Eating healthy tends to have a negative association attached to it because of the dreaded time it takes to cook at home and the cleaning involved after cooking. There are several ways to make eating healthy easier. While these methods do still require effort and will not be easy to implement overnight, they will help the process of eating healthy become at least a little easier. 🙂
#1 Pre-Cooked Protein & Veggie Sources
One way to make eating healthy easier is to buy pre-cooked or meal prep protein sources. One of the hardest parts of eating healthy is cooking meats, granted you aren’t a vegan or vegetarian. Cooking meat is the most time-consuming part of the cooking process that usually involves defrosting, marinades, baking, frying, etc. You can make this process a bit easier by buying pre-cooked meats or preparing large portions of meat at a time (similar to meal prepping). Some protein sources I like to buy pre-cooked/pre-prepared are: chopped or shredded chicken, rotisserie chicken, tuna packets, and taco filling (ground beef). You can also make preparing sides easier by buying frozen or canned veggies. Frozen and canned veggies are picked and stored at their freshest time and are longer-lasting than fresh vegetables. You can easily microwave, air fry, bake, broil, or stove-cook frozen veggies and season them to make them taste delicious 😋
#2 Pick Healthier Fast Food Options
Not everyone has the luxury of time or money to always prepare fresh food at home. Fortunately, you can still make healthier fast-food choices while eating out. This does not mean always choosing the salad when eating at a fast-food restaurant. Some salad dressings are packed with both fats and sugars to make up for the lack of taste in the salad and protein. Instead, I recommend focusing on changing your sides when eating out. Typically, the soda and fries are the biggest issue when eating out because of the added sugars and fats from the oils used to fry them. One way to eat healthier when eating at fast food restaurants is to reduce the size of the meal. Instead of a large fry, opt for a medium. You can also choose to specialize your order by ordering fries with no salt to reduce the salt content of the fries. For your drink, you can reduce the size of your drink as well or opt for a diet version of the same sodas you already consume. Drinking diet sodas are a completely safe substitute (unless consumed in VERY extreme quantities) and are a great alternative to regular sodas.
#3 Buy an Air Fryer
Air fryers have been the life savers of this last decade. They are so convenient for preparing home-cooked meals and even make left-over pizza taste better than fresh. Seriously, air fryers are by no means overrated. Buying an air fryer will help you prepare crispy chicken, fries, and veggies all in approximately 30-45 minutes with no added oils and not a lot of cleaning after or preparation before. There’s not much else to say in this section besides: It’s a worthwhile investment to buy an air fryer to prepare healthy home-cooked meals.
(The healthy eating accounts listed in the last suggestion will give you step-by-step details on how to prepare home-cooked meals with an air fryer)
#4 Make Subtle Substitutions
I don’t recommend completely cutting out all fats, sugars, or carbs from your diet when trying to lose fat. Doing so will only set you up for weight regain or binge eating because of the extreme restriction required to cut out so many food choices. You can, however, make subtle food substitutions that help cut calories over time and help you lose weight in a slower, more sustained fashion. One very easy way to do this is with liquids, especially sauces. Sauces add flavor to meals but unfortunately also add lots of sugar, salt, and fat as well. Opting for a low sugar/sodium or artificial sweetener sauce can help cut sugar, salt, fat, and calories from your diet. I will mention that this is by no means a requirement and can be used sparingly in your diet. Maybe you don’t mind eating zero sugar syrup but have to have full-fat mayonnaise and full-sugar ketchup. The decision is still yours to make when choosing what to eat and what to substitute when making healthier food choices.
#5 Follow Healthy Eating Accounts
Following healthy eating accounts helps you get more ideas on how and what to prepare for meals. There are lots of accounts on all social media platforms that specialize in higher protein, lower calorie meals that are made with less-processed and more satisfying ingredients. These accounts even display how to make desserts with higher protein and fiber contents as well. Here are some great accounts to follow for healthy eating tips:
Eating healthy can be a fun, satisfying, and creative process for anyone who loves learning new ways to cook and eat foods. Healthy eating does not have to involve restriction and misery, though. Do not jump to extreme restriction when following the substitution tip listed above. Extreme restriction sets you up for binge eating as the body cannot handle the stresses of extreme dieting for chronic periods of time. If you ever feel extremely tired, miserable, food-obsessed, and/or cranky it’s probably a sign that you are chronically underfed. Eating to satiety, cooking meals at home, and listening to your body when it is full and feeding it foods it craves is a wholesome way to eat healthier without extreme restriction. Simply cooking more foods at home will reduce your caloric intake as well because it generally involves less oils, fats, and sugar than fast-food meals. Ultimately, eating healthy should generally be a fun and exciting experience, not a miserable, one! 🙂