If you ask any of my friends, they will tell you how much my diet and lifestyle has changed in the past few years. I used to be the party girl that eat all the pizza and would take a taxi to go 5 minutes down the road. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love a good night out and a topping filled pizza.. however, it is a lot more balanced (aka not partying 4x a week and pizza 6x a week).
I would definitely been classed as ‘unhealthy’ until about 2 and a half years ago. I’d love to say I had this big moment where I decided to turn my life around and become healthy, but I really didn’t. I didn’t gain any weight and I wasn’t feeling ill. I pretty much woke up one day and thought to myself, ‘my god you are living like a troll’ (no offence to the trolls out there). Although I will say, it definitely helped that in my last year of University I lived with a couple of girls who eat well and went to the gym (in between the partying). I didn’t eat their meals as I didn’t necessarily like them, but it did give me a kick up the butt to look into healthier options. So, almost 4 years on I am now eating a pretty healthy ‘diet’, I’m the ‘leanest’ I have ever been and I feel healthy within myself. So, how did the troll turn into an avocado loving health princess? How do you too make this transformation? Well, let me tell you.
Now, we can all be a bit impulsive at times and think, ‘THAT IS IT, I AM GOING TO THE HEALTH STORE AND ONLY BUYING VEGGIES’ whilst throwing away all our packets of crisps and chocolate biscuits. Let’s just pause for a second and calm ourselves down. There are very few people who have succeeded in transforming from troll to health princess overnight. My top tip is just to do it slowly. Eat what you have in the house, maybe give some away to friends, but don’t bother binning it all. Once you need to do a food shop, make a list of the healthier food options that you enjoy. Don’t just go and buy Kale because instagram says it will give you abs. Buy some unhealthy snacks and buy some healthy food choices. Perhaps say to yourself, right I’m in a rush in the mornings so I’ll stick to my sugary cereal then, but I will make the effort to make a healthier meal in the evening. This doesn’t have to be 100% on point healthy meal. Maybe don’t have the whole pizza, have half and make a large salad to have on the side with it. Then gradually do this with your lunch and with your breakfast. Don’t completely restrict yourself straight away, you’ll break after a week and find your head stuck in a biscuit tin.
Gradually switch the ratios of junk food to healthy food. You were eating s*** 100% of the time? For the first week, go to 80% s*** and 20% healthy. Your end goal will be to be eating healthy 80% of the time and having ‘junk’ be it a cake etc, 20% of the time. But in all honesty, you get so used to eating well that you don’t tend to want the junk food as much by the time you have reached that stage anyway. Just work more health options into your food shops over time and gradually lessen the amount of sweet and salty snacks/dinners you are buying.
Basically, work the healthy items in slowly and the unhealthy items out slowly. Don’t just go cold turkey.
Now, as I explained, this girl loved her some junk food. I was Dominos number 1 customer and woke up with my hungover face in a Subway footlong many’a’times. When I decided that maybe I shouldn’t be quite so disgusting, I then went into panic mode. I DO NOT LIKE VEGETABLES. I LOVE FRIED STUFF. So, I calmed myself down and made a list of all the ‘healthy’ food that I liked or ‘found palatable’. I then googled/pinterested these ingredients with ‘healthy meal using’ in front of them. I found myself greeted with healthy pizza options, healthy pasta options, options I’d never even thought of. This made it all seem a lot more ‘do-able’.
Think of all your favourite meals that you love as a troll… google the healthy alternative… BAM, you got yourself a meal.
The more you do this with your meals, the less you want the junk food versions. You gradually come to prefer your healthy versions but then you may quickly question your sanity. I remember the day I turned down a Subway to have Salmon and Salad instead… I thought to myself ‘who the bloody hell have you become?!’. *Side note, this was back when I ate fish/meat/dairy.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE OFF OF CHICKEN AND RICE
Don’t copy Instagrammers for the sake of it:
I have definitely been guilty of this one. Ooo this person has a green smoothie every morning… I SHALL HAVE A GREEN SMOOTHIE EVERY MORNING. Do what works for you. I don’t like sweet food that much, therefore living off of fruit and smoothie bowls ain’t gonna work for me. Pick meals that you enjoy, pick ingredients you like, go from there.
Following on from the previous point, I am not saying that Instagram is bad. I love Instagram. I would just say, use it in a positive way. Follow accounts that inspire you or motivate you. Don’t follow accounts that make you feel rubbish about yourself or promote meals that you know you would just never eat. Instagram is great for recipes and meal ideas, you can archive them and come back to them when you are feeling a little uninspired. Youtube is also a great place to find motivation for healthy eating and living. There are so many great channels out there and I find that they really help me to stay on track!
Find a buddy:
Now, this is not going to be possible for everyone, but if you can, find a friend who can start a healthy eating lifestyle with you. It is so much easier when you have someone going through the same process as you. You can motivate each other and keep each other on track.
Ah yes, that old chestnut, WATER. Now, I’ve always liked water so it wasn’t so much of a difficult thing for me, however, I did at one point have a serious diet coke addiction. So, I did what I did with food. I limited myself to 6 cans of Coke and the rest was water (believe me, I’m aware that 6 cans is excessive but I was drinking way more than that at the time). Then went down to 4 cans and upped the water again. Gradually, without even realising, I was choosing water instead of Coke all the time. When I did have a fizzy drink, it made me feel bloated and sick, which meant the majority of the time I wouldn’t even finish it. Since drinking water my skin has dramatically improved and I bloat way less. I know some people really don’t want to drink water but after time you genuinely start to enjoy it and the benefits are amazing.
It is so much easier to eat healthy when you have a reason to be doing it. Look into the health benefits of different fruits and vegetables that you like. Look into the negatives of those fried foods you love so much. Educating yourself can quite often shock you into changing your bad habits. You need to find your ‘why’. Try looking into food and nutrition deeper than what is may do for your physical appearance.
If you have any tips for healthy eating, leave them down below for others (and myself!),
Thanks for reading! J x