Tidbits From Aria: 3 Simple Ways to Start Eating Healthy

Flashback Summer - Tidbits from Aria: 3 Simple Ways to Start Eating Healthy

Below this month's Compact of Character post, some of you talked about developing healthy eating habits, and Aria happens to be working on that especially hard this semester! I can vouch, she practices what she preaches in real life, and if a girl living in a dorm and eating at a uni cafeteria can work at it, the rest of us can, too!  Embrace that "peach pit" and start getting healthy with these three small steps:

When it comes to eating healthily, sometimes we can be tempted to, cold-turkey, trade in all of our favorites for carrot sticks and lettuce in order to see results quickly.  If you’re anything like me, you know that that just really doesn’t work. It’s not sustainable in the long-run.  Learning to develop healthy habits is a process, so below I’ve included three tips to help you along in the journey: 

1. Eat for Nutrients, Not for Feels 

This simple phrase is scrawled on a piece of paper on my dorm mini-fridge to remind me of something I so often forget: Food is for energy, first and foremost. It’s not meant to satisfy my every craving or to numb my sometimes unpleasant emotions, it is meant to provide nutrients that keep me breathing. When I am reminded of this adage, I remember to stop and think about what my body is really asking for.  Does my body need an entire bag of gummy worms? No, it never needs gummy worms (Sadly!). I convince myself I need them to satisfy a craving for sugar, but it’s not actually a need. Often times, when I am justifying my favorite squiggly worms, my body is actually needing water, protein, vitamins, and other nutrients.  I am still in process of overhauling my habits to fit within this framework of need rather than craving, but every time I choose what I need over psychological cravings that come and go, I take steps towards building a solid foundation for my future health.  

Simply put: Control your eating choices by thinking through what your body actually needs.
Action step: Next time you feel hungry, think back over your day and determine whether you’ve had an adequate amount of water, fruit, protein, and vegetables. Choose a snack or meal accordingly. 

2. Break out the Day-planner
I’ve been traveling around Washington DC for the past two weeks, and it can definitely be difficult to maintain healthy habits without a set routine. One way you can develop the habit of “eating for nutrients, and not for feels” is to plan ahead. It may seem strange at first, and it takes thought, but thinking through what you will eat ahead of time can help you avoid being trapped into compromising a healthy choice for what is convenient.  Planning and preparing your meals at the start of the week can also help to cut financial costs along with the wrong kind of calories.  
Simply Put: Being intentional about looking ahead can help to avoid unnecessary compromise. 
Action Step: Before you go grocery shopping, take half an hour to plan what you will eat for lunch that week. 

3. Watch Your Own Plate 

One of the great challenges to taking steps towards a healthy lifestyle can be comments that others make.  “What is that, rabbit food?”, “You always eat so healthily, and here I am eating junk,” “You think you’re too good to eat simple food?”, and the list goes on. One of the greatest obstacles to overcome in building a foundation that will truly last is that of comparison.  It is easy to compare what we eat to others, judging ourselves against what we find on their plates or in their lives. There are multiple problems with comparison:
1) You don’t see what that person eats all of the time. They may be eating lettuce and carrot sticks for lunch because they had a heaping plate of double-chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast! 
2) You are not them. Duh. The genes that make you you include a metabolism that functions differently than your roommate’s.  Even if you ate the exact same things, your bodies would most likely have at least some difference in response. 
3) Comparison often leads to compromise. Sometimes seeing a friend eat healthily can cause us to eat healthily, too, but what about when you are the only one who is intentionally choosing healthy foods and portions? You would normally eat only one cookie, but if your friend eats five, two or three doesn’t seem so bad. Right? Wrong! Don’t compromise;)

Simply Put: Take control of your eating choices by setting your own standards and sticking to them. 
Action Step: Next time you start to compare, instead, remind yourself of why you are eating healthily, and of a few things you are thankful for that you have learned or accomplished along the way. 

What do you think of these tips?  Do you think they're small enough to be able to implement in your life?  Have you encountered other obstacles to eating healthier that you'd like to overcome?


  1. That is such a great point regarding not being able to judge someone eating habits in general from one meal or even from what you, say for example, see them eat for lunch at work everyday. For example, I follow a very, very strict medically necessitated diet that's also low in carbs, but when I eat with my family for the holidays or a special occasion, I'll treat myself and indulge far more liberally (but still with the repercussions of what I put in my mouth on my health at the forefront of my mind at all times) and one could assume that's how I usually eat, but nothing could be further from the truth. Show up on a random Tuesday for dinner and chances are I'll be having a salad with chicken breast and a small dish of strawberries on the side, not a third helping of Christmas dinner!!! As with so many aspects of life, things are not always what they appear at first glance when it comes to how a person eats.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Yeah, that is a good point, Jessica! Things are rarely as they appear at first glance indeed.:)

  2. I know this is off topic from todays post. But is there any chance you will make som tutorials, you have so many cute hairstyles on your Pictures.

    1. I would like to, but I cut my hair recently and can no longer do a lot of the styles shown on the earlier posts. With my shorter hair I can do a couple things, though. If there's a specific one you'd especially like to see, just let me know and I'll work on it!

  3. Great point about 'watching your own plate'. Sometimes I get worried about looking to 'prissy' when I try to eat good, and the comments from others certainly don't help. But the fact is I need to eat a certain way for my sport...so everyone can just mind their own business. ;) Great post!

  4. That first tip is the big one for me! I am already trying to work on it, but still find it difficult to stay focused on nutrition. Another issue for me is letting myself get hungry. I've gotten used to snacking the moment I first feel any hunger, even if it is just before a meal. I'm trying to reteach myself that I an supposed to get hungry before a meal!

  5. Hello there, darling!
    This post is great - to the last word.
    I stand by all three steps; since I have done those myself:
    1. Eat real food when I'm hungra (meaning:; no nibbling candies between shows on TV)
    2. Write down what you eat (this is, honestly, the stringest effect- maker for me=
    and 3. Eat until you are teoratically full (sound so scientific; but it's true: our brain takes TIME to understand we're full - give it time)