Being stuck in the rut of unhealthy eating can be frustrating and difficult to come out of.
Do you find yourself eating the same foods every day and just never getting full?
Do you feel like your skin is dull and/or breaks out often?
Do you feel like you exercise all of the time but you still aren’t seeing the results you want?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s time to take a look at the foods you are eating and start making small changes. Many of the answers to solving these issues is due to what you are putting in your body!
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It’s time to “Clean up Your Meals”.
Simply put, it’s about eating foods/drinks that have more purpose to nourish your body and help you reach your health and wellness goals.
Providing valuable calories to your body through healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates verses unhealthy sugars and fats is essential.
There are a ton of ways to lose weight or get a quick fix meal plan restricting foods and cutting portion sizes that are just not attainable for long term.
There are also a ton of workouts that you can tap into and use for a while but may not stick with for the long term.
The transition you make from your original lifestyle to the healthy lifestyle Hint of Happy recommends is progressive one, at your own pace, and creates habits, verses following a hard to maintain trend.
I want you to change your mind set about what you have tried in the past and guide you through “Cleaning up your Meals” to show you what it can do for you in the long run.
When you are eating breakfast/lunch/dinner/2 snacks a day that are nutrient dense you don’t have to restrict foods, or skip meals to “be/look healthy”. Think of replacing or adding healthy foods to your diet; this alleviates the feeling of deprivation.
I lived in the “restricting” world for quite some time and all it ever did was make me want the food more and more until I just binged on it.
Restricting foods and skipping meals only makes you dwell over food and can actually make you gain weight.
Nutrient Dense Foods
Understanding the basics of nutrient dense foods is important as you begin to make changes to the foods you have been eating.
You may even realize some of the foods you really like you don’t need to change because they are nutrient dense. That’s a win!
Once you are eating nutrient dense foods, you will notice that smaller portion sizes fill you up and the feeling of being full lasts longer. This keeps you satisfied so you don’t reach for foods that are less nutrient dense.
When you eat nutrient dense foods you are nourishing your body and fighting unnecessary hunger.
I love how this quick read from Healthy Eating and Exercise for Life simply defines and describes nutrient dense foods as “the amount of nutrients you get for the amount of calories”.
When you approach each meal, think of including plenty of nutrient dense foods and eventually you will notice that you will not have room for the lesser dense yucky, processed foods.
Examples of Nutrient Dense Foods
“Food is fuel; eat to live, don’t live to eat”
“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.”
It’s time to make a change
These quotes can’t say it any better.
Choosing healthy foods with healthy calories (nutrients) will make you a well-oiled machine.
When you choose foods that do not support your body and keep it running well, you are giving your body no chance to be healthy and energized. Many of these “unhealthy” options leave the body still feeling empty or hungry even minutes after they are consumed.
The healthy calories will fuel your body, keeping it feeling satisfied until your next meal.
I love this “control your cravings” graphic that helps you understand what nutrients your body is needing when it’s craving something.
Today I challenge you to evaluate your previous or current meal plan and make a few adjustments to where you have the opportunity to replace non nutrient dense foods with more nutrient dense ones.
Even send it to me and I will be more than happy to take a look and see what adjustments we can make.
If you need a template for inputting your meal plan and routine, check out THESE USEFUL TOOLS!
Making these nutrient dense foods the focal point, will in turn help you inadvertently decrease your portion sizes and never have the room for junk foods!
Take Small Steps
Taking small steps to transition into this is important to making the new behavior stick.
Here’s how to do it!
- Start by replacing 1 – 2 of your snacks with nutrient dense foods. Don’t try to change everything in the course of a day, week or month.
- Make an intentional grocery list of nutrient dense snacks and make your purchases
- Clean out and throw away items in your pantry that you are going to replace with your nutrient dense foods
- Prep and portion out nutrient dense snacks to make it easier to grab and take them with you, making the healthy choice the easy choice