We have made many changes over the years to the way we eat and even view food. However, these three simple changes/habits below definitely made the greatest impact. You have probably heard these over and over again but that's because they work! They will look different for every person but I've explained what they mean to us. We both lost around 30 pounds (read our weight loss story here) and we have maintained it for over 7 years (read about how we've maintained a healthy lifestyle over 7 years here)!
Before we get started, I think it's important to note that we have done food prep every week for over seven years. It's not necessarily an "eating habit" so it isn't included but it is probably one of the most important things we've done regarding changing our eating habits! You can read our ultimate step-by-step guide to food prep here.
3 Simple Eating Habits That Changed Our Life
1. Drink water instead of soda, fruit juices, and other sugary drinks.
We weren't huge soda drinkers although Scott would have to order a large sweet tea (that's big down here in the south!) every single time we left the house. Scott eliminated the sweet tea and we started making our own sweet tea at home using stevia or drinking it unsweetened. If you are a sweet tea lover start off by mixing half sweet and half unsweet.
Remember that small steps are better than no steps so even if you can't think about getting rid of soda altogether try reducing how much you drink each week until you no longer drink it. Try replacing your soda with flavored water or try an alternative beverage. We love Zevia!
Fruit juices are typically loaded with sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. Try making your own flavored water and eat your fruit. 😉
Try to also limit your alcohol consumption and/or change the type of alcohol you consume. Stay away from the margaritas and high calorie/carb drinks, try wine or use different types of mixers (we use Zevia or Kombucha as mixers).
RELATED: Flavored Water Recipes
2. Avoid added sugar.
Added sugar is EVERYWHERE! Places that you would never think sugar is "hiding" it is! I'm not asking you to count every gram of sugar but once you are aware of what you are eating you will realize that things like peanut butter and yogurt are typically loaded with sugar. Look at the ingredients in your nut butter and avoid sugar. The only ingredients should be the nut (and probably salt). For yogurt, try Greek yogurt and mix in your own fruit instead of buying the yogurt with the fruit already mixed in. Try one of our dessert recipes for a guilt-free treat!
3. Eat proper portions, this includes not UNDER-eating.
Eat less, move more. Sounds good, right? That's usually the advice you hear or read and it's true, to a certain extent. However, you must fuel your body. You are not smarter than your body, it knows what it needs and that is fuel!
I would say that out of all of the people that I have coached and the people that I hear from on a daily basis most are under-eating as opposed to over-eating. I guess this is because they are already reaching out for help so they are under the impression they need to eat less. You don't necessarily need to eat less, you need to eat the right foods. People are amazed when they found out exactly how much I eat.
This doesn't mean to go out and eat 5,000 calories a day but if you are working out, you must fuel your body. If you limit your calories your body will start to hold onto whatever you give it and store it as fat...which is the exact opposite of what we want it to do!
If you are confused about where to start, check out our FREE 13 to Clean Challenge that includes meal ideas and a workout plan!
Remember, all of these small changes really add up. You can - but you don't have to - change everything all at once. Just get started!
You may also be interested in:
- Getting Started with Clean Eating
- 8 Things You Should Know When You Start Eating Clean
- 5 Foods That Seem Healthy but Aren’t
- Step-by-Step Guide on How to Meal Prep
- How to Help Your Spouse Eat Healthier
- 3 Simple Eating Habits that Changed Our Life
- 3 Simple Fitness Habits that Changed Our Life
- 6 Tips to Stay on Track Over the Weekend