Ever feel like eating healthy is impossibly hard to do when you’re busy rushing from your new job to events, yoga, or even dates with a digital crush? How about if you work from an office with delicious, free sugary snacks? We feel your pain. Since temptation is tough, we scoured the web for smart strategies that make filling your bod with the fuel it needs way easier. Scroll on for our top tips!
1. Shop the perimeter at the grocery store. It’s an oldie but a goodie and totally bears repeating: Stocking a healthy kitchen starts at the supermarket. Many experts agree that shopping the outer ring (or perimeter) of the store is a surefire way to set yourself up for healthy eating success. Look for meats, dairy, eggs, fruits, and veggies without the temptations that wait in the middle of the store, like processed snacks and drinks.
2. Add in some color. Taste the rainbow! Make your food fun with pops of color, like melon, berries, fresh greens, or even purple grapes. You’ll incorporate more good stuff into your diet every time you try to make each dish a little more vibrant. For extra cash savings, stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables or freeze any good fresh finds so you can use them later.
3. Put in the prep work. Fallen victim to having little time to cook a healthy meal? Instead of wasting the calories and cash on a last-minute buy, prep in advance by bringing your fave food bloggers’ healthy recipes into reality. If you’re not sure where to start, consider a crockpot dish you can incorporate with other stuff during the week, or a ton of veggies (including potatoes) that pair nicely with something quick. You can even get creative with sweet dishes, like overnight oats, chia pudding, or quinoa. Yum!
4. Have a healthy snack with you 24/7. You can’t blame yourself for making a poor choice when you’re ravenous or fading fast in the afternoon. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a healthy snack with you all the time. Fruit with an individual packet of almond butter is always an easy choice, or you can snap up good-for-you, on-the-go options like healthy bars at a discount when you buy ‘em in bulk.
5. Find and try new recipes. Healthy cooking and food prep can seem overwhelming, but good recipes are easy to find on Pinterest or Google. Try searching terms like “healthy lasagna” or “low-calorie pizza” to come up with creative foods you’ll actually want to try making. Or, get a couple of our fave new cookbooks and invite friends over to join in on the fun!
6. Sneak in extra veggies. Not in the mood for a salad or another healthy soup? We hear you. Sometimes the mac ‘n’ cheese just won’t quit calling. Instead of denying yourself something you love, we say go for the dish you’re craving — just find a way to incorporate some veggies. Try dishes like a veggie omelet or spinach breakfast quiche, nachos or pizza piled high with veggies, or even pasta with mushrooms, onions, and peppers.
7. Switch up your plates. There are a number of studies that show that the actual dishes you use when you’re dining can make a big difference when it comes to what you actually put in your mouth. Try smaller plates, tall and narrow glasses (instead of short and wide ones), and even bowls and plates that are in high contrast to the color of your food. It’s proven to make a difference, with researchers successfully showing that people serve themselves 30 percent more when their plate matches their food. Whoa!
8. Fall in love with drinking flavored water or mocktails. Juices and alcoholic drinks are major culprits when it comes to extra sugar and calories. To cut ‘em out but still enjoy something that tastes special and refreshing, try flavored or sparkling water, kombucha, or even a delicious mocktail. We bet you’ll love sipping just as much (and save major cash on your typical wine haul or cocktail tab).
9. Start with small portions. Okay, it might not be super exciting, but dishing up a smaller portion gives you room to enjoy all of your faves, along with a chance to assess whether or not you want more when you’re done. Still seriously hungry after 20 minutes? Feel free to load up your plate with more healthy food. Any foods you’re too full to eat are fit to become leftovers for the week. Yay!
10. Wrap foods differently. There have been studies that show the transparency of packaging can affect how much you indulge in treats. Try wrapping your large sugary snacks in clear bags for an extra reminder each time you reach inside the fridge or cabinet.
11. Keep your kitchen clean. No one wants to spend time in a dirty kitchen! Make sure you keep your appliances and surfaces clean so you’re inspired to spend more time in the space, both cooking and sitting down to eat.
Have a couple of healthy eating tips or tricks? Share them with us on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)