Five months ago, I began my fitness journey. Since then, it has become a daily routine for me, one that I cannot imagine my life without. Not only does my body and mind feel stronger, day by day, but I noticed something was missing: I wasn’t eating as healthy as I wanted to be eating. The changes I began seeing in my body thanks to exercising were not as drastic as I wanted them to be, and it was all because I wasn’t maintaining a healthy diet.
Staying away from fatty, sugary foods hasn’t been easy for me, especially since pizza and sour candy are pretty much my life. However, I have learned to tone it down. I’m not going to lie—it’s not easy to keep a healthy diet. You are constantly tempted by those around you to eat the wrong foods and to quit your healthy lifestyle. Luckily, here are some tricks I learned in order to stay committed to eating right.
1. Pick and choose wisely
Healthy alternatives are a must. Don’t go grocery shopping for Lucky Charms and Ben & Jerry’s. Instead, stick to healthier cereal alternatives and low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt. I use to be a huge fan of Cinnamon Toast Crunch—that is, until I read the nutrition facts. I’m big on breakfast, and I regularly have a bowl of cereal, the only difference is that I now eat cereals like Special K, Cheerios and my personal favorite: Honey Bunches of Oats.
2. Fight off temptation
It’s hard to see your friends chow down on a box of pizza right in front of you, during the late hours of the night when your stomach is doing its most rumbling. But I have learned to snack on healthier options while they eat not-so-healthy foods, such as fruit bowls or protein bars. Keep those healthy treats on handy for when those cravings hit.
3. Cook more
With busy schedules, we are tempted to eat out on a daily basis. It’s just easier to order take-out than to spend an hour in the kitchen. I’ve learned that early meal preparation is key to maintaining a healthy diet.
I try to prepare at least five meals and five lunches during the weekend for me to eat throughout Monday and Friday. My lunches usually consist of salads and my dinners consist of small portions of chicken, fish, brown rice, couscous and a side of veggies. Instead of drinking sweet juices, I now drink a lot more water and make my own low-sugar iced tea and lemonade.
4. Keep it organic
Yes, it costs more to eat organic, but like DJ Khaled says, “It cost money to eat. My version of “treating myself” is to visit an organic food market and splurge on fruits and veggies. Eating organic will start making you feel better since you are not consuming toxic chemicals, and you can feel good knowing that you’re helping the environment.
Like I said, my health journey is just beginning, and if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that, “with time, things get better.” You can exercise all you want, but to truly see results, you have to restrict the fatty foods you love. Remember, everything in moderation!