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To become the best version of yourself, diet is as important as exercise. You need to make the right choices to get the best results.

Here are five quick tips for good eating habits that will set you up for success.

Start your day right

When you jump out of bed, start your day with a glass of not-too-cold water, and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

This is effective for a few reasons.

  • First, lemon is a refreshing way to kick-start your morning.
  • You’re also hydrating yourself first thing, instead of reaching for dehydrating coffee.
  • Some experts also recommend lemon juice as a way to improve digestion.
  • You’re getting a morning dose of vitamin C.
  • The water fills your stomach, which makes you less likely to overeat at breakfast.

If you are able, wait another half an hour before you eat a (healthy) breakfast. This will help you get out the door with a full stomach.

 Plan ahead

Often, eating poorly happens when you’re not prepared.

We’ve all been there. It is the end of the day, you’re starving and you know for a fact there is nothing in the fridge, so you head to the drive-through or to your favorite Thai takeout.

Prevent this by getting organized and stocking your fridge for the week ahead. If you hate the thought of the grocery store, set up an online account and order items for delivery. Most supermarkets allow you to save lists, so come up with a few simple, healthy meal ideas and add all the ingredients to the list for a quicker shopping experience.

Cooking not your thing? While they’re not ideal, there are many pre-made food services out there with ready meals that are a better alternative to junk food like McDonald’s and pizza. Keep a few in the freezer for when you need a night off from kitchen duties.

Pack your lunch

This advice never goes out of style! In addition to saving money, packing your lunch helps you stay on top of calorie consumption. It can also steer you away from impulse-buying a muffin or extra soft-drink from the cafe near work.

Wraps, sandwiches, salads and soup are all simple, easy-to-prepare lunch ideas.

Find ‘treat’ alternatives

  • A hot chocolate made with raw cacao powder can stave off the chocolate craving, while giving you a boost of antioxidants and magnesium.
  • A handful of nuts offers a nutrient and protein boost, which is far better than candy.
  • Stir vanilla protein powder into a small tub of Greek yogurt to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • A simple piece of fruit can ward off a sudden sugar craving.
  • Carbonated water can be a great substitute for a soft drink.

Look around for easy ways to swap ‘bad’ with ‘good,’ and make sure you have the treats you like on hand.

Find your mantra

Sometimes going over a saying or question in your head can help support your good eating goals.

  •  “One is need, two is greed.”
  • “A minute on the lips… a lifetime on the hips.”
  • “My cravings don’t control me.”
  • “Am I really hungry?”
  • “Food is fuel.”
  • “What’s the healthiest choice I can make?”

It can help to tape this to your fridge as a reminder to do the right thing by your body.

Carry a snack

If you have friends who are vegan or celiac, you may notice they happily pull a snack out of their bag when there is nothing appropriate for them to munch on.

There’s nothing to stop you from forming the same habit. Grabbing an apple before you head out the door can insure you against a snack attack that would normally have you heading for the treat section at the gas station. It could also give you an alternative to that cake being passed around the office.

With a little forward thinking and planning, you will be able to stay on top of your good eating intentions and work toward your weight-loss or fitness goals.

Karen Escobar is the co-owner/co-founder of CrossFit Zanshin. Karen's passion for fitness developed several years ago and has developed a bullet-proof system for bringing new people up to speed quickly and on their way to achieving their goals.

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