I was a complete non-cook before I started this - in fact, most of my extra weight came from constantly eating out or buying something packaged and easy from the store. I'd tried healthy eating a few times and felt completely overwhelmed after the first couple days. We're talking actual panic attacks in the kitchen because I was worried that my veggies wouldn't be done at the same time as my chicken.
Small steps were the way to go for me, even though I was tempted to jump right in. If you plant the seeds of a healthy lifestyle, they'll grow; The key is to keep building on those foundation habits. The same thing works for fitness. You don't start off wanting to run a marathon, you build up to it.
For me, the first step was to track. Not to eat perfectly (I'd been bad about only tracking my 'ideal' meals before), but to be aware of what I was eating. Once you start seeing the numbers in front of you and getting a handle on what they really mean, it gets a little easier to make decisions.
The next step was portion control. Once I knew just how many calories were in a large fries at McDonald's, it made it easier to order the small size and bring it down to a reasonable amount. A plate of pasta at home was scary, but if I measured out a cup of it, it fit into my day. I really think that portion control is what gets people more than the actual food itself. Most of us know what healthy food looks like, but healthy portions are another deal. So, if you're having trouble making outright changes right now, work on your portions. Buy a food scale (best purchase ever) and get used to what a proper portion of meat or starchy sides looks like.
After that, I started making substitutions. I weaned myself off of needing dips and sauces for veggies and started appreciating the taste on its own. My husband and I worked more whole grains into our menu and cut back on desserts and treats. I started figuring out how to make my own version of the packaged foods I liked and then playing around with the recipes to make them healthier.
The important thing is that it's still a work in progress and always will be.
|4 Days until: Calgary Marathon