5 Tips for Making Healthy Eating More Flexible

Nutrition is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it is important that you remain flexible and don’t make your diet too strict. When it is overly restrictive with a long list of rules, it makes it a lot harder to stick to. The best chance you have for long-term success with healthy living is to make your diet as flexible as possible.

Here are 5 helpful tips from our functional medicine Los Angeles doctors to help you enjoy a flexible, healthy, and enjoyable diet every day.

1. Add to Your Meals, Don’t Restrict Them

This is perhaps one of the best things you can do when you want to eat healthier, but still enjoy your meals and not feel like you are being too strict. Instead of focusing on what to take out of your meals to make them healthier, think about what you should add to them.

For example, if you still want to eat your macaroni and cheese, go ahead and eat it! Don’t restrict one of your favorite foods. As experts in functional medicine digestion in Los Angeles, we propose making it healthier by adding to it, such as adding grilled chicken breast and broccoli to your bowl. You have now made it higher in protein with more vitamins, but you are still able to enjoy it.

2. Create a Simple Method for Balanced Meals

Another quick tip for more flexibility is instead of having the same meal every night that you consider “healthy”, go for a method of putting balanced, healthy meals together. For example, a good method is to split up your dinner into a protein, a carb, and a vegetable. Depending on your needs with your diet, you can choose your method or formula, as long as it helps you create more balance with the different nutrients you need for energy and vitality.

3. Try the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule is used by many people as a way to eat primarily healthy, nutrient-dense meals, but also save some room for treats and foods you enjoy that might be a little out of the traditional scope of “nutritious”.

With the 80/20 rule, 0% of your meals are healthy, balanced, and nutrient-dense, while the remaining 20% of the foods you eat are often considered treats or more indulgent foods. This might look like a dessert every evening while the rest of your day is healthy foods, or perhaps one morning you go to a local café for an espresso and a Danish, so the rest of your day is packed with vitamins and minerals. Try the 80/20 rule with guidance from our functional medicine Studio City experts at Functional Medicine Los Angeles.

4. Eat the Nutrient-Dense Foods First

A little trick for eating the foods you want, but still having balance and nutrition in your life, is to sit down at every meal and eat the most nutrient-dense foods first. Look at your meal, and choose to eat the foods with more nutritional value first, such as your salmon or chicken, your side salad, or your veggies. Then, if you are still hungry, our functional medicine Burbank providers advise enjoying the rest of your meal. Some days, you might eat everything, while other days you only eat a little bit of the less nutrient-dense foods. That way, you feel like you are eating a healthy diet, without restricting, but you still have some flexibility.

5. Have a List of Healthier Options for Eating Out

To further offer more flexibility in your diet, consider the healthier options when you eat out. If you want to be flexible with your healthy living, then you are not going to eat 100% of your meals at home. That is unreasonable and unsustainable. But what you can do is rethink how you eat when you do go out.

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