10 tips for better eating

It’s taken me a long time to form good eating habits.  Just a couple years ago my dinner would alternate between microwave dinners and mac-n-cheese (sometime with hot dogs thrown in).  It was quick, simple, and I didn’t have to think about it or plan ahead or read directions or anything.   Change is hard, but here’s some tips:

  1. Go slow.  Start by reading labels of what you eat now, and maybe do a little math, just to see where you’re at.  Then, try buying the low-sodium version of what you usually get.
  2. Keep a supply of fruit, vegetables, and/or (unsalted) nuts within arm’s reach.  I’m a fan of apples, bananas, and almonds.
  3. Always have a glass of water handy (or in my case, a pitcher, which I usually refill at least once a day)
  4. Practice resisting. Every time I succeed in walking by a plate of cookies without grabbing one is another step closer to my goals. This is usually a lot easier if I’ve just snacked on a banana and some almonds.  It’s also really fun to say “no thanks, I’m in training.”
  5. Get a good cookbook or two (ex: The Athlete’s Plate: Real Food for High Performance, by Adam Kelinson) and start perusing.  When you find something that looks tasty and doable, make it.  Try making one meal a week, and be OK with disastrous results at first.  You’re trying something new, and learning from your mistakes.
  6. Allow yourself a little extra time at the grocery store. Finding ingredients you’ve never used before can be frustrating until you know where to look.
  7. Roasting a whole chicken is nowhere near as hard as you would think.  In fact, it’s pretty damn easy.
  8. Take pictures of your creations, and annoy entertain your friends by posting them on Facebook.  Or start a blog.  Or just print them out.  Keep track, at any rate.
  9. Listen to your body.  I’m a big guy, and tend to crave more protein than ‘normal’. Whenever I’m trying something new for lunch, I pay careful attention to how hungry I am later in the afternoon, and bump up the protein accordingly.
  10. Give it time.  It takes 40 days, some say, to form a new habit.  If you’re making one meal a week, that’s about 6 meals.  Easy.  Then try doing two a week.
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2 Responses to 10 tips for better eating

  1. Kathleen says:

    Making your own meals is a good start. Remember, not everyone can eat the same way.

    Ex: some need to stay away from overloading on fruits, and need to do more veggies due to other health reasons.

    I’m particularly fortunate in the sodium dept, where I actually *need* to add some salt to my food (naturally low blood pressure and tend to sodium deplete more than the average person).

    Good work, Will!