I've learned a lot through these past three years living a healthy, active lifestyle, but these six habits have been indispensable since day one. Whether you are beginning your journey toward a healthier you or you've been in the game for a while, these tricks are fundamental to building a healthy lifestyle that you will enjoy committing to!

1. Find healthier alternatives to the foods you enjoy.

Check out @themacrobarista on Instagram for healthy alternatives on your next Starbucks run!

Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be boring. It also does not mean you can't revel in the foods you love. Instead, find your balance with the foods you enjoy by incorporating new, healthier versions into your goals. Honestly, there are plenty of resources you can browse through for countless savory recipes or yummy macro-friendly desserts!

2. Plan your meals for the day ahead of time .

Zucchini Bolognese

Personally, I prefer to meal prep because it holds me accountable to my goals. If you don't have the time or desire to cook your own meals, you can look into local services that deliver healthy meals to you weekly. (My personal favorite: https://freshnhealthymeals.com).

Maybe eating pre-cooked meals out of a plastic Tupperware just isn't your preference, but that shouldn't be your excuse to resort to the McDonald's drive-thru because it's convenient. Find an approach that works specifically for you, your goals, and your schedule. For example, some other hassle-free options can be to grab a quick healthy lunch at Whole Foods or order a wrap from Tropical Smoothie Cafe through Uber Eats.

3. Shop for groceries that you need.

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OK, from personal experience, I know that this can be the hardest habit to build. This is definitely one of those "easier said than done" tasks.

We've all made the mistake of shopping for groceries hangry - your temptations and cravings run wild and then you suddenly end up with a cart full of Oreos, a tub of Breyers Ice Cream, and a bunch of other random junk that you probably don't usually purchase.

Taking 100% responsibility for your shopping is key. If you don't stock up on the junk food, you won't have access to them at home when your cravings hit. I'm not the only one who finds accountability in writing things down, right? So the best tip I can give you is to stick to a list of groceries that you arranged before you arrive. For instance, when I have veggies jotted down on my list, I am more than likely going to buy them as opposed to if they weren't written down.

4. Create balanced meals.

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Building balanced snacks and meals with protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats, you can regulate your hunger and cravings. If you're unsure how to go about building a colorful, nutrient-dense meal, this article by a registered dietician, Kerri-Ann Jennings is a great place to start.

5. Learn how to control your portions.

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Have your piece of homemade apple pie and a mug of cinnamon eggnog because life is way too short to not enjoy those special holiday treats!

6. Eat every 2-3 hours.

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Starving yourself is neither a healthy physical nor mental approach for weight loss. You can keep your metabolism burning efficiently by eating (a nutritious snack or meal) every 2-3 hours.

Happy holidays everyone!