Eating healthy isn’t just another food fad. Healthy eating habits are a necessity that is changing people’s lives.
Seventy-five percent of Americans said that they were eating healthy, yet obesity continued to thrive and reached a high of 42.4% in 2017-2018. While many think they already have a healthy diet, they often have misinformation or are following a popular diet that is doing more harm than good.
If you have been struggling with eating healthy, here are some easy tips to help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
- Start with a Food Journal
You can’t just start making massive changes to your diet and expect it to work. Before working your way in, start a food journal where you write down and keep track of everything you eat and drink in a day.
Make sure to write down what you eat, how much you eat, what time of the day you eat, and where you do it. It will help you understand your food habits and help you make changes in your diet. After finding out your food patterns, you can reduce foods that are high in calories, and improve certain areas.
A food journal is also a great place to keep track of foods that have a positive impact on your well-being and keep you satiated. You will want to start incorporating more of these foods into your diet as you continue on your journey to healthier eating habits.
2. Plan Your Diet Around High Fiber
High fiber foods are a vital food source if you’re aiming for weight loss because you’ll be full longer, which means you are less likely to snack on unhealthy or refined carbohydrates. High fiber foods also help you lose being by building lean muscles and breaking down fat.
Some options for foods that are high in fiber include:
- Fruits: Apples, oranges, bananas, mangoes
- Beans and pulses: Lentils, kidney beans, peas
- Vegetables: Beetroot, broccoli, spinach, carrots, and potatoes
- Bread: All whole-grain bread
- Grains: Oatmeal, choose brown rice or barley instead of white rice.
- Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, and sunflower seeds (in moderation)
High fiber foods will also help your overall health. They will lower your cholesterol, help maintain your blood sugar levels, and lower your blood pressure. Adding high fiber foods to your daily meal plans will help you look and feel better.
3. Load Up on Fruits and Veggies
Only one out of ten adults are consuming enough fruits and vegetables. Not only do fruits and vegetables provide you with essential nutrients that your body needs, but they will also help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Plus, fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on your blood super, which helps to keep your appetite in check.
The American Heart Association recommends you fill at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. You want to try and consume four and a half cups of fruits and vegetables every day. Some tips to adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet include:
- Breakfast: Slice up a banana and add it to your bowl of oatmeal. Or add chopped vegetables like spinach and peppers to your morning omelette.
- Lunch: Add vegetables to your sandwiches like cucumber, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, or avocado.
- Snack: Keep plenty of pre-washed fruits and vegetables on hand to grab as a snack like apples, celery, or carrots.
- Dinner: Add a side of steamed vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower to your meal. Or add chopped vegetables to your favorite stir fry or sauce recipe.
Fruits and vegetables will provide you with essential vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, which is vital to your overall health. Not only are fruits and vegetables delicious, but they will also help reduce your risk of some types of cancers and other chronic diseases. Colorful, nutritious and tasty fruits and vegetables should be eaten as part of every meal.
4. Look for a Good Meal Delivery Service
Sometimes creating a well-balanced meal is difficult because it takes a lot of planning. You have to spend time coming up with tasty and unique dishes that incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. As you strive to eat healthier, you will become more conscious of what you are consuming and how you can get all the nutrients you need.
If you don’t have enough time to plan out your weekly meals, a great option is to try a meal delivery service. Most meal delivery options allow you to plan a month in advance. And with a variety of different options to choose from, you won’t get bored with your meals.
According to your dietary plans and meal requirements, there are many excellent meal delivery services that deliver meals to your doorstep. You can choose classic dishes or get adventurous and try something new and exciting.
Meal delivery services are affordable and come with step by step recipe instructions. All the ingredients are premeasured so that you won’t waste food. And since everything is premeasured, you know the nutritional information for each meal, which includes calories, fat content, fiber, sugar, protein, etc.
Also, don’t worry about waste. Most meal delivery services come with recyclable packaging, and you can check their website with instructions on how to dispose of it and help reduce your carbon footprint.
5. Avoid Drinking Your Calories
More than half of the population in the United States continues to drink sweetened beverages every day. Whether you are consuming soda, a sports drink, or alcohol, all of these beverages are bad for your health. Approximately sixty-three percent of Americans have one or more of these unhealthy beverages every day. And drinking sweetened beverages has gone up by twenty-nine percent in the last twenty years.
As you start to eat healthier, you also want to avoid consuming your calories. Any calorie you consume without noticing is an empty calorie. A helpful tip is to start keeping track of what you are drinking. Take note of the calories and sugar content in each drink. You will notice these start to add up and will hinder your journey to healthier eating habits.
Sweetened beverages have no nutrients or vitamins and only have high amounts of sugar, which contributes to weight gain. You should consider substituting non-calorie drinks for all the calorie-dense beverages you are consuming. By doing this, you can lose approximately five months per month. The calories you want to consume are ones that are good for you and your health. Plus, avoiding high-calorie drinks will help you sleep better, improve your teeth health, and you’ll have more energy.
Instead of drinking calorie-dense beverages, switch to one of these options:
- Water: Try to consume fifty to one-hundred ounces of water per day.
- Unsweetened tea: green, black, white, or red teas are full of flavor and have health benefits. You can drink tea either, hot or cold.
- Coconut water: Keeps you hydrated while providing you with potassium and other nutrients.
- Unsweetened juices: Cranberry, watermelon, blueberry, and tart cherry are all great options
- Filtered coffee: Plain coffee with no added sugar or milk
- Sparkling water: A great alternative to sugary sodas
- Unsweetened plant-based milk: Try almond or coconut milk which are high in vitamins and minerals
You will also want to avoid drinking alcohol, especially high-calorie beers, wine, and mixed drinks. Alcohol has high levels of acetaldehyde that are toxic when broken down in your body. Your body burns it off first before burning any other fat that you’re trying so hard to reduce. Apart from this, it also increases your appetite and adds extra calories to your diet plan.
Stick to Your Plan No Matter What
Eating healthier is easier than you think. Small changes in your eating habits can lead to an overall healthier lifestyle. The tips in this article will help you on your journey to feeling better about yourself both inside and out.