Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It’s all about making small, sustainable changes to your diet that add up to big benefits for your overall health and well-being.
Here are six easy ways you can start eating healthier today:
One of the biggest reasons why many people overeat and eat unhealthy foods is that we often don’t spend enough time paying attention to what we’re eating. We just chow down on whatever is in front of us while we attend to other things.
Mindful eating means making an extra effort to fully enjoy your meals rather than eating on the go or multitasking while you eat. It also means being aware of your hunger and fullness cues and how different foods affect your body and mood.
To practice mindful eating, try the following tips:
● Sit down at a table to eat rather than eating in front of the TV or at your desk.
● Take small bites and chew slowly.
● Put your fork down between bites.
● Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and smells of your food.
● Notice how your body feels before you eat, as you eat, and after you eat.
Create a Daily Food Journal
Another helpful way to start eating healthier is to keep a daily food journal. This can help you become more aware of what you’re eating and identify any areas where you may be falling short nutritionally.
To create a daily food journal, you can use a paper notebook, a computer, or even your phone. Include details such as timing, portion sizes, and ingredients. You can also track your physical activity and any other health-related information, such as sleep, mood, stress levels, and water intake.
Over time, you can use your food journal to identify patterns and make changes to your diet as needed.
Eat More Plants
One of the easiest and most effective ways to start eating healthier is to focus on incorporating more plants into your diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds.
Plant-based foods are rich in nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they have been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Buy Healthier Snacks
When starting a new diet plan, many people try to give up snacking entirely. But this often leads to uncomfortable hunger pangs that make it harder to stick to your plan.
Instead, it may be easier to focus on swapping out unhealthy manufactured snacks for healthier whole-food options:
● Choose snacks that are high in protein and fiber, such as nuts, seeds, and hummus with veggies.
● Keep fresh fruit on hand for a quick, natural sweetness.
● Make your own healthy snacks, such as trail mix or energy balls, using whole grains, nuts, and dried fruit.
● Opt for healthier versions of your favorite snack foods, such as whole grain crackers or baked chips, instead of fried.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining optimal health, and water is the best way to do that. Increasing your water intake can also help you avoid overeating.
● Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
● Drink a full glass of water first thing after waking up and before each meal.
● Choose water over sugary drinks, such as soda and juices.
● Add sliced fruit or herbs to your water for a refreshing twist.
Focus on Meaningful Changes
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to eating healthier is making changes that are sustainable in the long run. Rather than trying to overhaul your entire diet at once, it’s important to focus on making emotionally relevant adjustments that will produce memorable and long-lasting effects.
To do this, start by identifying your personal values and goals when it comes to your health. What’s most important to you, and what changes are you willing to make in order to achieve those goals?
Think about the parts of your eating routine that need the most improvement. You probably already know what your problem areas are. What is preventing you from making the changes you want to make?
What action can you take today to improve the rest of your week?
Who can you talk to about your situation and the changes you hope to make?