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Challenge Healthy Eating Habits: Phase One

Updated: Jun 23

Welcome to Phase 1 of your journey to healthy eating habit challenge! This phase, we're focusing on making simple yet impactful changes to your diet that will set the foundation for long-term success. By swapping out unhealthy choices for healthier alternatives and incorporating more nutrient-rich foods into your meals, you'll be well on your way to a healthier you.

Two women cooking and two people in the background at the table

Swap Soda for Water

Don't freak out! This is hard for a lot of people, these drinks are designed to be addicting. Did you know that without the carbonation, the amount of sugar in soda would cause you to vomit? That's how bad soda is for you.


And even if you're drinking diet soda, it contains aspartame. This has been scrutinized for its potential negative effects on health. While regulatory agencies consider it safe in moderation, some studies suggest it may contribute to weight gain by disrupting calorie regulation and affecting metabolic health. Concerns also exist about its neurological impact and its safety for certain populations, such as individuals with phenylketonuria.


So, one of the easiest ways to cut back on empty calories and sugar is to replace sugary drinks like soda with water. Not only will this help hydrate your body, but it will also reduce your overall sugar intake and support your weight loss goals. Challenge yourself to swap out at least one bottle of soda for a bottle of water each day this week.


Make Popcorn Instead of Chips

Instead of reaching for a bag of chips as a snack, opt for air-popped popcorn seasoned with herbs or spices. Popcorn is a whole grain snack that's low in calories and high in fiber, making it a healthier alternative to traditional snack foods. Try making a batch of popcorn at home and portioning it out into individual servings to enjoy throughout the week. Chips are typically fried and high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and calories, which can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease and other health issues when consumed in excess. On the other hand, popcorn, when air-popped and lightly seasoned, can be a healthier alternative. It's lower in calories and fat, contains fiber, and can be a satisfying snack option. However, it's essential to watch portion sizes and avoid excessive butter or salt to keep popcorn healthy.

Plan Two Salad Days

Salad on a white plate

Salads are a nutritious and versatile meal option that can be customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. This week, challenge yourself to plan two days where you'll enjoy a salad for a meal. Load up your salad with plenty of fresh veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats for a satisfying and nourishing meal that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.


Swapping out two meals a week for a salad can significantly reduce calorie intake compared to typical meals in the Standard American Diet (SAD). For example, a typical fast-food burger and fries meal can contain upwards of 1,000 calories or more, depending on the size and toppings. In contrast, a salad made with leafy greens, vegetables, lean protein like grilled chicken or tofu, and a light dressing may only contain a few hundred calories. By making this swap twice a week, individuals can potentially cut out thousands of excess calories, aiding in weight management and promoting overall health.


Start your healthy eating habits today!

Changing your diet shouldn't feel intimidating or overwhelming, yet many professionals present it in an all-or-nothing manner that can be daunting. Jumping into a cold turkey diet often leads to short-term success but fails to provide sustainable, long-term results. Instead, adopting a gradual approach with small, manageable changes is key to achieving lasting dietary improvements. These incremental changes not only make the transition smoother but also increase the likelihood of success in the long run. Remember, it's about progress, not perfection, and every small step towards a healthier diet counts.


You've got this!

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