When you decide to make changes to your health, you will probably start to think about ways to develop healthy eating habits. Yet with our current food trends, this goal can get confusing. You might be dazed on where to begin. Your reasons for wanting to eat healthily might include one of these:
- lose weight
- manage your high blood pressure
- simply love the idea of healthy eating
- or something else
Regardless of your goal, there are three ground rules for getting started. They are simple, practical, and easy to maintain. Best of all they’re so easy that you’ll be motivated to continue! Sticking to these will get you on the right course and keep you on track for the long term. Let’s take a close look at each one of them.
3 Tools to Help You Develop Healthy Eating Habits
1. A Journal
This is your starting point for all healthy habits. Start by entering what you eat each day. Include all your meals, snacks, and even your beverages. Set aside time each day to jot down your notes in your journal. Once you have one or two weeks recorded, analyze your “data.” You’ll be surprised how this exercise helps you to uncover what you’re eating and drinking. It will let you know where your calories are going and how much of the following you’re eating each day:
- fresh fruits/vegetables
- whole foods
- packaged foods
- sugary/ caffeine/alcoholic drinks
Being honest in your journal can reveal plenty of information on your food pattern and be the starting point for making changes to get you to your goal. Be sure to choose a recording system that you can stick with. Do you prefer pen and paper, or would it be better for you to record your journal using an app? Either way is fine. When you start to record this will allow you to see where you need to make changes as you develop healthy eating habits.
2. A Meal-planning system
Okay, this probably sounds intimidating, but it isn’t. Creating a healthy meal planning system is another key step towards healthy eating. Journaling habits will give you a clear picture of your eating patterns. The next tool that you need is a process of tweaking your current eating patterns. And that’s the goal of a meal planning and prep system.
And creating a meal plan doesn’t have to be overly complex. Some of my family members, friends, and clients have often felt that they need to completely throw out all their food and start from scratch. But the key is to learn how to plan meals and start meal preping healthier options. By making simple swaps, you can make the transition to healthy eating more easily, and stick with your new habits.
Need help in this area? Download a free copy of “Smart Tips for Easy Meal Planning & Prep.” It’s my most recent guide all about the easiest ways to make small yet effective changes to the way you plan and prep meals for the family. The tips in this guide help you to plan out healthier meals, organize yourself in the kitchen, and prep and cook in less time. You can access a free copy of the guide here.
The best approach is to start switching unhealthy choices with real, whole foods. Remember to keep your choices simple, convenient and healthy. There are plenty of online resources that provide sample meal plans and healthy options. There are also smartphone apps that suggest healthier choices, which can make the transition to healthy eating much easier.
3. Your smartphone
One more tool you can implement to to help you eat healthier is your mobile device. And guess what; it’s easy! Most of us have an iPhone or Android device, and you can easily access your app store to find tools that can help you with your healthy eating goals. These apps make transitioning to healthier habits much easier and fun too. Using apps as part of your plan for healthier eating can help you to stay consistent and save time. Here are some examples of apps that can help you with your healthy eating goals.
Healthy eating food apps
The choices are plenty. There are free clean eating recipe apps, clean eating challenge app, healthy eating guides, whole food recipe apps, 7-day photo challenges for accountability and motivation to stay on your goal and many more. If you’re looking for an app that helps you check for clean(er) dining options, HealthyOut is one that I’ve been referring to.
Food label scanners apps
These apps come to your rescue by decoding the bewildering range of terminologies used by the food industry giants. The app helps to understand food labels, check claims and educate the user on the product. These apps are based on survey results and recommendations from health experts. Two that I have great review are Fooducate and ShopWell
Sugar/GMO checking apps
These are specific tools that scan food labels for GMO or sugar content and alert you with a specific color code. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake and refined sugar intake these apps serve as a fantastic guide.
There are plenty of ways to consciously sneak in healthy food choices. We live in the best time in human history. Where technology brings information to our fingertips in milliseconds. Let’s use it wisely!
Here are a few apps to check out:
So, which of these tools do you feel would work for you? Are you ready to start your new healthy eating journey? Leave a comment to let me know!
Save on Healthy Groceries Online
Shopping for budget-friendly healthy groceries can get frustrating if your only option is the local supermarket. Fortunately, there are options nowadays that can bring healthy alternatives right to your doorstep. Online retailers like Thrive Market make it super simple to not only get healthy groceries delivered for the family, but also a Thrive membership allows you to save a ton on your grocery bill in the process. If you use my affiliate link, you will get 25% off your first order, plus a 30-day free trial and free shipping. Get started here.
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Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps parents to build healthier habits and routines to better balance home and work life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and gardening geek in her spare time.