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Published on November 08, 2017

woman eating at desk

5 ways to make healthy eating feel more natural to you

You probably know someone who always seems to eat healthy. They gravitate toward healthier foods and can easily say no when they need to.

It seems that these people don't have to think about eating that way because it comes naturally to them. To some extent, that is true, but these people have likely built these habits over time. Here are five tips to help you eat healthier more naturally.

  1. Stock your home with healthy foods – What does your home say about your eating intentions? Is the table cleared and ready for eating? Are the dishes done? Are there healthy foods available and ready to eat? The way in which you keep your home and the foods you stock in your kitchen will impact what and how you eat. Don't be fooled by "it's for the grand/kids" or "I'm buying this for company" justifications you give yourself. You will end up eating it too. Stocking your home with healthy foods means you will eat the healthy foods.
  2. Make a plan – and stick to it – if you've made the commitment to yourself that you are going to eat healthy, keep that promise. Sure, there will be unexpected food situations, and some flexibility is okay, but giving in on your plan all the time will quickly sabotage your efforts. Eat the healthy snack you brought instead of hitting up the vending machine. Say no to a lunch outing and eat your packed lunch instead. Kindly decline an impromptu dinner invite if you have a meal in mind already. 
  3. Bring your own food – one of the easiest ways to eat healthier is to bring your own food. Pack a few healthy snacks to have on hand at work. Bring leftovers from dinner the previous night or pack a sandwich with fruit and veggie sides to eat at lunch. Having healthy foods at your fingertips will ensure that when you are hungry you have something there that will fill you up.
  4. Pack in a few extra nutrients – when making smoothies, throw in a handful of spinach. When making muffins or pancakes, swap white flour for whole wheat. Use applesauce, mashed banana or canned pumpkin instead of oil in any muffin recipe. Chop up veggies to throw in pastas, casseroles and pizza and add fresh fruits to salads. Pack in a few extra nutrients whenever you can. 
  5. Stop the guilt-trip – many studies have shown that people who feel guilty after eating eat more unhealthy foods and are less satisfied with eating than those that don't feel guilty after eating. You deserve to eat well and nourish your body. You deserve to eat when you are hungry. You deserve to eat any and all foods that appeal to you and that satisfy you, no matter your size or weight goals. So stop the guilt-trip after eating and you may be surprised to find that the foods you crave trend toward the healthier and the amount you consume decreases naturally over time.
Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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