10 Simple Ways to Make Healthy Eating Easier
Eating well doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming, or overwhelming. Here are 10 simple tips to help you make healthy eating easier on a regular basis!
Eating healthier is a noble goal to have if you want to improve your health, have more energy, manage your weight, or reduce your risk of certain diseases. But “eating healthier” is such broad, individualized intention, that it can be overwhelming.
When you decide you want to eat better, it might be difficult to decide where to start. Instead of trying to overhaul your entire diet all at once, it’s more reasonable to make a few small changes at a time.
If you’re searching for ways make healthy eating easier, check out these 10 tips. Start small by choosing a handful that seem attainable in your life right now. Once you’ve mastered those, choose a few more to work on, and make your way through the list. Before you know it, you’ll have made 10 healthy lifestyle changes with minimal effort.
10 tips to make healthy eating easier
1. Chop up carrots, peppers, celery, and cucumbers so you have veggie sticks handy for healthy snacks.
We all know that eating more vegetables is good for our health. Easily incorporate veggies into snack time by preparing them ahead of time. When hunger strikes, just grab a handful from the fridge to munch on. Serve with hummus, guacamole, or another healthy dip to make the snack filling and satisfying.
2. Choose a healthy meal to make, and double the recipe so you have leftovers.
You don’t have to cook homemade meals every single night to eat a healthy, balanced diet. When you plan to cook a healthy meal, try doubling the recipe to last more than one meal. You can eat the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day!
Another similar tip is to batch cook meal components at once. For example, if multiple meals include quinoa, cook a big batch of quinoa all at once. Use what you need for meal #1, then store it in the fridge until you prepare meal #2.
3. Pre-portion snack foods into single servings to avoid mindless snacking out of the bag.
We totally eat more when munching out of a large snack bag. Plus, we are more prone to mindless snacking in this situation. To avoid this, pre-portion single servings of your favorite snack foods and keep them in the pantry.
When the snack craving hits, grab a bag from the pantry and enjoy it. If you feel it didn’t satisfy your craving, don’t sweat it! Enjoy another serving and move on.
4. Partial meal prep on the weekends to make weekday cooking faster.
If fully meal prepping all your food for the week seems overwhelming, that’s totally ok! Start by doing partial meal prep over the weekend to eliminate some stress and make cooking faster during the week.
Some examples of partial meal prep are: marinating proteins, preparing any sauces or dressings, washing fruits and vegetables, and chopping up vegetables and herbs.
5. Stock your kitchen and pantry with healthy staples for last minute, throw together meals.
Planning a few healthy meals to make each week is manageable for most people, but it can be difficult to plan and execute them every single night. Keep your kitchen stocked with some healthy staples to prepare easy, healthy meals when you don’t have a plan.
Here are some items to keep on hand that can easily be turned into healthy meal components:
- Frozen vegetables and fruits
- Dry whole grains like brown rice and quinoa
- Canned or dry beans and legumes
- Canned tuna or salmon
- Nuts and seeds
- Canned tomatoes
- Frozen veggie burgers
- Frozen whole grain breads
6. Utilize a grocery delivery service, if possible, to minimize time spent grocery shopping
If time is your biggest barrier to healthy eating, experiment with grocery delivery services if available where you live. You’ll save a ton of time by shopping online and scheduling a food delivery instead of physically shopping at the store.
7. Keep a reusable water bottle filled with water with you all day.
Drinking more water is one of the simplest, easiest health goals to achieve. Keep your favorite water bottle by your side all day long so you’re never without a sip!
8. Choose whole foods instead of processed foods most often.
In general, whole food items are more nutritious and filling than processed foods. This is because whole foods contain fiber, protein, or healthy fats (or contain a mix of two or three)!
When you’re able to, choose whole foods instead of processed ones. Go for the whole apple instead of apple juice. Eat a baked potato instead of french fries. Munch on carrots and celery instead of veggie chips.
9. Avoid distractions and turn off screens during mealtimes.
Healthy eating is not just WHAT we eat…it’s also about HOW we eat. Eating without distractions allows us to focus on the food and our dining companions, making the experience more enjoyable.
Minimize distractions to make mealtimes more meaningful. Also, it helps us tune into our hunger and satiety cues more accurately. Some ways to do this are:
- Take an actual lunch break away from your work desk
- Don’t bring your phone to the dinner table
- Turn off the television when you eat
10. Enjoy your favorite foods when you crave them to avoid a binge and restrict pattern
All foods fit into a healthy and balanced diet. That means carrots, kale, and apples, but also cookies, pizza, and pretzels. When we completely eliminate food groups or restrict what we allow ourselves to eat too much, we naturally crave and obsess over those foods. This can lead to a binge and restrict cycle in which we harbor feelings of guilt, shame, and failure.
Remember that foods are not inherently “good” or “bad” – food is just food. When you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, you will undoubtedly feel better and more energized than eating a highly processed diet. But that doesn’t mean processed foods are off limits!
Enjoy your favorite foods in moderation whenever the craving hits. The only way to satisfy a true craving is to have that food, not a healthier version of it. Try to savor it and enjoy each bite, knowing you can have it whenever you want it. Trust that your body knows how to balance your desires for salads with your desires for chocolate.
Looking for more guidance?
I’m here to help! With private nutrition counseling, I’ll help you create goals, navigate behavior change, and be an integral part of your support system on your journey to better health.
If you’re interested in working together, just send me an e-mail!