Creating a healthy diet is incredibly important. Not just for maintaining a healthy weight, but eating healthy will have a domino effect in that it will, by and large, improve many other aspects of your life.
Below are three simples rules that if followed religiously, will contribute to creating a healthy diet and lifestyle with little effort.
Only stock healthy food
This first rule is probably one of the most obvious, however, it is much harder to remember when we get into bad habits. If you can stick to this rule, you will be on your way to creating a healthy diet that revolves around a healthy lifestyle.
Stocking your pantry with only healthy food is as simple as creating a list and sticking to it when you go to the grocery store. Make sure that you only buy foods that the healthiest version of you would enjoy. Stay away from that snack aisle and make sure that you don’t shop on an empty stomach.
After you’ve stocked your place with healthy food, then you can indulge your cravings by going out separately. The brilliant part here is that by doing this, you are using two of your unhealthy, base desires against each other: gluttony and laziness. By forcing yourself to go out separately every time you want to eat junk food, you are going to have to deal with the effort of each trip every time you want to get your fix.
I believe that if you can force yourself to stick to this rule, you will see a huge improvement in your diet overall. Not only will having only healthy food in the house forces you to eat better, but it will also begin to adjust your tastes so that you begin to actually enjoy it. Even if you find yourself going out a lot for junk food, over time you will see a decrease as you start to realize that it really isn’t worth the effort.
Don’t drink calories
This rule is another simple but important one, particularly if you’re trying to lose weight. If you find yourself drinking a lot of energy drinks, sodas, or other sugary drinks you probably don’t realize how many calories you’re drinking in such a quick time span. For instance, a Starbucks Frappuccino alone has almost 500 calories. That’s practically an entire extra meal.
This is why even though it’s such a simple change it will still have such a large impact. If this rule seems daunting, try finding other alternatives to the sugary drinks you normally enjoy. For instance, basic coffee or flavored sparkling water has practically zero calories and still tastes almost as good as soda. You might really miss these sugary drinks at first, but if you can make it a habit, over time you will enjoy these alternatives just as much.
Additionally, think how much more you can enjoy your food if you start cutting out all of these hidden, excess calories from sugary drinks.
Cook meals and meal prep
The last rule is probably the most involved, but it will also have an enormous impact so it’s ultimately worth it. We don’t realize how many different oils and fats are added to a lot of the foods we get at restaurants. Sure they taste great, but the payoff really isn’t worth it for the slight flavor boost.
This is why learning to cook your own meals can be very beneficial to you over the long term. You control what goes into the food and when you start to do this you realize just how little oil and fat you really need to make food taste delicious.
Meal prepping can also work well. While it similarly helps you control what goes into the dish, it also helps you avoid any junk food temptations by having a healthy meal already ready. Having food prepared beforehand takes away any incentive you might have, particularly if you’re tired, to just grab something quick and potentially unhealthy.
Meal prepping definitely takes some time, but with enough practice, you’ll see that it’s ultimately a lot easier over the long run.
There are countless other rules to help you maintain a healthier diet, however, these three I have found to be the simplest and most straight forward to implement. If you’re having trouble eating healthy, try starting with one of these rules and once you’ve made it a habit, add in the others. I guarantee that if you can follow these three rules alone, you will be on your way to creating a healthy diet and lifestyle with little effort or annoyance.