Struggling to stick to healthy eating habits every week?
So many people love to declare over + over, “This Monday, I am going to start eating healthier!”
But, it doesn’t just POOF happen over night.
Just like anything worth it in life, it takes dedication, work, + slow habit-forming actions over time to eat healthy each week.
But, in saying that, it is an EASY thing to do! Literally anyone can eat healthy every week.
You need to educate yourself + find the best tools + routines that work for you.
So, today I am sharing 9 things that I do to set myself up so I can eat healthy every week + stay on-track with my diet.
9 Things I do to Eat Healthy Every Week
PLAN MY MEALS
The first thing I do to eat healthy every week is plan my meals. Every Sunday morning I drink my coffee, sit on the couch, + plan our family’s meals for the week.
I like to make up a lot of my meal recipes on my own, but I love to get inspiration from Pinterest! Click HERE to see my healthy meal board (has such great recipes!). I also keep recipes saved to a collection on my Instagram account from healthy cooks + bloggers that I follow.
I personally like to write out my meals in the Notes section of my phone to use when creating my focused grocery list. This makes it so easy to figure out what I need! If I am using someone else’s recipe I found, I screenshot the recipe + put it below the meals I outlined in the Note.
Read more about how to meal plan HERE.
CREATE A FOCUSED GROCERY LIST
After I write out my meals for the week, I create a focused grocery list right above the list of meals on my Notes app to eat healthy every week. A focused grocery list is just a grocery list that is very specific to what you need according to each meal. It isn’t just a list of things everyone in your house wants, craves, or things you “think” you will cook or eat that week.
What I like to do is keep a running list of items I always need on my phone (cheese, yogurt, eggs, milk, etc) + then I add other items to the list. I like to organize each item of food according to how I walk through the grocery store so I don’t miss a thing. To make it easy, I enjoy using the Notes app because I can check off every item I put in my cart.
I understand that not everyone likes having a list on their phone. I totally get it! Sometimes it is nice to write things out + organize your items according to specific food groups. You can download a free printable focused grocery list HERE that you can use for every grocery shopping trip.
Read more about focused grocery shopping HERE.
WRITE OUT MY DINNERS
A huge key to eating healthy every week is to always know what your meals are every day. So, to do that I write out my dinners in 3 places: my grocery list, on the fridge, + in my planner. Might sound excessive to you, but it is what has worked for me for YEARS + has become a habit! Takes little to no time.
FOCUSED GROCERY LIST:
Like I mentioned above, I wrote my dinners below my focused grocery list to help me accurately plan what I need.
ON THE FRIDGE:
I bought a meal planner dry erase board from Target (can’t find it online!) where I write out my meals so I see it every morning when I need to take meat out to defrost or evening when I am about to cook. Here, here, + here are other options!
IN MY PLANNER:
I like to write out my meals in my planner because I look at it multiple times throughout each day. Seeing it helps me stay on-track in general because it reminds me to focus on foods that make me feel good!
*You can do this for all your meals, but I find that dinner is where I need to work each week to make sure I am eating healthy. Do what is reasonable to you to eat healthy every week!
Meal prepping is huge huge huge when it comes to eating healthy every week. Meal prepping just means batch making your meals for the week. Some people make every single meal they will eat during one window of time a week. This is cool + all, but that’s not enjoyable or realistic for me.
I know meal prepping can be super stressful + time consuming, so I have an alternative method that I use that might work for you, too! My husband + I like to make the protein for our lunches in advance every Sunday night before the work week begins. Sometimes, we even meal prep all our lunches in one sitting ( it only takes about 15-30 minutes).
For dinners, I double what we need 3 days a week so I don’t need to cook the other 3 days we eat at home (we use them as leftovers!). So, we meal prep in increments throughout the week so as the week goes on + things we more stressful Wednesday, Thursday, Friday… we already have dinner in the fridge.
Yes, I know… 3 nights + 3 nights = 6nights. We eat out/order in once a week! Also, I never meal prep my breakfasts because I like them all fresh + they usually only take 5 minutes to make. But, it is a great option if you want to do that, too!
