Not everyone can easily change their lifestyle and eating habits in just a few days. Studies suggest that it takes at least 30 days to establish a habit. The same is true if you want to eat clean. When done correctly, your cravings for unhealthy food will dramatically decrease over time.
1. Spice up your food little by little.
Eating healthy does not mean that you have to eat bland food all the time. If you take that approach, there will eventually come a time when you get tired of it. In fact, it’s likely that you will never feel excited about eating food.
One way to approach this is to take advantage of spices that are readily available in your local shop. Swap salt and artificial seasonings for these. You might want to initially go for the “safer” ones like white pepper, paprika, and basil. You can make your food choices exciting like incorporating tomato and basil soup or trying on some paprika corn chips or basil chips. Then, if you wish, you can experiment with more interesting spices like rosemary, thyme, and oregano.
2. Add or swap “healthy components” to your usual meals.
Remember, changing your diet gradually is the key. The main aim behind this is to help you get used to healthy food choices without going all-out in one go. For instance, instead of using store-bought cheese for your sandwiches, try swapping these for slices of avocado instead. Both are abundant in fat, but the latter contains healthy fat that is good for your heart.
Just a matchstick-size portion of meat a day is recommended by dieticians and nutritionists. Therefore, if you want to have more meat in your meals, consider using substitutes like blocks of tofu instead. These foods are known to be not only low in calories but also high in protein.
3. Change the way you cook your food.
This may seem like a sad thing to have to do, but it can actually make the flavor of your dishes even better if you do it correctly. For instance, instead of deep frying potatoes for your fries, baking them will help you avoid those extra fats but will also give your potatoes a nice, flavorful crispiness that deep frying cannot always give.
If you love eating eggs for breakfast, you can swap fried eggs for poached or boiled eggs. If that still doesn’t cut it for you, you could use healthy oils like olive oil to fry eggs instead of using the usual palm or vegetable oil.
4. Drink lots of water.
Some people are not too fond of drinking a plain glass of water. If this is you, replace your fizzy and sugary drinks little by little. Do not feel discouraged while you are doing this.
For instance, if you drink three cans of soda a day, try reducing this to two cans a day for the first week, then one can a day for the second week. While doing this, incorporate fruit-infused water for a refreshing twist!
In case you hadn’t noticed, the main pattern when it comes to clean eating is to not be drastic about your eating habits. A little bit of change here and some swapping there can do the trick. Aside from small changes (which can be considered as “baby steps”), consistency is the key.
If you are having a hard time being consistent, ask for help from someone you trust so you can be accountable to them if you are struggling with food choices. Let them know the challenges you face so they can also help you. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way towards a regular and healthy food routine.