Temptations are everywhere, life is busy, and a plate of pasta or slice of cake is often the only form of comfort we can find–it’s no surprise that most of us are still trying to break up with junk food (for good).
Start making small changes for to become healthier and happier!
CHALLENGE 1. CHOOSE SOCIAL LIFE
- Do you feel it hard to be healthy and maintain a social life? (Most social gatherings involve eating out or drinking and you don’t want to be a dud)
While this isn’t as much of a problem since that stay-at-home order hit, it’s still a big factor preventing many of us from a healthy lifestyle. Most social gatherings revolve around food and alcohol, whether it’s weekend brunch with the girls or happy hour with coworkers. When you’re dedicated to filling up on leafy greens and whole grains, the temptation of bottomless mimosas or discounted mozzarella sticks might make you feel like you have to choose between having a social life and eating healthy. If you do feel like you have to choose, choose social life. Every time. Spending time with people you love is nourishment too.
But the truth is that a social life and healthy diet can exist in harmony. Scope out the menu beforehand, know how many drinks you are OK with, and order a side salad or roasted Brussels sprouts to munch on along with those mozzarella sticks. When you feel like going all-in on the pizza and wings or chips and queso? Enjoy every bite (you deserve it!), and order a side salad, veggies on the pizza, or a side of guacamole to also get in some nutrients that will make your body feel good. The goal with health, nutrition, and happy hour is always balance.
CHALLENGE 2. PORTION CONTROL
- Do you really love food?
This is both awesome and perfectly normal. You should love food! Food is fuel and you need it to live and thrive. So why do we feel like it’s a bad thing to love food? Well, the diet industry has made us feel that in order to live a healthy life, we can’t enjoy food and we need to diet and deprive ourselves. This is false.
Instead of focusing on the foods you shouldn’t have, focus on incorporating whole and healthy foods you do love. Eat intuitively! For example: lots of sweet potato, nut butters, banana, and avocado toast. These things can make you feel full, energized, and fulfill your deep love for food! Don’t deprive yourself. Balance your indulgences along with a healthy lifestyle.
CHALLENGE 3. EAT THE RIGHT FOOD
- Is it really hard to resist unhealthy snacks when they're in front of you?
We’ve all experienced the struggle with the breadbasket on the table or the box of donuts at the office. You have the best of intentions to eat healthy, but then it’s your coworker’s birthday, and next thing you know, you’re three slices of cake deep, and it’s not even halfway through the workday.
First thing’s first: indulging is never a bad thing. Enjoying foods (guilt-free!) whenever you want them will prevent binges and overeating later on. However, you shouldn’t eat until you’re sick or feel out of control.
Avoid getting over-hungry. Once you get over-hungry, your willpower is shot and it’s game over. Ensure you always have a few high fibre, high protein snacks on hand (like almonds or trail mix) to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Then you’ll be much less likely to reach for that second slice of cake.
Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water is the key to keeping hunger in check.
Last but not least, stay calm. Stress often triggers mindless eating. When you start to feel stressed, get up and go for a walk around the block instead of eating. Changing your environment is great for getting those visions of cake out of your head!
CHALLENGE 4. MAKE TIME TO EAT
- Are you always on-the-go?
Never have time to eat?
The fix: plan ahead. Smoothies (try our E-zy Blender) and snacks like hard-boiled eggs, nuts, or even hummus and veggies are easy to pack up and take with you wherever you go with your E-zy Snax. But just an FYI, mealtimes should be sacred; breakfast, lunch, and dinner serve as a reminder that we need to slow down and stay present. Not having time to eat is a sign you need to make time, rather than skip meals or grab something less nutritious out of convenience.
If planning ahead isn’t your strong suit, stop by a nearby grocery store for healthy snacks, or opt for an egg wrap instead of a blueberry muffin if you’re eating out. No matter what works for you, remember that the body needs nourishment to keep up with your busy lifestyle, and nothing is more worthy of your time and energy than your health.
CHALLENGE 5. MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY
- Do you work long hours and you are too exhausted to cook a healthy meal?
Alright. Let’s sit down and have a little heart-to-heart here. If you want to live a long and happy life, you need to make eating well and moving your body a priority. Sacrificing health for the sake of your job is short sighted and self-destructive. You are not doing yourself any favours.
If you feel stuck in a vicious cycle of being over-tired, unproductive, and unhappy, it’s time to make some changes. What is one small thing you can change right now to break the cycle? Perhaps you can shut down one hour earlier each day in order to get to a fitness class. Or maybe you can subscribe to a grocery delivery service so you have fresh ingredients at home waiting for you after a long day.
CHALLENGE 6. BE HEALTHY
- Do you want to start being ''healthy'' but don't you know where to begin?
As much as you want to have the perfect diet right off the bat, it just doesn’t work that way. Eating habits are a deeply personal thing, and they take time to change. Start small.
Focus on incorporating real food. If you are used to eating a cookie in the afternoon, swap it out for a banana with almond butter. If you drink two diet sodas every day, swap one out for a bottle of water. Being healthy is a marathon, not a sprint. As you continue to make small changes day-by-day, they will add up to big changes over time.
CHALLENGE 7. TREAT YOURSELF WITH ACTIVITIES NOT FOOD
- Are you addicted to sugar and wine?
Whether it’s a sugary afternoon treat or an evening extra-large glass (or two) of wine, we all have our hard-to-kick vices, even when we know the negative effects they have on our mood, energy, sleep, and weight. We often indulge in sugar and wine for pleasure and escape. But here’s the thing: There are many things that can help you achieve the same result.
Try detoxing from your day with an activity, not food. A phone call with a girlfriend, a power nap, or switching off your phone and playing with your pet are all activities that will help you de-stress. Yes, we’re all going to need the post-work wine or celebration cookie at some point, but if you find yourself turning to them more often than not, it’s time to assess what may be fuelling this need. Also, pay attention to when these addictions tend to take hold.