You know how they say it takes three weeks to form a habit? Well, it's been three weeks since my diet change and I've finally gotten in the swing of things. While I still crave something sweet every now and then, making healthy choices have almost become second nature. Here are a few habits I've picked up along the way.
I drink 24-32 ounces of water every morning.
I mentioned this a few weeks ago but wanted to share a little more. This has been one of the biggest changes I've made recently. I never liked drinking water. You were lucky if I had one glass of plain water a day! As much as I refused to admit it, I was probably dehydrated all the time and had to change this. Instead of eating breakfast right away, I gulp down a large glass of water. I've noticed that if I drink a larger amount in the morning, I'm more likely to keep up with it for the rest of the day. I carry around a reusable tumbler with a straw that holds 16 oz. and try to fill it up 3 more times. Plus, now if I go out I don't have to use a disposable cup! My tumbler is always with me. My face has never been clearer, my lips are hardly ever dry, and it's cut down on my constant snacking since my body was probably thirsty instead of hungry.
I clean and prep my vegetables ahead of time.
It might not happen as soon as I get home, but I try to wash my veggies as soon as I have a chance. This can be an annoying chore to do before every meal, but doing a bunch at once isn't so bad. For example, I've been eating a lot more kale, so I'll wash, dry, and tear them into pieces and store it in a glass container in the fridge. You can buy them pre-packed like this but I hated throwing a plastic bag away every time and the quality isn't as fresh. Now I have raw veggies ready for snacking (like carrots) or cooking with a shorter time to get dinner on my plate!
I write down all my meals.
The first two weeks I wrote down exactly what I ate: 3.5 oz 0% greek yogurt, 1 T almond butter, etc. I wanted to get a gauge for how much I was eating. I also wrote down all my snacks. This kept me mindful of how much snacking I really was doing (a lot!) and helped me with portion control. Also, if I forgot how much I was "supposed" to eat (at least 2 cups of veggies) or when I was supposed to eat it (more carbs after a workout) then I can look back on previous days to help me remember. Now that I have a better idea of what and how much to eat, I keep a running log of what I consumed without measuring everything out.
I've turned mundane tasks into daily rituals.
Snacking on granola for breakfast while checking my iPhone on the sofa? That used to happen quite often. But now I've started my own little morning routine to help me gradually wake up and keep me on track. First I pour my water, then get my breakfast ingredients ready. I try to gulp as much as possible because it turns out I get quite thirsty overnight. As soon as I finish my water, I start on my breakfast, whether its a smoothie (my favorite has been coffee and banana so far, I'll have to share the recipe!) or eggs or yogurt. Using pretty ceramics like Heath makes the occasion much more special and meaningful, rather than eating yogurt straight out of the tub! I also like to use this time to plan out my day and add events to my calendar.
Don't get me wrong, things aren't close to perfect! I still reach my spoon into the almond butter a few too many times a day and could probably eat a more varied diet, but it's about progress. I've been getting more creative with healthy meals and I can't wait to start sharing some of their recipes. How do you keep your health in check? Any tips to share?