When trying to get fit, it’s been proven that 70% of weight loss is due to healthy eating, and 30% is from exercise. What we put in our mouths and bodies is of the utmost importance. But how do you eat clean when you work, have kids, and run a busy life? It’s not easy, but these clean eating tips can and will help you get back on track!
While I went hardcore paleo a couple of years ago (read my wellness journey here), sometimes it’s tough to stay healthy. And once you’re addicted to sugar, kicking it is hard. So if you are trying to get lean, healthy, or well, here are a few tips to help get you eating healthier.
1. MEAL PLAN
I used to loathe meal planning like you wouldn’t believe, but now it helps so much. Not only is it friendly for your wallets, but it keeps you away from restaurants that might not be so good for your waistline. Not sure how to meal plan? No worries, here’s my guide called How to Meal Plan Like a Boss! You can also buy meal plans here from emeals (amazing!), or even find cute meal planners to make it easier. (We use Carrie Elle’s!) Bottom line, it works and you have killer leftovers for lunch the next day!
2. PREP HEALTHY SNACKS & MEALS ON THE WEEKENDS
Working in sports and television means we don’t have regular schedules, but when we have a day off it’s key to plan ahead. I make soups on the weekends, and usually these paleo meatballs. (Don’t forget to make double or triple batches and freeze extra!) We also make these pancakes on Sunday mornings (sprinkles change due to season!) and freeze extra for our daughters for the week.
And don’t forget snacks! Stock up on celery, carrots, nuts, hummus, and fruits and veggies for smoothies. Remember you can swap veggies for pasta or rice at dinner, we make spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles to help keep you filled up at night. And if you are ridding your house of processed foods, I’ve found muffins to be our new BFF. They are great for breakfast and snacks. Here’s my new fav from Paleo Newbie. Holy YUM! I would like to add that my kids don’t know these are wheat, dairy, and sugar free! (I don’t use honey when baking these, but sometimes add 1 tsp pure maple syrup and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.)
3. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
Nine times out of ten when my tummy starts grumbling I have forgotten to drink enough water. You can track your water intake daily with a Fitbit, or even write how many ounces you’re drinking on your water bottles. Bottom line, not only is water good for you, it curbs your appetite. And if you want to speed up your metabolism for the day, guzzle agua as soon as you wake up! Apple cider vinegar is a good one for mornings too, here’s what I drink every day.
4. PUT UP REMINDERS FOR THOSE TOUGH TIMES
Raise your hand if night time is killer for healthy eating? Yeah, me too. I raid the cabinets looking for anything salty or crunchy. A good way to stop is to, A) chug a glass of water, or B) put notes on the cabinet or fridge, or even pictures of what you want to be! Anything to help you keep your eye on the prize!
5. CHEAT DAYS ROCK!
Everyone needs a cheat day right? It used to be for me pizza or french fries, but these days it’s my sweet tooth or a glass of wine that calls my name. Plan to have a cheat day each week where you can have something special. If you have something to look forward to each week…you won’t dread the changes! (too much!)
6. START SLOWLY
A lot of times people start programs like Whole 30, or Paleo, and it’s too strict too soon. If you’re having a hard time with the detox, give yourself permission to start slowly. With the autoimmune paleo protocol I’m on – I started with no dairy or sugar, then the next week dropped wheat. It made a big difference in my tolerance. I also cut rice and all grains which I learned was not working for me…so I added back rice and steel cut oatmeal once a week. While these diets may work for the majority, everyone is in a different health and wellness place.
Good luck sticking to your plan and remember it’s progress…not perfection!
If you liked this post, then please read my healthy eating tips for busy beginners! Or Why You Need to Workout Even When You Don’t Feel Like It. Don’t forget to give us a LIKE on Facebook to get more healthy living motivations!
I’m trying to drink more water (instead of just a cup of coffee in the morning and nothing else until dinnertime). I don’t mind the taste of it; I just forget usually. But I know how good it is for me, so I’m working on it!
I do water then coffee. I usually only need half a cup then. WIN!
Herchel S says
Great tips! I would love to see your meal plan with the modification for kids :). I hate meal planning but I try to do an “outline” of what I am cooking. I also keep easy to cook items stocked. My go to meal is shrimp or tilapia with brown rice and spinach because it takes minutes to cook!
Ok Herchel – I’ll publish one next week. I basically take my paleo meals but add things back in for them. Usually a side of pasta or couscous, or a healthy grain to fill up their tummies. I don’t eat grains usually at all, but they need them still (in my opinion!)
Love the tips! I fell off the wagon over the holidays and am re-addicted to sugar too. I love your idea of easing into a different diet. I’ve never thought to do that. It’s always all or nothing.
Me too Michelle…I mean how can we not eat cookies?! Yes I say start slow…you are more likely to stick with it if you ease your way into it. And cheat days are my godsend!
These are awesome tips, Kristen! I bought some ACV, by the way, and I am going to try your morning water!
Yay! I can’t wait to hear if you like it!
Oh I am drinking right now!
I might be the only person so heartened by the 70%/30% thing because I can eat well, but I’m embarrassing at regular exercise. Although I may take the kids sledding today…
We love Bragg’s here.
But what are you drinking may I ask?! (just kidding!) Sledding sounds like a blast!
I need to print up your image so that I can have my reminder to just back on up from the cabinet! Great tips Kristen, I want to try your H20 recipe!
Try it, it’s tasty and doubles your metablolism. Good luck!
we’re super on the same page today! let’s get healthy!
Oh I can’t wait to read your post, heading there now!
I have been trying to start my day off with a glass of water before I drink my coffee.. and I have stopped drinking during the week! (the amount of wine bottles in my recycling bin was getting a bit out of control!)
