A Guide to a Heart Healthy Diet.
Friday Sep 10th, 2021
How to Stay on Track
One of the hardest parts of sticking to a healthy lifestyle is planning. Many people start a new routine strong but then after the first few weeks, they begin to fall back into their old ways. There are many ways that you can stay on track when making the switch to a healthy heart. Following these guidelines and avoiding the negative foods can help you keep your heart healthy diet on track. Keep reading to learn more about these simple changes that you can make!
A great way to help you stay on track with your heart healthy lifestyle is to begin meal planning. By sitting down before you start the week, you will know in advance what healthy meals you’ll be eating for the week. This will help stop you from ordering in food or heading out for dinner. We suggest purchasing some cookbooks for inspiration or finding an online recipe site that you like. This way you won’t be eating the same meals over and over and you’ll be excited to try these new recipes!
Meal preparation helps eliminate temptation. Instead of being hungry and reaching for the quickest and easiest snack or meal, you will have food already ready for you to eat. Meal preparation is a great way to also avoid eating fast food or frozen meals at work. By preparing everything in advance, you won’t be hungry when your coworkers offer you pizza on a Friday! Many people opt to use Sundays as their “Meal Prep” day. They even involve their children or spouses and have fun getting their meals ready for the week.
Clean Out the Junk Food Cupboard
It is important to get rid of all the junk food in your fridge, freezer, and cupboards when you are making the switch to a heart healthy diet. It may be hard to do, but by emptying out your bad food you won’t be tempted to cheat or snack. If the junk food isn’t in the house, then you won’t be able to eat it! Plus, you won’t see it every time that you go into the fridge or into a cupboard.
Staying on track when making the switch to a heart healthy diet starts at your shopping list. By adding only healthy options to your shopping list, you won’t be purchasing any junk food. This means that there won’t be any junk food in your house to tempt you! We suggest only putting unprocessed food on your shopping list so that you can begin to get away from the high sodium processed foods. This is a great way to avoid fats and sugars that you don’t need to be putting into your body.
Another way to help you stay on track and improve your heart health is exercise! By incorporating exercise into your routine, not only will you improve your cardiovascular health, but you will also feel better! This will help push you to eat healthy foods that will help to fuel your body for your next workout. Food is fuel for the body and exercise is food for the mind! It can be hard to get started, but once you create a schedule and make exercising a habit, it will become just another part of your life.
Don’t Eat Out
You may not realize it but dining out can really affect what you eat. If you follow all the above steps, you won’t find the need to swing through a drive-thru to grab a quick snack. We understand that you can’t always avoid going out for lunch or dinner. If you are going out, we suggest looking at the menu before you go. Order smaller portions and check the calories. Restaurants are required to provide you with the calories for your meal, so take advantage of it! There are lots of heart healthy options out there, so you don’t have to deprive yourself of outings with friends.
Another important way to help you stay on track with your heart healthy diet is to determine what time you are going to eat your meals. Many times, people struggle with healthy eating because they don’t eat on a schedule. This results in them missing meals and then compensating by grabbing a burger and fries when they are already starving. If you have a set schedule for your meals and snacks, you won’t ever find yourself starving behind the wheel. We also suggest not eating before bed. If you go to sleep around 10:00pm, then have your final snack at 8:00pm. We promise you will feel better in bed and wake up in the morning ready to enjoy your breakfast!
Friends and Family
Another great way to stay on track with your heart healthy diet is to reach out to your friends and family. These people who are important to you can help keep you on track. You may also have friends or family members who are looking to make the switch to a heart healthy diet. Having other people making the switch with you can provide you with a support system that can really help! If your friends and family aren’t enough support, why not turn to Facebook or Fitbit? There are plenty of groups on both platforms that are filled with people who are more than willing to help motivate you!