Healthy eating is simple but it’s not easy. Have you ever got home from work starving and grabbed the first thing you see in the cupboard? Have you forgot to pack your lunch and grabbed the quickest easiest thing available to you at the time? We all have been there. It is easy to overthink nutrition and to start counting calories, weighing food, following diets and building meal plans.

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be complicated if we stick to the basics.

We know that willpower only goes so far. Telling yourself I’m not going to eat those donuts sitting on the front counter will only last so long. In order to be successful with healthy eating you must get in the proper mindset and set your environment up for success.

Here are a few things you can do today that will ensure you create lasting habits.

1) Don’t deprive yourself of foods. Do not tell yourself this week I am not going to eat any carbs or I will not drink at all for the month. This is limiting yourself and not allowing you to live a lifestyle you can maintain. Instead, if you know you are eating refined carbohydrates often then your first step can be adding more veggies to your plate and less bread or pasta. Decrease your portion sizes first and then look for better quality foods. Next time when at Nonnas instead of having a full plate of pasta load your plate with salad first then the remainder with pasta.

2) Prep your fruits, veggies and snacks ahead of time. This is setting up your environment for success. Next time you look in the fridge to grab something the odds are much better if you have veggies that are already washed and cut. If they are not then you will usually reach for an easier unhealthier option. Another way you can be prepared is to pack two snacks for the day and have the same two snacks the remainder of the week to make grocery shopping easy. Change the snacks up the week after.

3) Enjoy the foods you like and then get back to your healthy habits. If you love sweets or wine then enjoy it in the moment. Don’t feel guilty that you are having them. But also don’t throw the rest of the day away because you feel you failed. The next meal go back to eating foods full of nutrition. It’s just like brushing your teeth. If you forgot to brush your teeth one evening would you not brush your teeth the remainder of the week? I hope not. Let’s treat our eating patterns the same.

Healthy eating is a lifestyle. If you can eat quality foods 80% of the time, then your body can manage the poor quality foods 20% of the time. Now go set up your environment for success.

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