Cultivating a balance between treating yourself and eating healthy can be challenging but is worth it once you find it! Here are some tips to eat healthy but also treat yourself.
1. Know Your Macros
One of the biggest ways that you can improve your eating habits and start to eat healthy is by figuring out your macros. Macros are simply the percentage of protein, fats, and carbohydrates and each body vary in the amount of each of those categories it needs. The way I track mine is through My Fitness Pal, which is an app that allows you to log your food and track macros (and calories ig you want but that can become unhealthy). Personally, I need to eat more protein and fats than carbohydrates in order to keep my weight consistent and to have higher energy levels, which I did not know prior to starting to track my macros. You may need to consume more carbohydrates than fats and protein, it all depends on your health goals and what your body needs. You can also consult a nutritionist if you have one, as they have more knowledge on this subject than I do.
2. Find Tasty Healthy Recipes
This one is a bit self-explanatory, however, to eat healthy you need to consume healthy foods. For me, this can be a bit difficult since I am quite a picky eater. Thus, finding healthy recipes that include a good balance of macros that are still very tasty, is super important to me maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Pinterest is where I get most of my healthy recipes, as there are so many good ones on there, plus you have the ability to search for things such as high protein meals or snacks containing healthy fats depending on what your body needs. If you are on a budget, are a bit on the picky side as I am, or are in college and want to save your money for other things, there are a number of recipes on there that are made with only a few ingredients which make it very cheap to create meals. If you do not like to cook, which is also a characteristic of myself, there are also super easy recipes that take just thirty to forty-five minutes to prepare! There are endless possibilities when it comes to healthy recipes on the internet that you can take and tweak to your liking, while still getting all of the nutrients that you need.
3. Do Not Restrict Yourself
While eating healthy is obviously incredibly important like we just touched on, it is also vital to note that you should not restrict yourself from eating unhealthy foods. Being healthy is all about balance and it can become super unhealthy if you keep yourself from eating certain things because you see them as unhealthy. Everything is fine in moderation and that includes junk food! If you restrict yourself and never allow yourself to have the dessert you have been craving or the french fries when you go out to eat with your friends, you will only cause yourself to be unhappy. Eating processed food and sugars is of course not the best thing for your body, however, depriving yourself of them all together is not the way to live a happy and balanced lifestyle. Treating yourself to a small tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream every once in a while is honestly a form of self-care! Reward yourself for all of your hard work in eating healthy, balanced meals and have some dessert every night. It is all about balance!
4. Meal Prep
Something that really helps me to stay on track with healthy eating is meal prepping. There are a ton of articles on how to do this and pins on Pinterest with specific ways to meal prep which are so helpful! For myself, meal prep usually starts with going onto Pinterest to see what ingredients I need for the meals I want to make that particular week, then making sure I have all of those on my grocery list so I do not forget anything, and then just making the first meal and utilizing Tupperware containers to store it so that I just have to heat up the food throughout the week. This is such a time-saving process in the long run, especially if you work full time and do not want to come home after a long day and prepare an entire meal. I usually do this one meal at a time, but you can always make enough meals for the entire week on Sunday and just have them in the fridge ready to go so that you do not have to cook all week long! If you have kids this is also something that could be useful for their school lunches if you pack them for them each day. I love doing this because it gives me peace of mind knowing that I do not have to worry about what I’ll eat that day, especially if I am busy with other things. I highly recommend this if you have never tried meal prepping before!
Lastly, is something that I often forget when I am focusing on improving my lifestyle and trying to eat healthy, remaining hydrated. Drinking lots of water, usually half of your body weight in ounces is what is recommended, is so vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can eat healthy all the time, but if you do not consume enough water, then your body is not getting all of the nutrients that it so desperately needs. Our bodies are literally seventy percent water and that means our bodies need a large amount of water to function as they are meant to. Drinking water helps you to maintain higher energy levels, keep yourself full longer, and a great perk is clearer skin! So, when you are meal prepping your healthy meals and studying your macros, do not forget to drink that water!