How to Start Eating Healthy When You Can’t Get Started

Start Eating Healthy

Have you ever looked at your plate and thought “OMG! Enough! How do I start eating healthy!?”

That happened to me at 38. I weighed over 250 pounds and furthermore ate what and when I wanted and rarely cooked! I had no idea how to start eating healthy. Fast forward almost 15 years and life is pretty different; I eat primarily vegan, cook regularly and eat out occasionally.  A total fitness transformation? Yes. Happened overnight? NO

Are like me, you’ve made or are in the process of deciding to start eating healthy again but don’t know where to start?

“The journey of a thousand miles starts begins with one step.” Lao Tzu

My fitness transformation began in 2002 when the internet wasn’t as robust with suggestions. My flip phone just made phone calls, and Google was just a funny sounding word. Today the problem isn’t a lack of advice but how to sort through all the conflicting information and find what works to start eating healthier.

Here are 4 things that started me on my journey to healthy eating and still work for me today.

1. Record EVERYTHING you eat for one day

Start with just one day and make it a typical day. I bet you’ll be surprised that you’re eating more than you thought.

The first time I got this advice was over 30 years ago.  People who use a food diary are more likely to lose weight. It worked then, and it works now.  I started my journey with Weight Watchers. They had recently introduced its first online points system. Keeping a food journal on a daily basis was an education. The more I learned, the healthier I started eating.

What the food journal does for me in the weight maintenance stage is think about my eating choices. Do I want that piece of chocolate? (Sometimes the answer is OH YES!)

Like technology? Put use an app like or to check the calorie content and nutritional values.

2. Get out the measuring cups

Supersize me? No way. Portion sizes are already too big!

Keeping portions under control is one of the most tried and true ways to lose weight. It may be a pain to measure everything, but it’s the only way to learn it and a key to start eating healthy.

Today after plenty of practice measuring portion sizes I am pretty good at eyeballing it, but even I go back to the measuring cups for a refresher.

3. Start reading food labels and try to understand them

The American Heart Association created this great section on healthy eating including this easy to follow chart to assist you in understanding nutrition labels. When I started reading labels, I quickly scanned the calorie and fat contents but then stopped. Multiple servings in one package came as a surprise to me. LOL!

Today I look down at the first five ingredients. If I don’t know what they are, can’t pronounce them or the word sugar (or one of the many names manufacturers use to hide the word sugar) it gets put back on the shelf.

4. Ask yourself if you are truly hungry

Hunger typically occurs more than 3 hours after a meal, when you are well hydrated, and it’s not usually craving a particular food.  If you don’t know your hunger signs just start asking yourself the question, are you hungry?

Sometimes my answer is no. I was surprised to learn that often I was thirsty, on other occasions bored or tired. One of the hardest habits for me to break was the “10 am fresh baked, hot out of the oven, French roll habit” I talk about in the video.

The first steps to eating healthy or any fitness transformation are often small. Those small steps over time make you the healthy eater you desire to be. Click on the video below for more insight on how to start eating healthy today!

Need more help? Click here to see how I can help you stop dieting and manage your weight successfully for the rest of your life.

Did this help you? I would greatly appreciate it if you commented below and shared on Facebook.


CJ Johnson’s Fitness Transformation Blog
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