Eating healthily is hard. With most of the calories Americans consume coming from ultra-processed meals, it’s not uncommon to slip back to unhealthy eating habits after making lifestyle changes. Moreover, processed foods receive aggressive marketing and invite food addiction symptoms like intense cravings and the inability to regulate your consumption despite past negative experiences. Eating healthily is even harder when your family lacks the motivation to eat healthily. Per the American Psychological Association, diet and workout partners help you shed extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Here’s how to eat healthily with your loved ones.
1. Remember Your Why
When you understand why you want a healthy lifestyle, not even your family can take away your motivation to eat healthily. People want to eat healthily for various reasons. The first one is weight loss. In your search for the perfect body, eating healthily reduces your intake of empty calories (those without nutritional value). Moreover, you have more energy to exercise when you eat healthily. Another motivation to eat healthily is disease prevention.
For starters, fruits, low-fat dairy, and veggies regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure to improve heart health. The next reason to eat healthy food is diabetes management. High-fiber foods such as legumes, whole grains, and non-starchy veggies slow sugar and cholesterol absorption.
You also improve gut health when you eat healthily. For instance, drizzling olive oil over salad dressings and cooked vegetables eases gut inflammation and indigestion. Garlic is also effective against bad gut bacteria thanks to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
2. Cook and Eat Healthily Together
Your loved ones are more likely to eat healthy when you involve them in meal preparation. Apart from strengthening your bonds, cooking together is an opportunity to teach your family about healthy foods. Your children also learn practical skills such as measuring ingredients, following recipes, and checking the freshness of produce. You can ask each family member to suggest healthy foods for your home’s meal timetable.
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Another way to involve your loved ones in cooking is by sharing kitchen duties. You could ask your children to sift flour and crack eggs while you and your spouse handle more challenging tasks such as chopping. What’s more, eat as a family to emphasize the idea of getting healthy as a family. Eating healthily together also helps in following your meal plan by keeping you accountable to each other.
But it doesn’t stop at food. You can also introduce your family to healthy habits like meditation, exercise, journaling, and regular sleeping patterns.
3. Adopt Healthier Cooking Techniques
You don’t have to ditch your favorite meals to eat healthily. Assuming you like fried food, air frying your meals reduces your oil intake while maintaining the same crunchy taste. Since it saves you oil money, air frying is one way on how to eat healthy on a budget. Another way to eat healthily is by baking.
Baking isn’t just for bread and cake; you can also bake chicken, seafood, veggies, and fruits. Instead of oil, you can eat healthily by baking your food with water, chicken stock, vegetable broth, wine, or juices. Additionally, you can eat healthily by braising. That involves browning the food on a stove or pan before slow cooking it with broth or water. You can use the juices afterward as sauces.
You could also consider grilling if you want to eat healthily. This cooking technique involves placing your meal on a grill and directly exposing it to heat. Since excess fat drips into the fire, grilling is healthier than frying where the meat reabsorbs its fat. Grilling also translates to more physical activity. Rather than taking your date from the best dating sites to a restaurant, you can invite them to a BBQ party and enjoy outdoor activities.
4. Get Creative
You don’t have to condemn yourself to tasteless food to eat healthily. You can elevate meal flavors using spices like cinnamon, garlic, cumin, and turmeric. You can also experiment with herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme.
Another way to eat healthily with your family is by hiding healthy ingredients in the meal. For instance, you can throw some spinach or cauliflower into your smoothie or add sweet potatoes to chocolate brownies.
Furthermore, you can eat healthily by introducing variety to your food program. For example, you can try a Chinese-themed dinner one night and Indian cuisine the next. You could also eat healthy snacks such as natural yogurt, cucumber slices, and kale chips. In addition to their quick energy boost, snacks are one of the ways on how to eat healthy without cooking.
Although you can invite your relatives to eat healthily, don’t seek their approval to change your lifestyle. Remember, you’re eating healthily for yourself, not for others. You can also seek dietary support elsewhere if your family isn’t willing to come on board. How do you convince your loved ones to eat healthily? Comment by telling us how to eat healthy in college or at home with your family.