Changing the way you eat doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re taking your first steps toward a more well-balanced diet, here are a few quick tips on eating better. These small steps will add up to big changes, and before you know it you’ll be eating, feeling and looking better than ever.
1. Stop Drinking Soda
As we’ve discussed in a prior blog, soda is really pretty awful for you. Soda with sugar is bad for you. Soda with high fructose corn syrup for you is really bad for you. Diet soda (which uses artificial sweeteners) is looking to be as bad if not worse for you than regular soda. It’s chock-full of empty carbs, sugar and sugar substitutes, artificial flavorings and dyes, acids- just all kinds of nasty stuff. Cutting out soda alone often results in considerable weight loss for many people, sometimes up to 15lbs in a single month!
There are brands of soda on the market that use sweeteners like stevia and agave that are much less unhealthy for you than regular soda, and that can be a compromise for folks truly stuck on fizzy soft drinks. Still, you’re going to be much better off if you choose to drink water, tea or fruit-infused water rather than these next-generation soft drinks. Your body needs hydration, not carbonation or syrup.
2. Eat Until You’re Satisfied, Not Until You’re Full
Very often people who overeat tend to eat until they’re full and can eat no more, rather than until they’re simply not hungry anymore. This can be difficult at first, as it becomes habitual to clean your plate or until your stomach is incapable of holding any more food, but if you eat slowly and take the time to recognize when you’re sated rather than stuffed, you’ll see the difference in the amount of food you’re taking in. Plus, you’ll avoid the bloating, discomfort and unease of having to process a stomach packed full of food, and that will quickly result in an easier time staying active after a meal instead of feeling like you’re slipping into a coma. Remember: you don’t have to finish your meal, you just have to enjoy it until you’ve eaten what your body needs, not wants.
3. Snack Smarter
Everyone’s heard of snacking on carrot sticks, raisins, trail mix and healthier snacks. It’s easier said than done, for sure, but it pays dividends when it comes to your diet. Candy and junk food is bad for you, and that’s a pretty common sense notion, but it’s also tough when junk food is so convenient and easier to snag when you’re hungry. However, this can be sidestepped and made much easier if you…
4. Plan Your Meals
Meal prep, where you prepare all your meals for several days to a week, is becoming increasingly popular as proper diet and fitness becomes more common among all age groups and demographics. It can be time consuming, and an easier goal to attain is to plan when and what you will eat. Instead of eating impulsively or grabbing fast food when you’re pressed for time, allocate yourself time to eat a healthy meal, and do your best to schedule a time frame to do so. By eating on a consistent schedule your body will learn to use the food it takes in at an optimal rate, rather than storing fat and wasting nutrients when it’s not sure when it will be fed day to day. By eating on a regular schedule, you will find yourself having more energy throughout the day as well as feeling less compelled to snack.
5. Treat Yourself Once in a While
Now obviously this isn’t an excuse to gorge yourself, but give yourself small rewards when you achieve dietary goals. Lost five pounds? Grab a small candy bar or low-sugar snack, or dine on some (moderately) healthy food with friends. One month soda-free? Get yourself a smoothie or frozen yogurt. A healthy diet is its own reward, but small treats along the way can help you satiate your desire for a little indulgence.
These are all fairly simple tips, but they’re a great place to start if you’re just beginning to improve your diet. For full assistance in developing a diet plan, contact Elite Care Professionals today!