Eating healthy. A phrase that confuses and irritates many. What exactly is healthy eating? How can “I” build and develop healthy eating habits? The truth of the matter may shock you, well maybe not “shock”, but you’ll definitely learn that eating healthy is not as insurmountable of a task as it may sound like.
Truth be told we all know what isn’t healthy. Fast food. We’ll be the first to admit we love a really good greasy cheeseburger and fries with a large milkshake. Who isn’t salivating right now? You’d be crazy not to be. We might even question if you’re actually human if that doesn’t sound the slightest bit delicious to you. As we said though, the truth of the matter is simple. You know right off the bat, that is not good for you. The high fat, high sugar content does not bode well for your waistline (la Fleur et al 2010). You didn’t need that study to tell you that though, you knew. Many of the issues we face are not necessarily avoiding what we know to be bad for us, but rather we’re unsure of what exactly is good for us.
So what is healthy eating? Maybe for you, it’s cutting fast food consumption down to three times a week instead of seven. Obviously, it won’t help if you’re eating junk foods at home that are similar to what you’d get from fast food. If you’re eating a healthy-ish home cooked meal, instead of fast food, chances are you’ll be a little bit healthier than eating fast food seven days a week.
The same guideline applies to what you’re drinking. If you’re normally slurping down five or six sodas a day, you’re getting dosed with a whole lot of sugar. The average can of Coca-Cola has 33 grams of sugar in it. It’s not high on the saturated fat obviously, but the high sugar alone can cause problems. So instead of having a soda every day of the week, we cut it down to every other day and build on your healthy habit from there.
Just like our article on Lifestyle Change, these healthy steps don’t have to be all at once. The most successful strategy is making smaller healthier choices consistently and building upon those successes. The same is true for eating healthy. You don’t have to give up everything at once and shock your body. Baby steps lead to giant changes.