Trying to lose weight or feel healthier? You probably already know eating healthily is your best bet. Eating healthy foods allows you to feel more energized throughout the day and prevents you from overeating. Additionally, eating the right foods at lunch can help you avoid feeling lethargic during the afternoon at work. As you may already know, what you eat impacts all aspects of your life. Of course, eating fruits and vegetables can improve your health, but it can also make you feel better on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, some healthy foods just don’t taste as good as sweets or chips. Eating healthy when you’ve developed a habit of eating junk food isn’t easy, but it can change your life for the better. Here are tips to help you eat healthier.
1. Read the Labels
Understanding what you put in your body is the first step to becoming more healthy. Always read the labels on your food to understand the macro and micronutrients you’ll be consuming. This can be especially important if you’re trying to cut calories or have a goal in mind. Once you learn to read the labels, you should learn to understand them. Remember, not all calories, carbs, and fats are bad for you, especially if you’re eating different foods in moderation. Learning how calories, carbs, protein, fiber, and the different types of fats can help you make better, healthier choices when it comes to your meals and snacks.
2. Choose Good Carbs
Diet myths would have you believe that carbs are bad for you. However, that’s simply not true. Carbs are neither good nor bad, but your body does require them since they’re used for fuel. Carbs are found in every food, including fruits and vegetables. Of course, some carbs are better than others. For example, complex carbs found in vegetables promote a healthy metabolism and digestive system. However, there are still unhealthy carbs you get from eating processed foods, starches, and sugars, which can lead to weight gain.
Instead of avoiding carbs altogether (because it’s impossible), consider eating healthier carbs and avoiding white bread and pasta that can make you retain water and feel bloated.
3. Eat More Protein
Part of healthy eating is learning to stop overeating. Foods packed with protein such as fish, chicken, nuts, and beans are an important part of a healthy diet. Proteins make up amino acids, the building blocks of hair, skin, and muscle. Protein can also be an energy source helping you to healthily fuel your body. Eating enough protein can prevent muscle loss, help you build muscle, and aid in weight loss because it curbs hunger, making you feel fuller for longer.
4. Eat More Fiber
When you eat junk food, you wreak havoc on your gut and can upset the delicate bacteria balance that ensures your overall health and wellness. Eating enough fiber supports digestive system health to prevent you from becoming backed up while removing buildup from within your gut. Like protein, it can also help you stay fuller for longer because it’s not easily digested by the body.
5. Eat Breakfast
How many times have you been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Yet, somehow, you still choose to skip it. Breakfast is key to ensuring you give your body and brain enough energy to start your day on the right foot while increasing metabolism and helping you avoid mid-morning snacking. Of course, you may not want to eat a greasy, carb-filled breakfast that can slow you down in the morning, but you should try to eat something with grains and protein like eggs and whole wheat toast.
6. Snack Smarter
You don’t have to quit snacking to start eating healthier, but you do need to be more mindful of your snacks. Instead of reaching for the chips you keep by your desk, consider grabbing a handful of nuts, a cup of soup, or some yogurt to promote overall health and keep your hunger at bay. And remember, if you’re not actually hungry between meals, you don’t have to eat anything at all.
7. Consider Your Portion Sizes
You don’t have to completely limit the types of food you can eat when you’re trying to eat healthily. Yes, we’re telling you that you can still have cake and muffins. However, always eat unhealthy foods and snacks in moderation. Anyone who eats cake every day is bound to gain weight and feel sluggish. Instead, consider the portion sizes of your food to help you maintain a healthy body weight.
Considering your portion sizes is easier when you cook for yourself at home because it allows you to take a small portion and eat it slowly. If you’re still hungry after your first plate, you can always grab more after letting the food settle for a few minutes.
8. Supplement Your Diet
If you’re cutting calories, you may not be eating as many nutrients as your body needs. For example, individuals who cut meat out of their diet will eventually become deficient in vitamin B, which comes from animal meat, among other sources. Supplementing your diet with vitamins is a great way to ensure you’re still getting the nutrients you need to feel your best, even when cutting certain foods out of your life.
9. Limit Sugar
Too much sugar is bad for your health in more ways than one. Not only is it bad for your teeth, but it can lead to cravings and weight gain, along with serious health problems like obesity and diabetes. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to skip the sugar in your morning coffee, but you should limit how much candy you eat on a daily basis because all types of foods contain sugar, including processed foods and sports drinks.
Living a healthy lifestyle means making a commitment to healthier decisions, especially when it comes to food. Unfortunately, many people have unhealthy relationships with food that leaves us to stress eat or eat too much junk food throughout the day. If you truly want to eat healthier, you must consider your relationship with food and find ways to stop yourself from eating unhealthy foods while consuming enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day to curb cravings.
Julia Olivas graduated from San Francisco State University with her B.A. in Communication Studies. She is a freelance who loves sharing her passion for digital marketing and content creation. Outside of writing, she loves cooking, reading, painting, and her pup Ruby.
Just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations, according to a study published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This report highlights that very few Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, putting them at risk for chronic diseases.
Studies have shown that supplementation with extracts from fruits and vegetables may improve age-related changes.
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