Small Changes to Your Diet Can Make a BIG Difference
May 22, 2020
So you want to eat healthier maybe shed a few pounds, but the idea of munching on kale or sipping green smoothies stops you dead in your tracks. You may have even tried a fad diet but returned to your old eating habits by week’s end. Well, it’s time to try a new tack. One or two small changes can make a big difference in your life. These will get you started.
Ditch Processed Foods
There’s nothing that gets taste buds tingling than the aroma of donuts, burgers, fries and pizza. Yum! But think twice before pulling into the drive-thru because these foods are loaded with fat, cholesterol, sodium, artificial coloring, preservatives and taste enhancing chemicals that increase your risk for obesity, cardiovascular problems and a weakened immune system. While you could probably get by with the occasional indulgence, eating several meals a week like this will ravage your health in no time.
Instead, learn to cook two or three go-to recipes that are fast, simple and healthy. Roasted chicken breasts, baked salmon in foil, turkey burgers, eggs, vegetable hummus wrap – the possibilities are endless.
Switch To Healthy Cooking Methods
Many of us fry our food which makes it tasty but also removes essential nutrients. In fact, the tastier you make your food, the less healthy it often becomes. Try these tricks to keep nutrients and flavor intact.
- Grill or bake meat, fish, chicken, vegetables
- If you must fry, use olive oil
- Steam or stir fry vegetables
- Get creative with seasonings
- Experiment with poaching, broiling, and pressure-cooking techniques
Go Local and Organic for Produce
Hit your neighborhood farmer’s markets for fresh, in-season, chemical-free fruits and vegetables. Their produce is often much cheaper than grocery stores with a huge range of items. Stock up and freeze what you can.
Eat Regularly and Mindfully
It’s normal to get hungry every three or four hours. Going longer depletes your energy and causes your metabolism to plummet. Putting yourself on a regular eating schedule allows you to plan ahead with healthy foods and snacks.
We have lots of excuses for skipping meals: we’re not hungry or we’re too busy. If we do manage to snarf something down, it’s on the run. Sitting down and eating slowly and mindfully helps your body process the food and gives your digestive system time to signal the brain to tell you you’re full.
While you’re at it, dine with the lights on. It appears people who eat in well-lit spaces eat fewer calories and make better food choices. Bright spaces make us more alert and mindful of what we’re consuming.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Time and time again, research confirms that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet 25% of us skip it. Breakfast energizes you and sets your metabolism for the rest of the day. Skipping it throws your body into starvation mode and by lunchtime you’re excessively hungry and prone to overeating. Research further shows dieters are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off when they eat breakfast. Lack of time is no excuse. It only takes 5 minutes for oatmeal, an egg sandwich or yogurt and fruit.
Stop Buying Reduced-Calorie, Fat-Free Foods or Diet Soda
You’ll find reduced-calorie cheese, bread, peanut butter, pancake syrup and more but, these often eliminate the nutrients that are actually healthy for you. The result? You end up feeling less satisfied and craving even more. Skip the diet soda too. It has no nutritional benefits nor does it help you lose weight. What it does is mess up your body’s insulin, expose you to potentially cancerous chemicals and increase levels of sodium leading to bloat. If you’re really craving a soda, enjoy a regular one or better yet replace it with a fresh juice.
Start by making one or two small changes listed above. It can make a huge difference in how you look and feel. If you’re looking for additional ways to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and nutrients your body needs, try adding a multivitamin and check out these supplements to compliment your healthy lifestyle efforts. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a slimmer, trimmer, healthier you.