3 Tips to Start Making Healthy Eating Choices

Do you ever feel making those healthy choices is too hard? Trust me I get it! Ten years ago, I was a very different man. I was 20 stone heavier and struggled to make those choices. I didn’t understand the world of healthy eating and found it confusing. I wasn’t in a good place, and it was easier to stay as I was. Fast forward to today, and I am so grateful I changed my life around and learnt how to adopt those healthier eating choices.

I am excited to give you my three starting tips to help make those healthy eating choices.

1) Plan, Plan & Plan!

This may seem an obvious one, but people often forget the impact of proper food planning. You may think it will take too much time, but in reality, it takes a lot less time than you think. You don’t need to go mad and plan everything as well. Start with planning your dinners for the week. Not sure what to cook? Invest in a cookbook to help inspire you. Get the family involved and then post the menu plan in the kitchen so that all can see.

What will you gain by doing this? You will:

  • Save money because you can write a grocery list, getting what you need and stop those impulse buys.
  • Save time because you know what you’re cooking each evening. You won’t waste time “popping” to the shops to scramble to cook something quick.
  • Feel less stressed because you know what you’re cooking ahead of time and can assign time to cook that meal without rushing.
And finally, remember the old saying, Fail to Prepare, then Prepare to Fail!

2) Food labelling - Do you know what’s in your food?

Do you know what’s in your food? I doubt many people can answer “Yes 100%!” to this question. Most people don’t bother to check a food label, and I understand why. It can seem longwinded, confusing and the last thing you want to do while rushing about in the supermarket. To make a positive change, the best thing you can do is learn how to read a food label. 

It also doesn’t take as long as you think. As habitual shoppers, we will almost always go to the same shop and buy the same food so once you have checked it once you will know if it’s a good choice for you or not.

The two main things to look out for when reading a food label are:

  • Read the ingredients list. Food manufacturers often sneak sugar, salt and additives into your foods. Once you can read this list, you can make a quick and informed decision if that food is for you.
  • Understand the Traffic Light System. The traffic light system was designed to bring clarity to consumers but sadly is often manipulated by the food manufacturers. British Heart Foundation offer a super Food Label Decoder to sieve through their tricks. 
3) Mindfully Eating

Do you know how much you eat on a daily basis? Think back over the last few days do you remember what and how much you ate? I understand why you wouldn’t because you’re so busy that you forget what you put into your body. Does this mean you need to count every calorie? No, of course not, but it does work for some people. There are plenty of apps you can use to help, and one I commonly use with clients is My Fitness Pal. It allows you to scan and track your food quickly. In turn, this will increase the mindfulness of your eating habits.

Another method is to write a food diary over a week or two to get a good snapshot of your eating habits. More detail the better, so include things such as times and activities at the time. You could even include your hunger levels and mood score to really put a flashlight on your food choices. 

A change begins when you’re ready.

Finally, my best advice is to start this when you’re ready. Don’t beat yourself up for not making this change yet. Focus on why you might want to change then start with small changes to make progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither does your healthy eating journey have to be.

If you ever feel you need extra support, please feel to reach out to me via my website

For more tips on how to prioritise your wellbeing and including your physical health find our blog on Kent-Teach, Prioritise Your Wellbeing: Say "Yes" to Yourself

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