I’d like to start eating healthier. I want to fuel my body with healthier stuff, lose weight, and maybe build some muscle. I’m willing to work out, and I’m willing to eat stuff besides my favorite (unhealthy) foods. But what I’d really like to avoid is putting a ton of time and effort into what I eat. I feel like I’m busy enough, and I also feel like I would quickly lose interest if I had to track a bunch of vitamins and stuff.
Is there any way to develop better eating habits without putting in a whole lot of effort?
There’s no way to avoid the type of effort you’ll need to exert the willpower it’ll take to stick to your new eating habits. But the other sort of effort you’re referring to – the effort of tracking lots of health details and nutritional information, or of preparing big, fancy meals – can indeed be cut down a bit. Let’s talk about how.
Let’s start with your concerns about tracking nutrients. While it’s true that our body needs certain amounts of certain nutrients, you can go a long way toward improving your health without doing a lot of counting.
For instance, you can start by simply eating foods that are full of nutrients, without paying too much attention to what nutrients you’re getting. Cut out processed foods and eat “whole foods” instead – the sort that you find around the edges of the grocery store, rather than in the aisles. And focus on vegetables. One quick method for varying your nutrients is to eat vegetables of different colors.
You can also make a big impact with relatively little effort by looking at just a few numbers: the ones that correspond to your “macronutrients.” The macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Do some quick calculations to determine your needs, and keep track of these if you can. Calories are also a good thing to pay attention to – but you can get away with not paying much attention to micronutrients if you really don’t want to.
You can also save some time on cooking by choosing to order ingredients online, perhaps through a subscription service. You can also get into “meal prep,” a trend that involves making a larger amount of food all at once and then eating it over multiple meals and days. Or do both, suggest the meal prep los angeles developers at Muscle Up Meals!
In short, it’s not hard to make basic changes to your diet without getting bogged down in details and chores. In fact, making your healthy diet fit your life is key, because only lifestyle changes – not temporary deprivation diets – have been shown to result in long-term weight loss. So make the changes in the way that works for you, and put the effort where it belongs – in your willpower.
“When friends tell you how awesome you look, drop the ‘I still have more to go’ crap. You worked hard and you deserve the compliment!” – Jillian Michaels