The ever-changing whirlwind of do’s and don’ts in the world of dieting are at best needlessly complex and ridiculously overwhelming. Don’t eat at night, only have 3 servings of fruit a day, fat is bad for you except for when it isn’t, and on and on. For anyone just trying to eat decently, it can feel impossible to even know where to begin. So, we wanted to cut through all of that clutter and talk about how you actually eat well. Not how many calories you’re allowed between 7:05 pm and 9:23 am, or why everyone is doing intermittent fasting, but how using a meal planner and following a few easy and important guidelines can help you eat healthy every day.
Make a Lifestyle Choice
One of the worst things you can do to promote eating well is search for the perfect diet. Diets are restrictive, depressing and usually impossible to keep up in the long run, causing feelings of failure, frustration, and mental exhaustion. The real secret to healthy eating is to not diet at all, and instead, choose a healthy lifestyle you can realistically stick to.
Meal planners encourage lifelong health by making you more conscious of your eating habits. Tracking your meals creates food awareness and is an honest way of evaluating food choices, finding patterns, and recognizing if you’re starting to get off track. Eating guidelines are different for everyone and there is no one secret style to unlock perfect health and happiness. As long as you are eating a well-balanced diet, the details are up to you. If fruit is the second love of your life than eating low carb probably isn’t a good choice. If the thought of fish makes you gag than don’t pick a Mediterranean style. But whatever style you choose, meal planners make it easy to find healthy food guidelines that you enjoy and then commit to keeping them. Break free from the temporary goals of diet mentality and instead let healthy living become a part of who you.
Create Positive Experiences
Dieting is usually a very negative experience. You tell yourself that you can’t eat what you want, you need to make changes, you’re overweight, unattractive, unhealthy, lazy, and all other kinds of pessimistic reason. Cutting yourself down will never inspire long-lasting change. Instead of a negative experience, meal planners help make adjusting your habits as something positive. Actively planning ahead of time is an exciting and positive experience. You aren’t organizing your meals because you have to but because you deserve it. You are becoming healthy because you care about yourself. Healthy eating is how you give your body the best and reach your full potential, because when you value something you treat it differently. Even small positive reframing efforts go a long way toward encouraging a healthy lifestyle and making long-lasting health goals much easier.
Be Honest With Yourself
Just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean that you’ll never eat deep-fried Oreos again but before indulging, be honest with yourself and decide if you actually want it. We’ve all experienced the disappointment of knowing that you just have to have a piece of cake but realizing after a bite or two that we really didn’t want it at all. Don’t let the idea of food get the better of you. Meal planners, like those found at Purple Trail, help you stay healthy by keeping you in control of your food. When people are stressed, tired, or in a bad mood then tend to fall back on bad habits. Planning healthy meals in advance makes you actually think about food, reducing impulse buying and decision fatigue and making you less susceptible to bad choices at the end of a long day. When you take a minute or two to honest assess unhealthy food choices, treats become real treats instead of regular or habitual choices. When deserts or junk food become a real indulgence, you appreciate them more and can occasionally enjoy junk food, rather than regularly settling for disappointment or regret.
Find Alternative Rewards
Food is deeply tied into our reward and comfort system and is usually the answer for anything that happens. Whether you just got a promotion or just got laid off ice cream is going to be involved. Tying food to our emotions isn’t bad, but it can be difficult to manage. Meal planners make sure that your eating is purposeful and not just a habitual or an emotional go to. Instead of defaulting to junk food, planners encourage you to reward yourself, take a break, or blow off some steam by finding healthy alternatives you still enjoy. Finding other rewards and motivators doesn’t mean that you can’t ever have a company cookie exchange or a celebratory piece of cake, but it does mean that celebrations and rewards with food are an intentional and occasional choice rather than the unconscious default option.
Eating well shouldn’t be a burden, but an exciting journey you love for the rest of your life. Purple Trail gives you the tools to build a one-of-a-kind meal planner suited to your unique food needs. Custom Planners come in two convenient so you can pick the option that best fits into a purse, backpack, briefcase or day bag. Each planner clearly displays areas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, and has additional sections for to-do items and shopping lists. All Purple Trail meal planners are dated and let you choose a custom start date, so you can start using it as soon as you’re ready. Visit us today to learn more about how Purple Trail Meal Planners can help your healthy lifestyle succeed.