One of the most common questions people ask me is about how I manage to make healthy food choices. This post is mainly about my journey from a person who used to ‘crave burgers almost every day’ to a person who hasn’t had a burger for a long time and the best part is I am happy about it, I don’t feel deprived in any way.
I was a person who could eat at any time of the day. I did not leave any opportunity to eat. I would eat if I was bored, I would eat if I was busy (I was used to munching of something while studying), I would eat with my family, I would eat if I was alone, I would eat if I was happy to celebrate and I would eat if I was sad. I could eat a burger followed by a proper Indian meal and still have some space for dessert. That’s how much I ate. Food definitely was an important part of my life and this was one of the main reasons why I could never ever follow a strict diet for even a single day. None of the diets that I read about ever worked for me, I used to make many plans to follow a strict diet but the minute I had a reason to eat I would...I knew if I wanted to lose weight I had to get my eating in control...Here’s a list of few things I did to make it easier to get to where I am today
- I did not give up doing things I love
I am a social person, I love going out with friends and family. Even now you will see me go out most weekends. I love hanging out with friends/family and most of these things always involve food. Just because I have started eating healthy doesn’t mean I have given up on going out. The only difference is now when we go out to eat I make healthier food choices doesn’t mean I always order salads. You will usually see me eat grilled chicken or salmon both these are always easily available. When I go for dinner parties or a house party I eat a little before going and then I make the best possible choice I can. I spend more time talking than eating (isn’t that the point of meeting friends)
Just because you are choosing to start eating healthier does not mean you have give up on things you love doing. It just means you have to find a way to do the same things while making healthier choices.
- I know I will make mistakes and it will be OK as long as I don’t stop trying
It takes time to reach a point where you are comfortable with making healthy food choices. It’s not easy for anybody who is used to eating unhealthy. I have made my share of mistakes and even now there are times when I wish I had more will power but I am willing to work on myself every day. I have accepted that I will make mistakes and that’s how I will learn and improve. Don’t be disheartened or put yourself down because you went off track just be willing to get back on track that's the most important thing.
- I gave myself all the time I needed
I am not somebody who lost weight in a short time I took my time (I am still work in progress). I did not directly switch from junk to salads. I switched from very unhealthy to a little less unhealthy then to even less unhealthy and finally healthy. It was a very slow process. When we used to go for movies I used to buy nachos, popcorn and coke. My first switch was choosing between popcorn and nachos. Then I switched to sharing whatever I bought, the next switch was giving up on coke for either water or coffee and finally I gave up on popcorn. For every switch I made I gave myself enough time to settle down before moving on. I did not jump directly from nachos, popcorn and coke to coffee those small intermediate steps helped me stay on track longer because I did not feel deprived.
- I found replacements I love
I have always loved eating something sweet after my lunch/dinner and I still do. These days I usually eat frozen fruit or I mix fruit with yoghurt and make my own flavored frozen yoghurt (I love it). Sometimes I have dates with nuts all these options are things I have always loved so I don’t miss my chocolate because dates and nuts makes me feel as happy as a chocolate would or my frozen yoghurt is as good as ice cream for me.
Also if search enough you usually find very healthy recipes for almost everything. My current favorite is sweet potato brownie (I will share the recipe soon)
- I never stay hungry
This might surprise a lot of people but I still eat very often in a day. I usually have 6 small meals in a day sometimes even more. I have chopped fruits, carrots, nuts and some healthy snacks that I make over the weekend packed for each day. I think I eat every 2-3 hours.I have noticed if I stay hungry or skip any meal I make bad choices so I try to avoid the situation as much as I can.
|grilled chicken/smoked salmon/my packed snacks :)|
- I don’t have too many rules
- Avoid processed food ( frozen meals, cans, cornflakes/granola, biscuits, chips. I prefer making my own at least I know what goes into it)
- Avoid sugar, no sweetener too (I use honey if I really need to)
- Make the best possible choice I can
- If I make a wrong choice I just make sure my next choice is right
I hope you all find this useful and it helps you make better choices. For me eating healthy is not about depriving myself (or feeling sorry for myself because I am not eating something) it is about exploring different options till I find healthy options I love
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