Improving your diet can help you to lose weight, reduce the risk of illness and give you a greater sense of well-being. Now this doesn’t mean you’ll be giving up all the foods you enjoy, but small changes make a difference. Breaking some of your bad eating habits can help control cravings and increase the level of nutrients in your diet. In other words, suck it up, buttercup! It’s time for a change!
1) Eat a healthy breakfast every day.
“I have to be at work so early” “I’m not hungry in the morning” “Pop-Tarts totally count as breakfast” yada, yada, yada. Most health experts agree that starting each day with a good breakfast is important. It's not easy to fit this into a busy lifestyle, but starting the day with a meal rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals can bring major benefits to your health., and deter your from unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
2) Drink more water.
Keeping the body hydrated helps flush out toxins and improve your skin. Feelings of hunger are often caused by dehydration, and research indicates that people who regularly drink water have an increased chance of controlling their weight. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can help to reduce the temptation to overeat. Moral of the story? Keep a bottle of water around you at all times. Oh, and actually drink it!
3) Eat little and often.
Starving yourself for hours then eating a very large meal isn't a healthy way to fuel your body. Most nutritionists agree that eating five or six smaller meals a day is a better way to manage your weight and maintain energy levels. Each meal should contain a balance of carbohydrates, lean protein and fat. For many, this can seem like an overwhelming habit to get into. Advice: plan ahead and have mini meals already made. This makes your life easier in the long run and takes away excuses about time constraints.
4) Carry healthy snacks.
There's nothing wrong with eating between meals, but snacks should be low in saturated fats and sugar. Carrying healthy foods like grapes, nuts and bananas helps reduce the risk of reaching for a cookie or other sugary snack. Slices of carrots, celery and peppers are perfect snacks for when you need something crunchy. I don’t know about you, but half the fun is organizing my snacks in ready to go serving sizes. You’re saving money just by taking snacks with you and prepping them yourself instead of buying them in readymade snack sizes!
5) Plan your weekly meals in advance.
Preparing a menu for the week ahead is a great way of balancing your diet and reducing the temptation to order takeout. It’s also a great way to help budget your grocery list. Don't be afraid to try out new recipes at home, and get your family involved in preparing and cooking meals with you.
6) Beware of comfort eating.
The stress of modern life means comfort eating has become common. Eating sugary snacks or foods high in carbohydrates may give your mood a temporary lift, but they will do you harm over time. Going for a walk or calling a friend are a couple of simple and better ways to deal with the frustrations and fears you may face in daily life. You can also try researching recipes for healthier alternatives to your favorite comfort foods.
7) Cut down on pre-packaged foods.
Frozen meals and pre-packaged foods are often high in sugar, salt and excess calories. Preparing your meals using fresh ingredients is an important, yet easy step in achieving a healthier diet. Stick to this simple shopping guideline to be a healthy eater: outside isles and items against the outer walls of the grocery store tend to be fresher and healthier. If it’s in the center of the store, BEWARE!
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