I come off as a very scary person. Well, maybe not me as an individual, but what I do for a living. Somehow, us nutrition professionals are associated with boring, tasteless, broccoli with brown rice only and leaving people hangry. I am here to assure you this: I am very fun. I LOVE flavor (I am Italian, duh!). Broccoli is good for you (too much makes me fart though). And brown rice? Can we all get an "Amen" for jasmine?
It is not the nutritionist that is scaring you. It is the fear of the unknown and changing your poor eating habits of who knows how many years! I am never here to take someone from 0 to 100; that is not sustainable and I am all about sustainability! So if you are contemplating making a change, let's start small and celebrate little wins that create big victories.
Stop with soda. I know I started off strong and I am not going to make you go cold turkey. Wean off. If you are doing 3 a day, do 2. Then take the next challenge.
Start eating breakfast. Have a healthy fat, carb and protein. For example, 2 eggs with cheese or avocado and a cup of fruit.
Reduce dining out. Not only will it save the waistline, it will save the bank account too.
Make healthier food swaps. Look for whole food ingredients in products. Look at: How much sugar does it have? Sodium?
With that being said, reduce sugar intake. No, I do not mean cut out fruit! I mean added sugars. No, I do not mean start eating a bunch of "sugar free" products. Eat whole foods!
Switch from canola or vegetable oil to olive, avocado or coconut oil.
Drink more water. Shoot for at least half your body weight in ounces.
Start creating a healthy sleeping pattern. Did you know your circadian rhythm effects your hunger? Less sleep=greater stress=greater hunger.
Aim for at least 1 cup of veggies (potatoes and corn do not count), at each meal. Breakfast is give or take, but adding spinach to a smoothie is a great way to sneak it in.
Focus on lean proteins. Turkey, chicken, sirloin, fish, eggs, bison, venison.
Choose less processed carbs. Rice, quinoa, potatoes, fruit, oats, beans.
Learn your food intolerances. This is a hard one, but do you really feel good after you eat?
Eat a snack AT LEAST between lunch and dinner. It will help you not over do portions at meals like many do at dinner especially.
Do a pantry clean out. Do not keep triggering foods like chips, ice cream, candy, etc. in the house. Your challenge to change is hard enough. Do not be challenged with constant temptation.
Give yourself grace! Go in knowing this is not going to be perfect. There is no "perfect healthy eating" plan.
With that being said, have a treat MEAL (not whole day) once a week. Go have something you truly enjoy and be ok with it! It keeps you mentally healthy.
Stop buying the fake stuff. Don't fall into the gluten free, sugar free, low fat B.S. A gluten free Twinkie isn't any better people.
Ramp up digestion with fibrous veggies. Yes, you will pass gas a lot in the beginning.
You can say "I eat healthy" all day long. News flash: Alcohol calories count too! Limit yourself and it is ok to say no once in awhile.
I saved the most important for last. BE PREPARED! The unhealthy choices will come with lack of preparation/planning. If meal prepping isn't your thing, fine. At least have healthy options available or a plan in place that doesn't let your hunger cravings/old habits get the best of you consistently.
When you are ready to take your goals to the next level, I promise I do not bite and will help you get there. There is a reason the Summit Nutrition motto is, "I teach lifestyles, not diets." In the mean time, go check out some of my recipes and you will see I am not bland or boring. Go start creating wins and know that baby steps are ok!