I get it… brainstorming how to start a healthy diet is simple, sticking to it is difficult especially when you’re a social butterfly. Is it impossible to eat healthy when you have a calendar of social events? Do you have start staying home and measuring out your food? Nah, it’s just about making bunch of small better choices.
How to Start a Healthy Diet During Work Hours
A big one for me was bringing my lunch every day. Working downtown there was a ton of choices to choose from in the dozens of food courts. Even choices that appear to be healthy are usually aren’t. Portion sizes, sauces and extra amount of sodium can always be misleading.
There is a movement for more healthy restaurants that even specialize gluten-free and vegan options. However, those were usually more expensive and being a new home owner I couldn’t afford to spend $10+ a day on lunch (that’s $50 a week, at least $200 a month).
- How to start a healthy diet begins by bringing your lunch every day you not only cut down on calories, but cut down expensive. Try making a little extra for dinner the night before and put it aside for lunch the next day. Or what I did is make lunches in bulk. I would bring some hearty salads and pre-make a couple at a time.
- Avoid cookie day and left over holiday treats that are brought into the office. This one will kill you. One of the places I worked at had cookie day every Thursday. These weren’t the box kind, they were always homemade (and so delicious!). I would never stop at one. But cookies in the lunch room usually don’t last long so if you wait it out for while they’ll be gone before you know it. Or just avoid the kitchen. If you cannot see it, you cannot eat it.
- If you have the type of job that requires you to eat out with clients try to make healthier choices by selecting dishes with vegetables (at their simplest form). Or a simple started salad or choose a side of steamed vegetables over fries. A big one is limiting the amount of alcohol you consume to one glass, if any. You could always lie and say you’re on medication that doesn’t allow you to drink. Good news is that if you have to eat a lot for work it might seem exciting at first but usually the novelty dies quickly.
- Don’t drink your calories. Order water or carbonated water instead.
How to Start a Healthy Diet When You Enjoy the Nightlife
In my early to mid-twenties I was quite the party girl. I knew which bars and clubs to go to on each night. You would rarely find me at home. What’s even worse is that I loved to drink too. A crazy night out with friends meant ending up at a pizza joint on our way home. Ironically during that time I was a health nut during the daytime hours. I exercised daily and made healthy eating choices. My parents were quick to point out that all the hard work I was putting in during the day was erased by my nighttime habits. I told them that’s why I do it!
Look you and I both know drinking will wreck a good healthy diet. However, I do understand that this is the phase you’re in right now you’re not interested in giving this habit up. You might actually look forward to drinking. I know, I was there (I’m thankful it was just a phase).
Here are some ways on how to start a healthy diet if you are going to drink:
- Stay away from sugary drinks which are full of empty calories. These are also the ones that give you hangovers. I got cleaver and started drinking “vodka, water and lime”. It’s stronger because water is your mixer so you’ll enjoy it slowly.
- Cut the amount of drinks you consume a night or don’t drink to get drunk. It might seem lame at first but you are also less likely to make dumb choices.
- If you know late night pizza pig out sessions are enviable make healthier food choices during the day.
- If you have friends that always want to meet up for dinner and drinks why don’t you suggest coffee or tea instead and split on the dessert? Just resist the urge to order that fancy high calorie latte.
Every Healthy Diet Needs a Good Support System
If you don’t already do so start exercising. Not only will you burn extra calories for that client lunch you’ll have more energy and feel great. Exercise is addictive and it's the best supporting thing to do on how to start a healthy diet.
- Instead of chatting on the phone or over lunch with a friend, why don’t you do the same thing while going for a long walks instead? When my friends and I lived at home we all lived within a 5 minute drive from each other. We would plan dates to meet up at someone’s house and go for long walks in their neighbour while catching up on the latest gossip. It’s a great way to keep active and take advantage of the beautiful Canadian summers.
- Constantly surround yourself with people that make healthy choices. I was lucky most of my friends wanted to counter-balance some of their unhealthy party habits with healthy ones. I could always count on them to keep me motivated. Another thing I would do is read books and blogs relating to health. Reading about someone’s journey of weight loss is motivating, so is reading about someone training for a marathon. You realize that anything is possible if you’re willing to commit.
These are just a few ideas that will help you get started towards a healthier lifestyle. I’m sure you’ll find some creative ways of your own. Don’t obsess (life is too short) just make small smart goals towards a healthy diet.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret here to get you motivated….
Once you start eating healthy and cutting down on junk you’re actually going to crave it less. So at first it may seem like you’re depriving yourself but know that each day will be easier especially once you start seeing and feeling results.