If you’ve read my previous articles, you know that I don’t believe in “diets”, as in temporary changes to your food intake to produce specific results. For me, your “diet” is what you eat and it should be something that you can maintain and enjoy every day, for your life. So, when you’re getting ready to embark on a new nutrition approach to help yourself to wellness, here are some tips to set yourself up for success.

1) Toss the Junk – if you’re trying to eat less processed food, fewer sugary treats, and cut out the late-night binges, don’t keep tempting food in the house. If ice cream is your kryptonite, don’t keep it in the fridge! If you can’t keep your hands out of the bag of chips, don’t keep them in the pantry. Forcing yourself to resist temptation in your own home is a recipe for disaster.

2) Stock the Fridge – While you’re busy emptying out the kitchen of junk, be sure to re-stock it with some easy go-tos. Unsalted nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, hummus, salsa and whole grain chips, dates and nut butter are all some great, easy snacks to grab when you’re hungry and what something quick. If you’re trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, making sure you have them readily available is key.

3) Meal Plan – Trying to decide what to eat when you’re already starving is a certain way to derail your new nutrition plan. Sit down each week, when you’re well-fed and relaxed, and plan out your meals for the next week. Choose ingredients that can be used for multiple dishes so that you don’t waste food or money. Begin each dish with a fruit or veggie to ensure you’re getting ample amounts of each. Base the rest of the meal around the chosen fruit or vegetable. And build your grocery list off of your meal planning!

4) Prep Ahead – Whether it’s breakfast for the week, lunches, a couple dinner items, or just cut up produce for easy snacks, make healthy eating easy be prepping some things ahead of your busy week. Waiting to make everything right before you need it each day can be stressful and lead you to ultimately cave and grab fast food or other less than optimal choices because you’re hungry and crunched for time.

5) All Aboard! – Get the whole family on board. Eating healthy is much easier to do and do consistently when the whole family is involved. Not to mention that healthy eating isn’t just for those trying to lose weight or improve their lab values – everyone should be eating well! Your spouse, roommate, best friend, and kids can all be assets when you’re trying to make a permanent change, encouraging you when you’re feeling defeated, inspiring you when you’re ready to give in or give up, and motivating you to set a positive example so that they benefit too.

For more ideas on how to get your healthy eating started, come on in to CoreLife and let us help you find a way to make each of these tips work for you.

Aubrey Phelps MS RDN LDN