I’m taking the day off from blogging but wanted to share this great post submitted by A Merry Life reader Kimberly. Eating healthier can definitely seem like a mental game so finding ways to “trick” yourself into eating healthier is an easy way to stick with it. The less decisions you have to make each day will make eating healthy easier in the long run. Keep reading for tips and tricks that might help you trick yourself into eating healthier too! Enjoy!
How to Trick Yourself into Eating Healthier
Junk food impacts every part of your body’s health. A steady diet of these nutrient-lacking foods can cause chronic fatigue, irritability, and a host of physical health issues. A diet full of heavily processed foods may lead to obesity, heart disease, concentration issues, and poor sleep.
Condiments and sauces can easily add hundreds of unnecessary calories to any meal, but no one wants to eat a dry sandwich. Swap out fatty mayonnaise and ranch options with healthy substitutes that will satisfy just as much. Mashed up avocado provides a creamy texture, is more filling, and features healthy fats that will help your body without processed oils. Another great option is yogurt. Use all-natural Greek yogurt with no added sugar. This wonderful alternative goes perfectly in chicken or tuna salad, can serve as a healthy and delicious substitute for sour cream, and can be used in many recipes.
Treats with a Healthy Twist
Once you’ve changed your habits, it’ll be easier to say no to tempting treats. You can still partake in your favorite foods, but make them with a healthy kick. Instead of syrup drenched waffles, try some chocolate protein oatmeal pancakes.
Reward yourself every once in a while but don’t go overboard. Chocolate dipped berries are a sweet delight, but they are still fruit so you won’t feel as guilty. Order some online after you’ve kicked butt with your diet all week and get home to a wonderful gift to yourself.
You’ve no doubt tried or at least heard of quinoa, but it’s not the only great grain option out there. Freekeh is an ancient grain that’s been picking up in popularity. It is harvested young, and then roasted to release a nutty flavor that’s satisfying for various meals and recipes. With high levels of iron and fiber, incorporating freekeh into your diet will greatly boost your health points. Use it as a base for a piece of grilled chicken, or layer it on top of your favorite lettuce for a delicious salad. Another great option comes in the form of farro. This grain was once a staple of Roman diet, and is easy to digest with lots of protein, iron, and fiber.
Despite the purported benefits of drinking a glass of red wine, generally speaking, alcohol is not a necessary part of a healthy diet. If you’re not ready to give up your favorite libation, try alternative mixers that can cut out empty calories. Swap tonic water for club soda, choose an all-natural juice with your mimosa instead of sugar-filled brands, and limit yourself to fewer drinks.
White processed flour contains few nutrients, and you can easily swap it out for different types of flour. Almond flour is paleo-friendly, and packs a punch of healthy fats, protein, and vitamin E. Whole grain barley flour can help lower blood cholesterol levels, and quinoa flour provides a complete protein for all of your amino acid needs. Experiment with the many different types of flour in old recipes and find your new healthy favorite.
Cut Down on Carbs
Many are divided over the presence of carbs in a healthy diet, but there are easy ways to make simple switches to lower your intake of bread products. Give yourself a satisfying crunch; instead of using tortillas or pitas for your favorite wraps, take a piece of lush lettuce and roll it around your fixings to make a healthy and satiating meal.
We often resort to fast food and junk items when we don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal. Cut this bad habit out by spending an hour or two each Sunday prepping meals for the week. Chop fresh veggies and bag them up, create easy salads in Tupperware, and grill the protein of your choice that can be used in various meals throughout the week.
The color and size of your plates and bowls are both important elements for preventing overeating. A smaller plate leads to smaller portions, and plates with colors that contrast with the color of your meal will help you eat less. Eating off of a larger fork also ironically tricks your brain into eating less, as you perceive that your bites are larger and you’re eating more than you actually are. If you need an even bigger push, check out the HAPIfork, a utensil that uses vibration to let you know when you’re eating too quickly.
Tricking yourself into eating healthier can be an easy task once armed with awesome alternatives and helpful tips. Try these tactics and transform your diet for a better life, you won’t regret it.