5 Strategies to Become a Lifelong Balanced Eater

Sara Chille
5 Strategies to Become a Lifelong Balanced Eater

Forming new habits and finding motivation to achieve your goals can be challenging at times. Although there are ways to ignite your fire when you are feeling a lack of motivation. Maintaining a balanced diet for good involves trial and error and dedication. Then it becomes a way of life and is one of the best changes you can make for yourself. Here are some strategies to implement balanced eating habits today that stick. 

Find Protein, Fat, and Fiber in Every Meal

Creating a general foundation for each meal is a key way to set you up for success when it comes to maintaining an eating pattern that is easy and sustainable. These three components are essential for each meal in order to maintain a healthy blood sugar, curb cravings, satisfy your hunger and keep you feeling energized and full for hours.

Creating a healthy blood sugar balance, is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a productive day. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient. When we consume protein, it takes our body longer to digest, thus leaving us feeling full for longer. When pairing protein, such as eggs in the morning, with a healthy fat, like avocado, and fiber such as berries, sautéed spinach, or cooked pepper and onions, you are consuming a meal that will regulate your blood sugar and give you sustained energy. 

What About Sugar?

One of the main culprits that can hinder a person’s health journey is sugar cravings. When you consume a refined carbohydrate rich meal such as cereal, plain toast, and bagel or a granola bar, you have a quick burst of energy, followed by a quick crash. Now you are left feeling fatigued and depleted, causing you to crave more energy from sugar, aka refined carbohydrates. This is a vicious cycle that continues throughout the day. 

Consuming about 25-30 grams of protein, healthy fat, and fiber from whole food such as berries, dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), or any other vegetable, per meal is a key step in creating sustainable changing in your eating patterns. Here are some of our favorite meals that contain the 3 key ingredients for a magical meal:

  1. Egg scramble with onions, bell peppers, spinach, topped with avocado, salsa, and a bowl of berries and greek yogurt on the side
  2. Wild caught salmon with roasted squash, broccoli, and asparagus
  3. Chia seed pudding with nut milk, hemp seeds, nut butter (almond, peanut, or cashew), strawberries and cinnamon
  4. Morning smoothie with spinach, pineapple, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut water, collagen, and protein powder
  5. Sprouted bread with avocado mash, sprouts, hemp seeds, lemon juice, and a cup of both broth on the side. 

Try one, or all, of these balanced and satiating meals for long-lasting energy. 

Have an Accountability or Support Partner

Accountability is a powerful tool for motivating yourself especially when it comes to maintaining balanced eating habits. Implementing systems to help other remain accountable as well as remaining accountable to yourself is key to long-term success.Research suggests that having a specific accountability partner increases the success rate on a specific goal to 95%. There are two types of accountability: 

  1. External accountability is when someone else is holding you accountable. Examples of external accountability include Vessel nutrition coach, a friend, or partner. 
  2. Internal accountability is how you keep yourself on track and in check when no one else is watching. It’s your own personal commitment to yourself to stick with a plan and fulfill promises to yourself. Examples of internal accountability include journalling, planning and scheduling, or creating a reward system. 

Surround Yourself with Healthy, Whole Food Sources 

With balanced eating, what you surround yourself at home with can make a huge impact on your health in a positive or negative way. Filling your home with processed foods, and sugary snacks can hinder your goals, while keeping whole, nourishing foods around can set you up for success toward your eating goals. 

-Buy healthy foods: Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where most of the fresh produce, refrigerated, and frozen sections are located in the store. The innermost, central areas normally contain most of the packaged, processed foods that you want to try to avoid. Fresh foods are lower in calories, fat, and sodium so when shopping the perimeter you can better control your intake of these in your diet.

-Avoid junk foods: Processed, junk foods are those that are high in sodium, trans fats, chemicals, and preservatives. Preservatives are chemical additives added to packaged foods to increase their shelf life. You want to avoid your intake of these types of foods as overconsumption can lead to poor health outcomes. Shopping the perimeter of the store can help avoid the temptation of buying junk foods and having them at home. 

-Keep protein and satiating snacks on hand: Snack foods rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats are more satiating and keep you feeling fuller longer. Some great snacks to have on hand are nuts and seeds, hard boiled eggs, string cheese, hummus and veggies, fresh fruit, popcorn, tuna and whole-grain crackers, protein bar, and cottage cheese and fruit. 

-Find foods you love that are healthier: Experiment with new foods and go outside your comfort zone to try new foods that are nourishing and filling. You may be surprised as to what you enjoy. 

Don’t Look For Quick Fixes 

Creating healthy eating patterns takes time and dedication. Long term healthy eating patterns isn’t created with a quick fix. Creating lifestyle changes doesn’t happen overnight. When approaching a way to becoming healthier day-to-day in order to extend the longevity of your life, take it one day at a time. Health isn’t always linear. It takes consistently forming routines such as cooking breakfast from home, or swapping your daily soda for a sparkling water. 

Keep in mind that crash diets can be counterproductive and lead to increased weight gain and insulin resistance. Crash dieting can put more stress on your body and when you return to a “normal” way of eating, you are more likely to put the weight back on. Instead focus on eating more whole foods that are nutrient rich and exercise at least 150 minutes a week. 

Individualized Approach

Healthy is not a size fits all approach. Implementing a healthier lifestyle is extremely individualized and necessary for reaching your health goals. It is also important to understand that this may take time as there may be some trial and error in finding what interventions are best suited for you and your needs. Try not to be discouraged if the first thing you try doesn’t work for you. Instead, view it as a positive that you are one step closer to success. 

As we mentioned before, you want to include a source of protein, fat and fiber with every meal. For those who are not used to consuming these foods on a regular basis, you may feel some initial discomfort. This is completely normal, especially when it comes to fiber. It may take some time for your body to adapt to increased intake of fiber, minimizing cravings, and finding recipes that work with your lifestyle.

Take The First Step Towards Balanced Eating

Forming new eating habits may be daunting at first, but with a little effort and dedication, it can change your life for the better. Try some of these easy strategies to maintain healthy and balanced eating for good. You can also use Vessel to get your personalized program recommendations and begin your journey toward balanced eating with our free nutritional coaching included in your membership now!