Practical Tips To Help You Eat Healthier
In this article, we will provide you with all the important tips you need in order to start eating healthier.
Achieving a healthy diet is not easy as it takes some discipline and dedication to succeed, but it is quite ѕimрlе. It dоеѕ not require doing anything crazy or out of the ordinary. You certainly don’t hаvе to stop enjoying fооd in order to eat well, just make sure to wаtсh whаt уоu eat аnd watch уоur роrtiоnѕ.
The main reason why people get discouraged when they try to eat healthy is because of the huge amount of work they feel is involved in it, but you don’t always have to go full heads on with it at the start. Taking the little baby steps which would inevitably lead you to the giant steps is what this article is all about.
Now, without further ado, here are some practical tips to help you eat healthier and improve your diet:
1. Eating Slowly
This is something most people aren’t aware of, but did you know that the speed at which you eat can determine whether you lose weight or gain weight? Just the speed, this isn’t even considering what you eat but how you eat it. You might be wondering how that is even possible, well, let us explain.
What determines whether we are full or not is basically our hormones. These hormones send a signal to our brain telling it “Hey, this body is full.”
But here comes the tricky part. It takes a little longer for your brain to get this signal so if you are a fast eater, you won’t know you are full even when you are until your brain gets the signal and by then you’ve already eaten far more than your body would require. Imagine if you had just slowed down a bit. That would have made a lot of difference.
2. Always Read The Nutritional Label
Before you decide to buy any packaged food (which is not really recommended when trying to eat healthier), it is advisable to always read the nutritional label to know what you’re putting into your body.
With this, you can know some important details (like the number of calories the food contain) so you don’t end up filling your body with some harmful and weight enhancing ingredients (trans fat, artificial colors and sweeteners, and preservatives to name a few) you aren’t aware of because that would just be terrible.
3. Stop Eating Refined Grains
One of the ways you can greatly improve your diet is basically to stop eating refined grains (white bread and white rice to name a few) and go for the whole grain option instead.
Most people who go for the refined option are usually unaware of the numerous health issues it brings such as heart disease and cancer. The whole grains option, on the other hand, comes with a lot of health benefits such as reduced risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. the fiber in whole grains can also support healthy digestion.
4. Always Shop With A List (Never When You Are Hungry)
The most common mistake people make when going to shop is going unprepared and by that, we mean shopping without a grocery list.
When you go shopping without any prepared list, you give room for temptation which could also be called impulse buying and that is even worse when you are hungry. You would end up buying anything delicious-looking in sight. Think of it as pouring fuel on the fire.
But let’s assume you actually went with a list and a full belly, you would have no choice than to stick to the list.
5. Add Healthy Fat To Your Diet
Yes, there is such a thing as healthy fats. Hearing the term “fat”, one would automatically conclude that it is bad for the health, but there are some good fats which your body actually needs in order to stay healthy.
At the end of the day, it all just comes down to knowing what foods contain healthy fats. A few examples of such foods are fatty fish, olives, avocados, flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts.
6. Eat More Fruits And Veggies
It’s no news that fruits and veggies are really healthy as they contain a massive amount of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables helps in reducing your cholesterol, your blood pressure and your rate of being obese. A diet high in fruit and veggies can help protect you against diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
7. Keep Track Of Your Calories
Keeping track of your calories would ensure that you know when you’re overeating or undereating as the case may be. Seeing as you don’t want to be trying to gain weight when you should be losing weight instead and vice versa.
8. Eat More Protein
Protein has earned its name as the king of nutrients seeing as it is the most filling of all macronutrients. It fills you up easily and because of this, people tend to eat lesser calories per day when they increase their protein intake without feeling hungry. On top of helping you lose weight, a high intake of proteins can also help you build muscle.
9. Drink More Water
This is pretty much self-explanatory. Drink water, a lot of it. We are talking about at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
10. Don’t Skip Breakfast
Pretty much everyone has heard the phrase, don’t skip your breakfast. It’s not just a saying, it actually does a lot for your health either negatively or positively depending on if you decide to skip it or not.
Eating a healthy breakfast can boost your metabolism and help decreases hunger and cravings throughout the day. It also gives you enough energy to start your day (click here to learn more).
11. Use Supplements If Necessary
Your focus should always be on eating healthy foods which contains the necessary nutrients you need, but you should also consider using supplements as an alternative if healthy food is not available. A quality meal replacement shake is usually not an ideal replacement for a healthy meal, but it is still better than nothing when you come to think about it.
You should also consider supplementing your diet if you are not getting enough nutrients from food alone. For example, if you are not getting enough omega 3s in your diet, you should consider taking a fish oil supplement. Vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics, and protein powders are some of the most popular supplements people take.
12. Don’t Drink Too Many Calories
You should avoid anything sugary beverage as these are some of the unhealthiest foods you can put in your body. The high amount of sugar and empty calories in these drinks can be detrimental to your health (higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and gaining weight). So, stay away from these drinks and try some water instead (it is much better for you).
13. Limit Your Junk Food Intake
Okay, this is general knowledge, but we still have to talk about it. Junk food is unhealthy, everyone knows this but if you do decide to consume it, it should be of little quantity. Meaning, your healthy food intake should be much higher than your junk food intake because if you decide to do the opposite of this, well, let’s just say the results won’t be something you would like.
14. Plan Your Meals In Advance
Planning your meals in advance is mainly just so you can avoid unnecessary eating caused by cravings. With a meal plan, you are sure of what to expect for breakfast, lunch & dinner and not just consume anything in sight that looks pleasant as this would be a terrible idea, to say the least.
15. Cook Your Own Food
A lot of people have the bad habit of buying take outs from fast foods restaurants instead of just preparing a meal at home (buying a take out is way easier and less stressful than cooking).
The problem is, most of the foods bought outside contain a lot of unhealthy and high-calorie ingredients that we are unaware of which can lead to weight gain and other possible negative effects in the long run. By preparing the meal yourself, you have the added advantage of knowing exactly what you put in it.
16. Go For The Healthier Options If You Choose To Eat out
In some situations, you can’t just avoid getting a take out especially if you work late into the night and have no choice. In such scenarios where you have to eat out, it is advisable to go for the healthier options available. Remember, some fast food restaurants have a healthy option on their menu. So, it is always possible to eat healthy even when you order a take out.
17. Allow Yourself A Cheat Meal Once In A While
Cheat meals are recommended when you are trying to lose weight. See, the human body can be a funny thing at times. When eating healthy or dieting, your average carbs and calories intake are usually low and after a while, your body realizes that it is taking in fewer calories than it is burning so it tries to balance the whole thing out. What a cheat meal basically does is, it tricks the body into thinking it is getting enough calories, so the body can resume burning fat at its normal rate.
To make a long story short, a cheat meal can help you boost your metabolism and also allow you to have a treat sometimes, which can help you stick to your diet (Eating healthy all the time can be mentally exhausting).
18. Use Healthier Cooking Oils
When it comes to cooking, there are a lot of unhealthy oils in circulation which can cause a lot of inflammation to your body without you even knowing about it. These oils can cause some serious damage to your body ranging from heart disease to even cancer.
By unhealthy oils, we basically mean sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil and soybean oil (the cheap and refined kind of oils you buy at the grocery store). Instead of going for these, go for healthier options like coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.
In conclusion, when trying to eat healthier, sometimes starting with little changes is usually the best way to go. It is always better to make your body gradually adjust to your diet change instead of forcing everything on it at once. With the little steps, you’ll soon start taking giant leaps and never want to stop eating healthy.