When I first started The House of Healthy, the tagline used to be “Fuel Your Life”. The focus was on food, fitness and lifestyle components that would help you have more energy for your days, rather than approach life in a restrictive, diet-like mentality. My goal was to show how living healthy could be fun and exciting, not a punishment. While my tagline has changed over the years, I still feel the same way about healthy eating. It should make you feel better, not leave you feeling lifeless.
Lately I have been hearing a lot from different people and sources about needing to eat better and get healthier. Some of these are fellow coaches, whose clients are looking to lose weight, and others are clients and friends who are looking to get healthier. No matter who it is there is one thing that remains constant – everyone wants to drop weight or get healthy by changing their diet.
Diet is key to getting healthier. Recent research shows that it plays a bigger role in health than exercise (although exercise is still a vital component to a healthy body and life). This means eating healthy food is exactly what you need to lose weight, prevent many diseases and illnesses and get healthier overall.
The one thing I notice is that most people see healthy eating as restrictive eating. It means a life of eating salads, feeling restricted and deprived and no longer getting to enjoy food. Most diet programs emphasize this, pushing you to eat their packaged foods, count points/calories/carbs or completely give up a food group or component, like carbs and sugar.
Eating to little and restricting your diet can cause your body to kick into starvation mode, messing up your metabolism in the process. It can cause you to hold on to extra fat and calories,
This type of eating leaves you in a “diet” mentality and sets you up for failure each time. It isn’t sustainable, it isn’t fun and it really isn’t healthy at all. Instead, finding more balance and eating MORE is often the thing we need to do to feel better and get healthier.
It isn’t just about eating more calories overall, but about eating smarter and better foods that give you energy and “fuel” your body.
Here are 4 Ways to eat more and get healthier:
Eat more whole, unprocessed foods:
When you are starting to eat healthier, instead of feeling deprived or cutting out your favorite foods, look to add in more unprocessed foods. This means reaching for fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and even organic dairy and meat, instead of potato chips and cookies. The more you add in these healthier items, the less you’ll be tempted to reach for processed ingredients.
Another way is to buy things with less packaging, or to buy packaged items. like bars, that contain seeds, nuts and other healthy ingredients. If they are made of a lot of hard to pronounce, artificial ingredients, steer clear and reach for more of the healthier items.
Grabbing a snack in between meals is a perfect way to stay fueled and balanced in your healthy eating. Most bodies can’t eat enough in one meal to keep you full until your next meal 4 hours later. This is even more true if you have an active lifestyle or work out regularly. When you don’t have healthy snacks to fuel you, your body can feel sluggish and tired, and you might not have the energy to get through your day.
For your snacks, reach for simple things like fruits and vegetables that are loaded with healthy nutrients and easy to take on the go. If you need a little more substance, reach for items loaded full of organic superfoods rather than over processed foods. Snack bites and protein bars, such as Viance Brownie Bites, that contain chia seeds, nuts and healthy protein are the perfect way to snack in between meals.
This is a big one. When you start to eat healthy, make sure you are eating regularly, including 3 meals a day. Many of my clients who complain about weight gain are often the ones who barely eat throughout the day, waiting until dinner to have a full meal.
When you skip your meals, your body can get tricked into thinking that it needs to hold onto all the calories it can, in case there is a famine or fast coming on. It also makes you run on empty all day, so you don’t end up having all the fuel you need to make it through your day. You might end up with more coffee trips throughout the day, more caffeine and sugar crashes and more unhealthy snacking.
Instead of skipping meals, even if you are strapped for time, make meals that are simple to grab and go. Smoothies and shakes, especially if powdered or portioned, are a great way to do this for breakfast or lunch. Choose a powder that has lots of healthy fats, seeds, greens and superfoods, such as Viance Vitality Blend. You can also make things like overnight oats, granola bars or mason jar salads. One of my favorite quick smoothies is chocolate protein/meal powder, banana and nut butter blended with almond milk.
Staying hydrated is often key to staying healthy. When you are thirsty, your body can react in different ways. Sometimes it makes you feel sluggish, tired and foggy-headed. Other times it can mimic hunger and make you overeat. It can also lead you to get backed up in your digestive tract if you are dehydrated on a daily basis. All of these things can make it feel impossible to live healthier.
Instead, stay hydrated. Drink more water throughout your day. Start with a bit of hot water (perhaps with lemon) in the morning. Sip on more warm water or cold water throughout your day. Make sure to balance out your caffeinated drinks with a few sips of water. Carrying around a water bottle or mug will help you to make sure you hit your hydration goals.
The next time you feel restricted or on a “diet”, try one of these options to really fuel your day. You can get up to 70% off subscription orders of Viance Brownie Bites, which are packed with ooey gooey chocolate and chia seeds without a ton of sugar, or Vitality Blend, packed nutrients and ready in seconds. Both of these, along with plenty of water and fresh foods, are fantastic ways to fuel your healthy lifestyle.