Diets. Don't. Work. We have all heard the phrase, yet so many people find themselves going back to the quick fix solutions that didn't work in the past! I always say, if you can't stick with it long term, you already know it is doomed for failure. So...If diets don't work, what will!?!
Here at Dashing Dish we are all about creating healthy mindsets and long term healthy habits, which is why we try to make living a healthy lifestyle simple and enjoyable! If you are looking for the best place to get started, here are three simple steps that will help you develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime!
1. Make a Few Simple Swaps.
As tempting as it may be to go on a diet, cut major food groups, or make drastic changes to your eating habits in the new year, I would challenge you to think about things differently. What if instead of thinking about what you can't eat, you focus on fueling your body with real food!? This will help your body work the best that it can, and you will feel your best. Eating real food doesn't deprive you, but rather it allows you to say yes to foods that are nourishing and delicious! It also creates a balanced approach towards food and makes room for the treats you enjoy in a healthy way!
So, when it comes to cleaning up your diet and eating real foods, where do you begin!?! The best place to start is to make small swap outs in the nutrition department that won't seem drastic or like you are cutting out whole food groups, but rather you are replacing them with a better option! These small swaps will end up making huge impact in your overall health and body composition!
Here are five nutritional swaps that will make a drastic impact on your health and body composition:
Instead Of These: (Dashing Dish recipes do not include any of these ingredients)
- White Sugar
- White Flour
- White Pasta
- Butter (or any unhealthy fats, such as fried foods or processed oils)
- Processed Snacks (such as crackers, chips, cookies, etc.)
Try These Instead: (Dashing Dish recipes use all of these ingredients)
- Stevia, Honey, Pure Maple Syrup, Raw Cane Sugar, Coconut Sugar, or Agave
- Oat Flour, Almond Flour, Peanut Flour, or Coconut Flour
- Quinoa or Lentil Based Pasta
- Unsweetened Applesauce, Plain Greek yogurt, Olive Oil, or Coconut Oil
- No Sugar Added Snacks with a balance of Whole Grains, Protein & Healthy Fats
2. Set Short Term Goals.
The key to setting goals is making sure they are attainable and realistic. For this reason, it is often best to start with short term goals, as they are something that can be accomplished in a realistic time frame. These short term goals can be made with the effort to bring you towards your bigger goals in a more manageable way.
Here are some examples of short-term goals to get you started:
Bring Back the Snacks. Surprisingly, smart snacking in between meals can be incredibly beneficial for your metabolism! When you aim to eat three small meals with about two snacks in between, your metabolism will stay fueled throughout the day, and your blood sugar levels will remain stabilized.
Eat Every Few Hours. Eating something small every three to four hours can also stabilize your blood sugar levels. It can also prevent you from becoming overly hungry which can lead to overeating at meal times.
Drink More Water. Buy a large water bottle to help you keep track of the water you are drinking throughout the day. This will help prevent dehydration, which can be commonly mistaken for a false sense of hunger. Replace any other beverages you are currently drinking with water. Add lemon or lime juice, or Tru Lemon packets for flavor if you desire!
Get Moving. Aim to be active for at least thirty to sixty minutes per day most days of the week! This could be going to the gym, joining a workout class, walking, cleaning, playing a workout video, or dancing around your house!
Spend Time with God. Even if it seems that we don’t have time to set aside to spend with the Lord, we are actually making a very important investment into our present and future when we do. Time spent with our Heavenly Father will strengthen and energize us to fulfill the things He has planned for us. He will also give us wisdom to carry out everything we do each day with efficiency. We will have an easier time prioritizing the important things when we put Him first each day.
3. Get Organized.
Meal Plan. Here at Dashing Dish, meal planning is one of the greatest strategies that we support for living a healthy lifestyle! The benefits to planning your meals every week are countless, but just to name a few: It will save you time, money, stress and unwanted calories! If the thought of meal planning seems overwhelming to you, then you can have this step already done for you using our custom meal plan builder and grocery list builder!
Plan Ahead. One of the keys to being organized is planning ahead. For example, if you have a busy week ahead of you, try planning your meals ahead of time, or bringing a snack with you on the go. Each step you take to plan and prepare will save you stress when things get really busy. I also like to plan my workouts ahead of time. If you treat workouts like a scheduled appointment then you are less likely to miss them!
Make a To-Do List. Often times, tasks can become overwhelming as they race through our minds. We may even forget some of the important things on our to-do lists if we do not write them down. Spend a few moments at the beginning of each day jotting down the things you need to get done. Be sure to cross them off as you complete them. This will help you feel accomplished and take a load off your mind as you see things getting done.
Stay Focused. When we have a to-do list that is a mile long, it can be easy to get sidetracked. If we stay focused on the task at hand until it is complete, we will feel a sense of relief as we make progress and accomplish each task. Just be sure to cross off the list as you go throughout your day! This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment, and give you a sense of what can wait until tomorrow.