will generally take care of those things you want to avoid.
1. Aim for one serving of protein at each meal (20-30g).
2. Keep trigger foods out of the house. If you can’t have just one serving stop buying it.
3. For packaged foods or bars, think double digit protein, single digit sugar.
4. Hydrate. Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
5. Carbs before and after your workout, protein after your workout.
6. Keep it realistic. If you can’t maintain it for a year don’t even attempt it.
7. Leave room for foods you enjoy in reasonable quantities.
8. Pop (soda), energy drinks, flavored coffee drinks and alcohol.
9. Fast-food, fatty restaurant meals and cheap on-the-go options like TV dinners.
10. Sugary snacks and treats like candies, cookies, and cakes.
11. Eating high fat and high carbs together (example: greasy burger and fries).
12. Waiting so long to eat that you’re starving and want something fast and easy.
13. Starving yourself as a shortcut to losing weight.
Now I recognize this list might seem overwhelming. But remember, you don’t have to change everything in a day.
Start with the rules which are the easiest for you. Pick two or three and work at those consistently for a while. It may take months until they feel second nature.
Once you’ve nailed those first new habits, move on to the next easiest and so on. Don’t expect everything to change overnight, it’s a process.
If you fall off the wagon, get back on the next day. Rather than being disappointed and giving up, just try again.
Your healthy lifestyle change is a journey and it will evolve over years and years of small changes.