Eating healthy doesn't mean that you have to scrap all of your favorite foods and start eating only fruits and veggies. That's the idea most of us have when we think of "healthy foods," and what has kept us away from changing the way we eat. Eating healthier can be quite simple and not doesn't have to be fruits and veggies only. Simply changing the way we prepare our favorite foods can make a big difference. The following are some tips on how you can go from unhealthy to healthy with minor changes.
Sounds scary, doesn't it? Really it's not. The easiest way to get used to a healthy version of food and/or beverages is to gradually add it to your diet. For example, instead of making a sudden switch from whole milk to low fat or skim milk (because if you suddenly make the switch, your taste buds are going to scream, "Ewww!"), try making a gradual switch. Buy a half gallon of whole milk and a half gallon of 2% milk, pouring yourself a glass of 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 2%. Little by little, add more 2% until you're drinking completely 2% milk. Then start the process again with 2% and skim milk. Before long, you will be drinking purely skim milk. See? That's wasn't so bad. This will work with anything, including butter, sweeteners, cheeses, cream cheese, etc. Just eat less and less until the food or beverage you're trying to cut out is gone.
Spice It Up
Another misconception is there is no way to get delicious flavors in our meals unless we use fat, butter, and/or sugar. This is where spices and low-calorie condiments come into play. Spices increase the flavor of foods with no effect on nutrition, especially when you use more than just salt and pepper. If you already use spices, consider expanding your spice choice or use several spices in a dish. Spices can make a big difference, taking bland to flavorful, and trying different spices can be fun! A few suggestions in getting you started are: cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, crushed red peppers, oregano, garlic salt or powder; and lemon juice.
Take Your Time
Some people can completely and permanently remove foods or condiments from their diet overnight, but most of us seem to rebel, which makes eliminating = we crave unhealthy foods more than ever. For us normal folk who can't eliminate overnight, our tastes and habits do not change quickly, but to successfully stick to a change in our diet, we have to change our tastes and habits. Experts state over and over that it takes at least 3 weeks for a new behavior to become a habit. So cut yourself some slack, take your time, and keep trying. You will find that after some time, your new healthy habits will become second nature.