Awesome! I love wine too but I can’t drink it during the week – too many headaches!
Tricia the Good Mama says
Great tips! I totally agree with prepping on the weekends or in the beginning of the week. I always cut up a bunch of different veggies so I have them on hand. And, I know a lot of people like to do those programs, but I’m a big fan of everything in moderation. If those types of programs work for you, great, but I know that I won’t get anywhere depriving myself for a month.
Unfortunately I have an autoimmune disease, and cutting grains and sugar has taken me off meds! It’s super hard but worth it! And yes, weekend prep rocks!
This is freaky – it’s like you have read my mind… I woke up this morning determined to feel better and stop eating junk… THANK YOU! I will definitely do better at meal planning and drinking more water! Do you have your whole family on the same “diet”? How do you manage if you have any picky eaters… which we DO!
So no -my oldest is allergic to dairy & eggs, and my husband is a carb freak! I do paleo – so tonight I made spaghetti and meatballs, the girls ate whole grain pasta with meatballs cut up, veggies and bread, and I had meatballs with roasted squash and zucchini. For breakfast it’s usually a smoothie for them or cereal and yogurt, I eat eggs or leftovers from the night before. Lunches I am slowly eliminating processed foods from their lunchboxes, more fruits and veggies and leftovers from dinner. But I still end up putting something in there that’s not great…like pretzel goldfish. It’s progress not perfection…but we are slowly making better changes. They always eat my dairy free, grain free, sugar free muffins after school and love them, and we juice too for snacks. It does help that I work freelance so am home at odd hours. Freezing meals is our best friend though, tomorrow I already have marinated chicken for a teriyaki rice bowl with stir fry veggies ready to go. I’ll just cut the rice from my bowl. Does that help?!
We also do #onenewfood where we encourage our picky eaters to try one new food a week. It’s made a difference, they are bolder and are not addicted to chicken nuggets anymore!
Joanna @ Motherhood and Merlot says
Love these tips! Planning my dinners out for week especially and having a lot of consistency in what I eat for breakfast and lunch has really helped. Plus, I don’t keep junk food in the house. I have the worst sweet tooth so I really have to be mindful of that:)
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
These are such awesome tips! I especially like your tip of not overdoing it. I can be guilty of that at times and I end up discouraged and frustrated over my failures.
I started working out again. I’m amazed at how the act of exercising makes me want to eat better. Seriously!
Thanks so much for sharing.
I feel the same way! Exercise totally motivates me and gives us more energy. Win all around!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
This was such an awesome post, I’m so glad you shared it at the #SHINEbloghop!
Wishing you a lovely day.
Caryn Sullivan says
I can’t wait to try those Paleo muffins. I used to be a huge sweet tooth. I have been known to eat marshmallow cream out of the jar. When I started giving up sugar I looked for substitutes. I found a tbsp of nut butter (or sunflower seed butter for us) gave me that quick sweet bite, without the simple sugars. If I want carbs, I try for a light one like popcorn instead of chips. I also used to eat a ton of pasta. Now I spiralize zucchini and eat that with sauce or make the bowl half pasta/half zucchini.
Anne Marie says
I absolutely need to get my life back on track (BUT I really want to eat a big, warm, gooey brownie with ice cream!).
Step 1 – WATER WATER WATER!
yes! No brownies!!
Great tips! For me, meal plan is the most important part, but it’s very difficult to do it in week days, so I do it on Sunday. Obliviously it takes my half of Sunday to plan my whole week diet and workouts too. Presently, I can’t buy any meal plans but it would be great if you suggest me a healthy diet plan.
Really great tips for health .
Dominique | Gluten-Free Diet says
I always have heavy meals every morning and less in launch and dinner. I am not on a strict diet because it will just lead me to nothing. I just let myself eat what I crave and make sure that I won’t exceed my limitations. I also make sure that I have enough sleep at night and wake up at the right time.
yes great tip about breakfast. So important!
Amelia Sharp says
Great tips! Steps toward better health are best approached holistically and not just focusing on one factor like diet or exercise. One thing I have learnt from A/B testing is, serving the meal in an already small dish will help you eat less. Same thought with serving healthy food will help you eat right and become healthy.
Great tips. One thing that helps me lately is writing down what I am eating and staying on track with a plan I am following with the Hammer and Chisel workout I started a couple of weeks ago.
Celeste @The Whole Serving says
These are some great tips. I sometimes get off track with drinking enough water, I’m really working on that one.
Jessica Simpson says
Hey Great share,,
Your tips are really wonderful. Eating healthy isn’t always easy, but committing to a healthy diet can be one of the smartest decisions you ever make.
Jennifer Humphreys says
I like the idea of having a “cheat day” atleast once a week. Before it was like 2 a month and it was soo hard. I would definitely go for 1 a week on this one.
Jessica Miller says
are very good tips for healthy eating, taste more pestico … 🙂 thanks for sharing!
“it’s progress… not perfection!” This is an excellent tip. Everything takes time! These are great tips to get back on track. I really like your meal planning and prepping tips. They’re very wallet friendly!
yes that’s the key!
Thanks for sharing this. People today have somehow become accustomed to the thought that they need to eat large portions to feel filled. In fact, since 1960, the size of the average dinner plate has increased from 7-9 inches to 11-12 inches…So, portion control is a great start to healthy eating. Erin
Be careful when eating out. Restaurant food can be high in sodium. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side and specify no seasoning (or just pepper). BTW, I like the idea of having a “cheat day” at least once a week just to balance your eating habits. Do you want to know more about diet tips? Visit us today click here.