Healthy eating is one of the cornerstones of a fit life. Even if you exercise regularly, a well-known phrase says it all: You can't out-exercise a bad diet. In fact, around 80% of your fitness is derived from what you put in your mouth. Thinking about this logically, an average healthy person might lift weights three days per week and do some level of cardio two days per week. That's five opportunities per week to transform yourself from fat to fit through exercise. Most people eat, on average, 5 times per day. That's 35 opportunities per week to transform yourself from fat to fit through nutrition. Here are 5 easy healthy eating habits that transform you from fat to fit:
1. Drink More Water
The adult human body consists of about 60% water. Water helps lubricate joints, regulates body temperature, and helps flush waste. According to Dr. Claude Piantadosi of Duke University in North Carolina, we can live about three weeks without food, but we'll only survive for around three to four days without water.
There's a long list of ailments that result from dehydration that you might mistake for hunger. People often head to the vending machine for a snack to cure an afternoon headache. Low-grade headaches are a common side effect of thirst. Try drinking a glass of refreshing water with a squeeze of lemon to relieve that head pain instead. If you're feeling a little brain fog, even if you've eaten recently, you're likely dehydrated.
Make it a habit to drink a 16 oz. glass of water with lemon every morning and before each meal or snack. Coffee, carbonated beverages, and energy drinks don't count as water. Quit your soda habit and opt for fresh clean water with a real lemon wedge. Get there by transitioning with flavored bottled water as long as it is sugar-free and calorie-free. We like Hint. They offer tons of flavor options in carbonated and still bottled water. You'll naturally eat less and feel sharper.
2. Eat Whole Foods
Focus your diet on whole and minimally processed foods. This seems easy but many people don't realize what whole food is.
Convenience items like frozen lasagna and boxed instant potatoes have replaced real food on the typical American table. Likewise, chemicals and artificial flavorings have replaced the vitamins, minerals, and fuel for the body found in real foods. Even natural vegetables take a turn for the worse when they're processed. High heat temperatures required in the canning process compromise the flavor, texture, and nutrition of most foods.
Studies prove that highly processed foods don't satisfy hunger for long, leading to overeating. Convenience foods significantly contribute to hyperglycemia and other health issues. The preservatives and other chemicals cause inflammation throughout the body which leads to chronic pain. Challenge yourself to avoid processed foods. Avoid boxed food like crackers, prepared noodle bowls, Hamburger Helper, packaged spice mixes, and other convenience foods. I know what you're thinking: What are we supposed to eat? The answer is simple: anything you want as long as it belongs in a fresh real food group such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, dairy, and meats. Use our Real Food Shopping List as a guide and you can't go wrong.
Be mindful of replacement foods. Packaging might say organic or natural. That doesn't mean it's real food. Readers have asked my recommendation for organic, uncured sliced deli turkey for sandwiches. I don't have one. Even if organic and uncured, deli turkey is a highly processed food. Instead, get a real turkey or turkey breast and roast it at home. Slice it thin and you'll have turkey sandwiches that remind you of a Thanksgiving feast. You'll be surprised at how much better real food tastes.
3. Grocery Shop Strategically
Don't go to the grocery store on an empty stomach. It's a setup for making poor food choices. Instead, have a healthy snack (protein bar, string cheese, a handful of nuts) before you head into the store.
No need to stroll up and down every aisle to see what jumps out at you. Make a shopping list and stick to it. You can ask your smart home device to add items to your shopping list throughout the week and access your list on your smartphone at the grocery store. Just call out the item and your smart home device will record it. We recommend the Amazon Echo Studio. It's a 3-D smart speaker with Alexa. It helps make grocery shopping and a lot of other daily tasks easier. If you're not sure what to shop for, Download Roxy Fit Club's Real Food Shopping List for a quick and easy reference. It's free.
You only need to walk the perimeter of the store. This is where you'll typically find fresh produce, dairy, and meats. Pick up the fresh whole foods on your shopping list and get out of there before your mind tricks you into those pastries. Avoid the cereal and processed food aisles so you won't be tempted to grab some junk "just this once." Strategic grocery shopping fills your refrigerator with great food choices as your only options.
4. Learn to Enjoy Cooking
Roxy Fit Club interviewed dozens of people to gain insight into the average person's cooking habits. We defined cooking as preparing and combining real whole foods into healthy and delicious meals from scratch. For these interviews, cooking did not include reheating convenience foods like frozen meals or canned vegetables. Interviewees ranged from 19 to 59 years of age. Here's what we learned: People rarely cook.
Who has time to cook? With family commitments, a daily commute, long hours at work, and all of the usual life drama, cooking a meal from scratch seems like an uphill battle. Perhaps you don't have a lot of fresh food on hand or the veggies wilt before you can dig them out of the refrigerator. Instead, you have a variety of frozen meals on hand so you can toss them in the microwave and choke them down in minutes. Prepared foods are full of fat, sugar, sodium, and preservatives. Nutritional value is compromised and it just doesn't taste that good. Time to make a change.
You can significantly improve your health and maintain a healthy weight by learning to enjoy cooking. When you think of cooking as a hobby or a method of relaxation, you begin to take an interest. Hone your cooking and baking skills with Sur La Table's online culinary classes. When you enjoy cooking, all of the prep that goes with it starts to become more pleasurable. You'll want to plan your grocery shopping so you're sure to have everything you need to create your masterpieces.
You'll need a quality set of pots and pans. We recommend stainless steel for durability and safety. There are no chemical coatings to peel off into your food. Clean your stainless steel correctly and it's extremely nonstick. You'll need some good cooking utensils as well. You can find other handy kitchen tools and save 20% at Sur La Table. While you're at it, pick up some stackable glass food storage containers. They'll come in handy when you start meal prepping. Save a few hours once a week to meal prep and you'll have the refrigerator packed with home-cooked foods you can use to quickly and easily create meals for the upcoming week.
5. Have Whole Fresh Foods Delivered to Your Door
Make it easy to access fresh whole foods every day. Join a Community Supported Ag Program (CSA.) A CSA allows people to subscribe to a freshly picked seasonal harvest. A group of farmers collaborates to provide a great variety of fresh, local, organic fruit, and vegetables to the public. A box of produce is delivered weekly containing whatever is ripe at that time. A CSA is a great way to try fruits and vegetables that aren't typically on your grocery list. You don't get to choose the exact products you receive but this is one of the great values of a CSA subscription. You might receive something you've never tried like a beautiful fennel bulb or some delicate microgreens. It's like getting a gift every week. Not sure where to find a CSA? Shop mixed produce, all fruit, or all veggie boxes from Farmbox Direct.
Look for a local meat delivery company as well. You can get fresh, local, pastured meats delivered to your door as often as you like. Try Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics for a great selection of wild-caught seafood. They offer marine supplements and a host of other organics as well.
We subscribe to a CSA and a local meat delivery here at Roxy Fit Club. Fresh vegetables are delivered weekly and meats are delivered monthly. Most of our grocery shopping needs are met with these subscriptions and we dine on fresh, local, organic food every day of the week.
You can significantly improve your health and fitness with these 5 healthy eating habits that transform you from fat to fit. When you make the change to cooking and eating whole fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, dairy, and meats, you'll naturally find a healthy weight and lower your risk of diabetes. We guide you through this life-changing journey in our complete guide to getting real: The Roxy Fit Club Real Food 30 Day Challenge. All it takes is 30 days to transform yourself from fat to fit.