Okay, I’m a lover of good food. I mean who doesn’t love good food?! Picture it: you sit down after a long day to chow down on that pizza, plate of spaghetti, or a big juicy stake–that one thing you’ve been looking forward to all day.

I always thought that if I was going to maintain my weight and start eating healthy I would have to give up everything I love. I was depressed about it because growing up I ate the same things over and over…and over. This was mainly because I didn’t eat meat and didn’t think I had very many options. As I became an adult and started to cook for my husband and I, my whole world changed. I don’t have to eat macaroni and frozen pizza all the time. WHAT?! You may laugh but it’s true, that is all I ate for the first 17 years of my life.

So imagine my disappointment when I gained 25 pounds and needed to change my eating habits. After talking to Josiah and doing some research I realized I didn’t have to give up everything I love. I didn’t have to start a diet or eat rice and beans every day.

My advice to anyone who wants to eat healthier is to start small. The first thing I did was cut out sweets at home. No more chowing down on ice cream and brownies every day after work for me. Now, I know everybody is different, but after a few months I didn’t even crave sweets anymore. From there, I started getting healthier ingredients, drinking more water, and incorporating more vegetables into my diet. I still eat pasta at least once a week (sometimes twice) but I have set boundaries. By doing this alone I lost 10 pounds and feel SO much better. You can still eat good food and be healthy.

Another thing that was a game changer for me was WHEN I ate. For as long as I can remember I only ate a snack throughout the day and then ate a HUGE meal for dinner. Now even though this can be effective for losing weight it isn’t the best thing for our bodies. The best thing is to eat small but frequent meals throughout the day. This keeps our bodies in a state of energy balance (energy in = energy out). Food is energy, and if we wait to eat until 6 PM our body is in a energy deficit all day. This causes fatigue, a decrease in our metabolic rate, and difficulty in meeting our nutrient needs. When I started to eat more frequent, smaller meals I started to notice I had more energy. I no longer went straight to the couch when I got home because of how exhausted I was. Hailey the couch potato was no more!

So start with one thing. Once you get your first goal down add another, then another, and from there your eating habits will start to change. It won’t be as painful as trying to change your whole diet in one day and has a better lasting effect on our bodies because it is a lifestyle change not just a 3 month diet. It can be hard at first but taking care of our bodies is SO worth it. You got this!

Photo by Brooke Lark

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