MOVE HEALTHIER ITEMS TO THE FRONT
This such a simple tip I have implemented recently that has helped me focus on healthy choices SO much! Move all healthier items to the front of your: fridge, freezer, cabinets, + pantry. When you do this, you will grab for those first (+ bonus… less of your food will go bad!).
This helps when it comes to mindless eating. When you open any of these places + cookies, pizza, ice cream, + bread are the first things you might normally see. You will most likely grab for them because… yum!
Do yourself a favor + push those items to the back. Hide them to the best of your ability + even put them on a shelf that’s hard to reach or see (if they go bad, who cares!?). If you have a basement or garage pantry/fridge/freezer… store less healthy items there so it is an effort to go + grab them.
DRINK A HALF GALLON OF WATER EVERY DAY
Girl, there is NO getting around this one! Drinking water affects every single aspect of your life:
- food choices
- mental clarity
- focus + attention
So, I am next level when it comes to making sure I get it in my body as much as I can. Honestly, I would probably say this is one of the most important tips when it comes to creating a healthy lifestyle from day 1.
Why a half gallon? I have tried more than that + I cannot create a habit out of it. I have tried + I have found that personally, for me, it is an excessive amount. When I drink just a half gallon, my pee is very clear (+ that’s what you want to see in order to know if you are properly hydrated!).
My tip? I drink two of THESE bottles a day (I have the 1.3l version). It ends up being a little more than a half gallon when I drink 2. I started using this bottle a month ago + this helps me reach my water goal at least 6 days a week, which is great for me!
IDENTIFY GRAB + GO SNACKS
No matter what, I make sure I have snacks I can grab at any time with absolutely no prep so I can eat healthy every week. This doesn’t just mean when I need a snack if I am about to leave my house. But, also for times I am just craving something salty, sweet, or a bit carby while in my house.
I am all about no dieting + giving into your cravings (just in a healthier way!). When I food shop I make sure to add foods to the list that come in small packages (protein bars, nuts, cheese sticks..).
I make sure to prep other healthy snacks that don’t come in a nice small portion all at once so I can grab them whenever. So, whether it’s carrots in a bunch of small snack containers in my fridge or cashews in little baggies in my cabinets, I prep them so I can grab them whenever I need.
If you want, you can also create a snack section on your focused grocery list or a snack list that is either:
- Inside the door of your cabinets
- On the outside of your fridge at eye-level
I COOK ALL OF MY MEALS EXCEPT 1
Call me crazy if you want, but this is how you do it. If you want to eat healthy every week, you need to know exactly what you are putting into your body. Even if you buy meals at a healthier restaurant, people lie. Calories are always off + I wouldn’t doubt ingredients are left off the menu.
So, do yourself a favor + cook as much as you can every week! My husband + I are foodies and, although we like to cook, we love to also eat out + try foods from restaurants around our area. So, our thing is to do a date night or order in (more of that these days with a baby!) once a week. It also gives us a break from cooking.
Like I chat about above, if you are planning + prepping many of your foods in batch-fashion, cooking most of your meals will end up being a breeze + a habit over time. The more you cook at home, the more results you will see + the more you will eat healthy every week (as long as you are sticking to mostly healthy + clean ingredients!).
I CHOOSE MY MEALS BEFORE I EAT OUT
I do this almost every time I go out to eat. But, mostly, I do this when I am going out to eat with someone besides my husband. Why? I feel like if I am out with girlfriends + they order unhealthier items, I will follow suite (or vice versa).
So, to ease my self-control, I make sure to look at the menu beforehand + choose an option that is best for me. If I felt like I ate very healthy all week + want to indulge, maybe a cheeseburger + side salad. But, if I was off-track with eating healthy that day, maybe I would like to end the day with a healthy salmon dish or salad.
If I don’t do this, I know I will 95% choose a dish that is not on-track with the way I eat. Which, in the end, will end in regret because I will feel like garbage when I go home that night. Not from shame of eating it, but because my body is like “what the heck did you just pay to put inside of me??”
So, yeah… in general: if you plan ahead you will see results over time + you will eat healthier every week. Even when it just comes down to eating out one meal a week.