You may think making big sweeping changes is the only way to achieve your goals. But the truth is making major changes to your diet is not only unnecessary but also rarely effective.
First, it's often overwhelming. Big sweeping changes is a tall order for most anyone, because it requires making drastic changes to your day-to-day life and eating habits. Which feels punishing, depriving and creates unrealistic expectations.
Second, it's not sustainable. Are you going to be able to cut out the bread, chocolate and pasta forever? Probably not. And you don't have to. The truth is balanced eating where all foods fit is a kinder and more sustainable approach. That's why I encourage my clients to see where they can add, not subtract.
Can you add more color to your plate? Drink more water? Get in a few more steps?
Here are four ways to start making eating better, easier.
Plan for fun
Part of life is gathering with others. And most social events include food. When you get to that bbq, happy hour, or fun dinner take a quick overview of all the food and beverage choices and decide what you really want. Instead of sampling a little bit of everything, choose a few of your favorite things and enjoy those, in healthy portion sizes, then fill the remainder of your plate with more nutrient dense food choices that will fill you up and save you from mindlessly snacking.
This also helps take the focus off the food and put it back on the experience, visiting with those around you and enjoying the fun atmosphere!
Share the wealth of health
Headed to a social gathering? Bring a healthy dish to share! A veggie tray with hummus, a variety of fresh fruit or a platter of whole grain crackers and low fat cheeses are always great options that won't over power whatever the host or hostess has planned.
This will help you feel confident knowing you have a few healthy options to choose from and I find the host/hostess always appreciates the gesture too!
Think before you drink
Fun beverages like flavored lemonades and punches have a tendency to go down fast and are often loaded with empty calories. And alcoholic drinks are some of the worst offenders, with some mixed drinks running as high as 1,500 calories a glass. Yikes!
To help save on empty calories try making the skinnier version, cutting mixers in half, swapping sugary syrups for soda water and fresh citrus, and drinking a big glass of water between each fun beverage to help slow consumption. Not only will this help you slow down, it will keep you healthily hydrated too.
Avoid the heavy sauces, butters and oils and serve your fruits and vegetables steamed, grilled or raw. For snacking, try pairing your favorite veggie sticks with a fun hummus or homemade ranch dressing, and pair fruit with a natural nut butter or plain Greek yogurt with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon for a snack that really satisfies.
Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories yet loaded with all kinds of essential vitamins and minerals, along with dietary fiber and water, to help you feel and function your best.
Are you tired of starting over every Monday, hopping from diet to diet, wondering if you'll ever get it "right" so that you can lose the weight and become the best version of you? I’ve got you friend! Come join me inside my FREE women’s-only Facebook community: Eat Better with Coach Mindy. It's for busy women like you who are ready to lose weight, gain energy, get healthy and fit -- without restrictive diets or punishing food rules.