I have to like what I eat.
It’s not that every meal has to be 5-star. I know people who, when there’s “nothing to eat in the house,” graze on whatever is available, never getting satisfied, but over-eating in the process.
The common problem of people who hire me is that they’ve experienced healthy eating as boring and depriving. Or, as too hard. The changes they do try to make haven’t stuck.
Unfortunately, too many people think that enjoying food is opposed to healthy eating and weight loss.
But it’s not true!
Take a look at these top 50 ways to enjoy food, be healthy AND lose weight:
- Eat with people you like – you’re likely to make better choices (e.g. you don’t seek “extra” enjoyment from food)
- Eat when you’re hungry – snacking/grazing when you’re not hungry is over-eating
- Experience gratitude for provision
- Slow down – chew, don’t swallow nearly whole
- Pay attention to the various flavors
- Create artwork on your plate – we eat with our eyes, too
- Notice the texture of your food
- Try new restaurants – keeps life interesting
- Order different meals at your regular haunts
- Order something you normally wouldn’t just because you think it’s too expensive
- Splurge on quality meals at home
- Make veggies taste good – there are ways (and not just with cheese 😃).
- Take a cooking class
- Search “tasty & healthy recipes” online
- Create appetizers from your favorite meals – a little goes a long way
- Don’t eat food you don’t like – Brussels sprouts for me? No, thank you!
- Avoid foods that don’t make you feel good – like a stomachache or headache
- Less is more – when you overeat, enjoyment is diminished
- Ask “How can I add ‘healthy’ to this meal?”
- Experiment with spices – just a little can transform a dish
- Stop eating meals in your car
- Stop checking email and social media while eating
- Eat alfresco
- Use fine linens
- Candlelight dining
- Sit down, rather than stand
- Turn off the TV
- Before eating, decide how you want to feel when you’re finished
- Find your umami – what hits your pallet just right?
- Check out cookbooks at the library – I got The Plantpower Way and made several recipes before deciding to buy.
- Blend up frozen berries for a delicious dessert
- Trade out white flour for whole wheat
- Use brown rice instead of white
- Try different grains, like quinoa
- Substitute apple sauce for 1/3 to 1/2 the oil in baked goods
- Learn to make delicious salad dressings – easy to whip up and make a big difference in taste
- Experiment with the plethora of vegetarian “burgers” on the market
- Eat half the bun of your hamburger (the whole bun is usually too big)
- Top a burger or sandwich with less condiments and more veggies
- Experiment with juicing – lots of concentrated nutrients in one glass
- Reduce the amount of sugar in your coffee/tea – train your taste buds to enjoy less
- Substitute olive oil mayo for the regular stuff
- Better yet, try using just mustard or smearing avocado on a sandwich or burger
- Try a turkey burger in place of beef
- Serve yourself smaller portions – then wait to see if you’re still hungry
- Have fresh herbs, like basil, readily available in your kitchen
- Legumes – a fiber-filled addition to many meals like scrambled eggs and salads
- Hummus – a healthier and heartier dip than, say, ranch dressing
- Have three healthy & tasty go-to meals that you can make in a pinch
- Focus more on adding, less on subtracting
Enjoying healthy food is about more than just what we eat. I’ll bet you’re already doing some of these. Pick a few more. And rather than making an overnight, wholesale change to your eating, remember that small steps lead to big results. Another way of saying it: the tortoise wins every time.
If you struggle with squeezing these and other healthy habits into your hectic schedule, let’s talk about how I can support you in reaching your goals.
Enjoy food. Love life. Be you again.