So you want to eat better. No? Maybe you got told you’re on your way to a heart attack or you’re a future contestant on the biggest loser. No matter how you got to this point, you’ve decided that you want to eat better. You’ve been motivated to seek out how to do it.
High five! (Yup, I’m THAT guy!)
Now what? Well the fact that you’re reading this suggests that you’re already on your way to eating better. You’re scouring the internet for information on how to do just that. So without further adieu, here it is:
First, ignore everything you’ve heard and read before. No, not because I know all, keep reading.
The reason for this is simple. There’s so much information out there. Too much that it can literally paralyse you into inaction. There’s so many diets, nutrition advice and conflicting arguments for and against all things nutrition that even I get confused.
Let’s really break it down. You already know WHAT to do MOST of the time. And this is because of said information. The real issue for most people is actually taking all that information and applying it into practice. Yes I am making this assumption however I’ve found this to be true for most people and if you’re one of the lucky or unlucky (depending on your POV) that don’t fit into this category, I apologise. But keep reading anyway!
Ok so let’s define what ‘eating better’ means. To me eating better means eating the kind of foods that promote good health. Good health is the ability of your mind and body to perform it’s tasks and functions optimally.
So whilst the post title states eating better, I also mean what we drink as it relates to promoting good health (and no you don’t have to give up alcohol).
Let’s dive in!
Step 1 – Determine what you’re prepared to do to actually ‘eat better’.
That means really looking at yourself and really be honest with yourself about how committed you are about this goal.
Are you already in the, ‘I can throw everything out and start from scratch’ or ‘I guess I can eat a piece of fruit once a week, maybe’ level of determination? Note that it doesn’t matter where in the spectrum you are as long as you’re honest about where you are and not where you think you SHOULD be.
Step 2 – Once you’ve determined step 1, do a stocktake of your food supply.
This should include your fridge, freezer, pantry and workstation. If you’re in the,’guns blazing’ end of the spectrum, throwout or have a ‘throwaway party’ for yourself or with others that are wanting to do the same as you. Then write a list of foods that you think are healthy that you don’t already have. I have purposely not included any actual food here because I’m making the assumption that most of you KNOW what’s generally considered ‘good food’. This isn’t the place to get cute and write ‘chips’ because chips are made from potatoes and potatoes are a vegetable and vegetables are supposed to be good. This post is for people who actually want to eat better. Ok, now that that’s cleared up, let’s keep going.
However, if you’re like most people you’re probably closer to the ‘I’ll try something (as long as it’s easy)’ end of the spectrum. Now write a list of foods that you ‘think’ are healthy that you don’t already have. This can be a short list or extensive one. It doesn’t matter. Just make sure you write one.
Step 3 – Do you have any of the following:
- set of kitchen knives;
- big pot 30cm diameter;
- nonstick frypan;
- blender or food processor;
- oven tray/pan;
- At least 3x Tupperware containers;
- 5x sandwich sized ziplock bags
If yes, good! If not, add them to the list. Yup, I just got you to make a shopping list 😉
Now that you have a list of foods, do you know what to cook? are you handy in the kitchen or are you on first name basis with all your local takeaway delivery people? If you know how/what to cook, pick two or three meals you can cook in batches. If you’re a takeaway connosieur then grab all the menus of your favourite takeaway restaurants and pick one or two dishes from each place that you believe is healthy. Make these dishes the only options available to you when you order next.
Step 4 – Go grocery shopping!
Make sure you bring a snack, don’t go shopping on an empty stomach. No not because you’ll buy more crap, because I don’t want you be hungry while you shop. If you have any kitchen items on your list, get them too! Most items you can find in the supermarket except maybe the blender/food processor. I read somewhere to stick to the outside perimeter of the grocery aisles to avoid going in and accessing processed, prepackaged foods. Well it really depends on how your store is set up but if this applies for your particular store, then go for it. Otherwise, stick to your list!
Animal based proteins:
Plant based proteins:
Now you have your shopping list, go forth and shop! 😉
Step 5 – Prep your meals & snacks.
Ok obviously I’m not going to give you recipes here. It’s not that kind of post. But what I will do is give options. Options on cooking methods and serving sizes.
DISCLAIMER: there’s no calorie counting involved so adjust servings based on your personal results.
Losing too little/much weight? Add/subtract about 1/2 a serving size per meal the next week and review. Also pay attention to how you’re feeling, are you feeling upbeat & alert, full of energy and able to concentrate on tasks? Don’t change a thing!
Feeling opposite? Adjust as per above.
NOTE that you should be dropping 1/2kg to 1kg per week. However this will be after a few weeks on this ‘diet’ and requires perseverance and consistency. No shortcuts!