Five Tips for the Healthy-Eating Beginner

The sad truth is that the majority of people don't know what clean eating means, or how to live a healthy lifestyle. The good news is that it's really easy to begin if you have the right motivation.

If you are one of those people who have never really learned about healthy eating, I want to provide you with some beginner's tips that can help you get a stronger immune system, have more energy, become more toned, or help support your fitness regime.

1. Add, don't delete: When people hear the word "healthy" they immediately think they have to let go of all their favorite foods. This is not the case. Instead of going into this lifestyle with the subtraction mindset, go in with an 'addition mindset'. Add in an extra serving of fruits and veggies into your meals and snacks each day.

2. Cut down on the cream: Although cream and cheese are both huge parts of the american diet, they are also hidden ingredients that can make your foods such as soups or sauces more fattening. Make the decision to cut out 1/2 to 3/4 of the cream or cheese you eat daily, and choose to only have food items that contain creamy substances every once in a while. Ps. many soups and pasta sauces contain cream!! Look for a red sauce for pasta or a broth based soup such as vegetable or chicken noodle.

3. Don't oversnack: It is true that snacking is a good metabolism booster and also helps level out your blood sugar, but don't be tricked into overdoing it. Choose to eat 3 filling and nutritious meals a day, then try to only have 2-3 snacks a day that are healthy portion sizes. Having too many snacks or too large of portions can easily increase the calories by the hundreds. 

Don't drink your calories: Soda, juice, and sports drinks all contain massive amounts of calories and sugar. The first thing you should do upon starting to eat healthier is to cut out all sugary sodas and juices. Every once in a while, it is okay to have 100% juice, but in order to be as healthy as possible, it is definitely better to cut out soda and sports drinks that contain calories/sugar. I still think that it is fine to drink Vitamin Water Zero, Sparkling ice, or anything without calories or added sugars, but I would without a doubt avoid any of the other caloric options. 

5. Don't Restrict: One of the biggest misconceptions about healthy eating is that you must restrict. The truth is that restriction leads to weight gain, and slower metabolism. Eat a diet of no less than 1,200 calories. When you get lower than this, especially while on an exercise regime, your body goes into starvation mode and ends up storing fats, leading to weight gain instead of weight loss, and eventually causing you to lose quality muscle instead of fat.

If you follow these five tips consistently, I can guarantee that you are on your way to becoming a more healthy person. Being healthy isn't an 'all or nothing' situation. It requires time and effort, but it also requires the right mindset, and if you slip up during a meal, you should always continue on and move forward as if it never happened. Don't punish yourself for your mistakes; reward yourself by moving on and making every day count.