When you think about eating healthier, do you start to panic a little? Is one of your first thoughts that you probably need to spend a lot of money, shop at organic supermarkets, and completely change your lifestyle?
Does the concept of “eating better” make you feel a little uncomfortable?
Here are seven easy tips you can incorporate today without ever setting foot in any grocery store or having to follow all weird recipes.
Eating better is something EVERYONE can do to improve their health. And best of all, it doesn’t have to be time-consuming, difficult, or stressful.
Try these seven easy steps and improve your diet, right now:
1. Don’t skip meals!
I don’t care if you are in a hurry, eat your breakfast. Skipping meals is one of those dietary pitfalls that happen to most people. We have plenty of excuses, no time, let’s save the calories, we have to run to get to our meeting on time. Stop making excuses for not properly taking care of yourself. Food is fuel, and by spreading our intake over the day, you will keep energized, will stop you from binging when you get super hungry, and it will keep your metabolism going. Don’t make your body guess when you will feed it again. Try to regulate your energy by eating regularly.
2. Eat your fruit; don’t drink it.
Healthy fruit juice is a myth. Fruit is delicious, but it’s high in natural sugar. It’s also high in vitamins and fiber when you eat it and don’t drink it! A serving of fruit can satiate your craving for sweets and fill you up, but a serving of juice will spike your glucose level and make you hungrier, so put down your glass and start eating your fruits.
3. Plan ahead.
Grab and go eating is the norm for most of us. Unless you plan ahead, you’ll end up grabbing highly processed snacks, and prepared foods that are not only filling your body with a ton of sodium, preservatives, and little nutrients, but will most likely trigger you to eat more or to be hungry again very soon after. So instead of reaching for what’s convenient, take ten minutes to scribble out a game plan for the rest of your day and follow your playbook. A banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter will fuel you so much better than a bag of chips or a candy bar. All you have to do is think ahead.
4. Use your hands.
I admit that measuring can be quite a hassle, but portion size is everything. Regardless of WHAT you eat, if you eat too much of it, you will not lose weight. Those are just the facts.
The easiest way to keep track and measure your portions is to serve your portions based on the size of your hands:
Honestly, hand size varies, so you may be tempted to pull out the measuring cups and spoons in the days ahead. Don’t do it! For now, this easy guesstimate method can save you from overeating and help you reign in your portion size without carrying any special tools or making a fuss. Easy is good.
5. Eat dessert once.
This sounds ridiculous, but most of us have a sugar habit that makes dessert a day-long investment in crap eating. We eat sugary cereal, fruity yogurt, pancakes, and pastries in the morning and call it breakfast. We sweeten our coffee. We reach for candy at our desks. We have cookies after lunch and “treat ourselves” to ice cream after dinner. All these things really add up, and even though you might not call these things dessert, they should still be considered a treat and not a staple in your daily list of things to eat. Choose ONE time of day to indulge in something sweet. Limit yourself to 150 calories worth and call it done. You will be amazed at how much better you feel when you limit your sugar without denying yourself.
6. Swap high-calorie beverages for water.
Walk straight past the soda machine, skip the double mocha latte frappuccino macchiato, and head right to the water fountain. Water is your best friend. Drinking water is like showering your body from the inside out, rinsing away toxins, filling you up, hydrating your hair and skin, and yes, decreasing your appetite. DRINK UP.
7. Slow it down.
Life is crazy. I get that. But eating is one of life’s essential pleasures. Please stop rushing through meals and snacks so quickly you can’t remember what you ate. Slow down. Savor every bite. Let your tastebuds celebrate what you are offering them. When you take the time to enjoy your meals, you’ll make every mouthful count. Adjusting your pace and making mealtimes a “time out” will help you focus on quality over quantity.
Now, was that so hard?
Every one of these seven tips is something you can try today without any extra preparation. Eating better doesn’t have to be painful. My whole weight loss and fitness philosophy is based on baby steps because making small changes consistently over time, really adds up and will make a significant change.