In the roller coaster ride that is dieting, it can often be hard to find motivation to eat healthily. With unhealthy distractions and social pressures often standing in the way of clean eating, trying to stick to a diet can often seem daunting if not completely impossible. Dieting doesn’t need to be scary, though, and there are certain practices which make clean eating a lot easier to swallow.
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It may seem counterintuitive, but consistency and leniency are key components in keeping yourself motivated to eat clean. With practices like flexible dieting increasing in popularity, there’s an overwhelming push within the healthy eating community to allow room for classically unhealthy snacks in one’s diet. The thought process is that, after identifying the required macronutrients specific to you for meeting your health goals, you can insert unhealthy foods into your diet as long as you hit your daily macros. While you may not desire to track the fat, protein, and carbohydrate content of your daily foods, keeping in mind this sense of flexibility is an important way to keep yourself motivated to eat clean.
Consistency and leniency, when paired together, can result in constant motivation to better oneself through eating. The following tips and techniques will help you stay on track when it comes to living a healthy eating lifestyle.
Bring healthy snacks with you.
There’s no reason to be hungry when you’re on the go. Bringing easily transportable foods like green juices, almonds, or organic jerky along with you throughout the day will allow you to not only prevent hunger but also to stay away from unhealthy options that may present themselves to you.
Don’t shy away from new foods.
There’s a reason everyone is suddenly telling you to eat kale. If you’re afraid of trying something new, it’s time to swallow your pride and be adventurous. When you think of new foods as a way of broadening your own knowledge of the world, you can keep yourself constantly motivated to eat well. There’s always something new (and healthy) to try.
Eat according to your goals.
Not everyone wants to lose weight. It’s important that you identify what your endgame is. If you want to gain muscle, reminding yourself of this every time you need to decide what to eat will help you stay on track. The same goes for losing weight and for maintaining weight.
Have healthy food on hand.
Not only should you bring healthy snacks with you, but you should be sure to keep healthy food in your kitchen. Focusing on keeping a healthy home food supply will motivate you to cook healthily and to be healthy. A good example of this would be stocking up on unprocessed foods.
Keep track of what you eat.
You don’t need to be a macronutrient memorizer, but knowing what you’re eating and keeping track of it can help you not only remain motivated to eat clean but also provide some insight on whether or not how you’re eating is working. If you’re tracking every meal and find yourself still unhappy with your results, you can easily see areas of your dieting method which can be added to or subtracted from.
Everyone slips up. There’s leeway for lapses in judgment in all aspects of life, but specific dietary lapses shouldn’t be dwelled upon. The only way to keep yourself motivated to eat clean is to forget the past and make sure that your next meal is one that will help you meet your goals.
Make food taste good.
Clean eating doesn’t mean boiled chicken and steamed broccoli for every meal. Don’t be afraid to add calorie-free alternatives like hot sauce or beneficial herbs and spices to your meals. You don’t need to hate what you eat, but being aware of the nutritional content of what you add to your food is important.
Practices like flexible dieting allow for things like Oreos and fried chicken to be parts of your diet. While being conscious of what foods are the most beneficial for meeting your goals is paramount, allowing for treats is also important. If you allow yourself a slice of pizza every now and again, your next meal of salmon and quinoa may not seem as discouraging.
Try meal prep.
One of the most foolproof ways to keep yourself motivated to eat clean is by preparing your meals for the week on one day. Meal prep allows you to grab a premade meal specific to your goals at any point during the day because you’ve put in a little work to make the meal earlier in the week. Additionally, if you’re sticking to your premade healthy meals, having an extra one won’t result in guilt.
Write down your goals.
Identifying your goals is crucial in terms of keeping yourself motivated to eat clean. Whatever your goal may be, there’s no way that eating clean will negatively impact them. By having your goals written down and checking in on them every now and again, you can provide yourself with the motivation to keep eating healthily.
The accompanying slideshow is provided by special contributor Lauren Gordon.