We have probably all heard the saying: “We are what we eat.” But what does it mean? Our physical and mental health is directly correlated to the food and drinks we consume. We all want to eat nutritious meals and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but many don’t know where and how to start. Fortunately, there are some simple tips and tricks that you can easily implement into your diet to help you start eating healthier.
Tip 1: Portion your meals
It is crucial to be cautious and aware of how much, when, and why you are eating. Oftentimes, people confuse hunger with thirst. Thus, before getting a snack to eat, drink a glass of water and then re-evaluate your decision to eat. Likewise, it is recommended to eat smaller and more frequent meals, about every 3-4 hours. Waiting too long before eating or skipping meals can lead to excessive hunger, which can result in binge eating or eating very large portions the next meal.
Likewise, we know we need to include fruits and vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates in our diet. But, how do we know how much we should eat each meal? A good way to measure portions is using the hand-size approach. A serving of protein should be equivalent to the size of your palm, your first represents a serving of fruit or vegetables, a serving of carbs is equivalent to a cupped hand, and your thumb is equal to a serving of fats.
Tip 2: Minimize processed foods (find good alternatives)
Whenever we are hungry or want a quick snack, we often find the first food item in the kitchen that is available. Thus, why not replace the junk food in your house with other yummy and nutritious snacks? Nowadays, there are countless different substitutes available in the supermarket that exist for your favorite food. For instance, if you want candy or something sweet, consider eating delicious fruit. Or, if you want something salty, pretzels or veggie chips are a great alternative. Here are some great healthy snacks you can buy to replace your unhealthy ones at home.
Tip 3: Eat a variety of foods
Eating a variety of food means incorporating different types of fruit/vegetables, whole grains, meat, fish, and dairy products into your diet. The reason for this is that every food has its own benefits and nutrients. When you only eat certain foods, you restrict yourself from countless different vitamins and minerals.
Tip 4: Drink water
Water is a crucial component of our diet. Water is required for the absorption and transportation of nutrients. Moreover, water acts as a solvent for waste, decreases toxicity, and removes toxins and excess salt from the body. It also helps control body temperature and is helpful in controlling hunger. The amount of water one should drink is unique for every individual as it is dependent on weight, height, and many other factors. Click here to get a good idea of how much water you should be drinking.
Tip 5: Be aware of ingredients
Many different food brands like to label themselves as “healthy” and “nutritious”. However, that is often just a marketing strategy and it is imperative that you check the nutrition label yourself prior to purchasing the item. Understanding nutrition labels can be difficult, but a good way to tell if a food item is healthy or not is by looking at the ingredient list. If the ingredient list is short and consists of products you know and feel comfortable with, most likely it is a good option. However, if the ingredient list is filled with chemicals and other ingredients with very complicated names, most likely it is not the best choice.
Eating healthy is important for everyone, not only those trying to lose weight. However, this adjustment may be difficult at first, especially if you have been eating unhealthily for a while as it can be hard to break a habit. Nevertheless, with time, desire, and baby steps, anything is possible.