Time to let go of myths and half truths. You have to realize that healthy eating is not simply about eating certain things and avoiding others. It’s not just about low fat or low carbs or the latest resurgence of the Keto Diet. It’s not about counting calories. No, it’s really about a complete lifestyle overhaul.
Related reading: 5 Top Weight Loss Lifestyle Tips
When you decide to eat clean and remove things from your diet and lifestyle that do not help get you where you want to be, you make a pledge to yourself that you will do things that will help in the long-term and make you feel good inside, instead of giving you short-term highs and lows. To effect change that is long-lasting, you do not need to turn your whole life around and certainly not all at once. It is the small gradual changes that matter.
One research study found that participants who made one small but permanent change in their dietary routine or physical activity lost double the amount of belly fat, four times the weight, and two and a half inches off their waistline compared to those who followed outdated guidelines of calorie control and increased physical activity during a four-month period.
However, as with any change in eating habits, hiccups during a detox program or clean eating routine are inevitable. If you feel like you are suffering from a bad junk food day, here is how you can get right back on track.
Reset to the good healthy eating days
1. Eat a balanced diet that includes loads of leafy greens, a rainbow of vegetables, healthy protein such as wild, low mercury fish or grass fed meat, and to make an easy reset or reboot keep your weekdays full of clean and healthy food, with around a half an hour each day of physical activity. If you must have a cheat day try to keep it for the weekend.
I’ve never been a fan of cheat days because that’s when people are tempted to carry on with cheating because eating junk food makes you want to eat more of it. Better to find an equivalent healthier food. There are so many recipes online now for healthy sweet snacks and other dishes that you don’t have to eat foods with refined sugar or processed and damaged fats.
Related reading: Sugar Detox – Supercharge Your Health In 5 Simple Steps
It’s a fact that once your body is properly nourished with the nutrients and phytochemicals you get from healthy food you will not get cravings for junk food. Once you feel better you will not want to sabotage what you have achieved will you?
2. Remember that plant-based protein is your friend and the best way to lose weight is to eat a high-protein diet that is low in refined carbohydrates. If you want to stay satiated for the day, remember that low-glycemic foods ensure you have enough energy for the day without having to binge on power snacks.
3. Aim for a diet of more wild fish, fewer animal products, loads of greens, and colorful vegetables. Here’s a simple formula: keep weekdays clean, get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, and save healthy indulging for the weekends (more on that later).
4. Remember portion sizes, too. What you eat and how much you eat of it can make all the difference. Update your shopping list to include healthy foods such as unsalted, unroasted nuts, seeds, legumes, oily fish like wild salmon, and perhaps organic dairy from grass fed animals.
Portion according to your plate. Start by dividing it in half and filling it up with vegetables. Fill the other half with one-quarter healthy protein and the other quarter with complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and quinoa or root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, and parsnips. Make sure the quarters are about the size of your fist.
5. Remember that it is okay to fall off the clean eating wagon once in a while; it is only human. For days like those, you must prepare in advance. Go all out on Mondays, for example, with the healthy eating. Stick to the healthy eating plan so that if later in the week, you have a weak moment and give into it, you have already taken compensatory measures to remedy the situation. Follow the above guidelines to reset or reboot your body and you’ll end those bad junk food days for good.