9 Easy Ways to Start Eating Healthier
As many of you know, I grew up being overweight. It wasn’t until after many fad diets, trips to the gym, and diet pills that I finally learned how to effectively lose weight.
The secret? It’s what you eat. 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. You can exercise all you want, but if you still continue to eat unhealthy foods, don’t expect any results.
Have you decided that you want to start eating better? If the answer is yes, follow these 9 easy steps to lead you in the right direction!
- Always eat breakfast. It doesn’t have to be a grand feast! Just as long as you have something in your stomach that will help fuel your day, you’re good. Studies show that breakfast is very important in maintaining a healthy weight and leads to increased concentration at work (or in the classroom).
- Any whole grain cereal with low fat or skim milk (or lactose-free milk, if you’re lactose intolerant like me!)
- Scrambled eggs (if you’re up for it, make an omelet with ham and peppers!)
- Whole wheat toast with peanut butter
- Greek yogurt with granola
- Oatmeal (not the kind that has a ton of sugar) with fruit like bananas, blueberries, and strawberries.
2. GRILLED or STEAMED, not FRIED. When you’re making yourself a meal, always opt to grill or steam your meats and veggies instead of frying them. That’s self explanatory. This is also helpful when you’re out at a restaurant and want a healthier dish—look for dishes that specifically grill or steam their meats and veggies. Grilling can be very tasty, too!
3. Salsa as a dressing alternative. This one is my personal favorites and one that I practice frequently. Many people who order salads think that just because it’s a salad, it’s automatically healthy. Wrong! Replace your salad dressing for salsa instead. Salsa ingredients include tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Talk about fresh!
4. Bring healthy snacks with you to work. I get random pangs of hunger while I’m at work. My first instinct is to go get a greasy and calorie-laden snack in the vending machine. Prepare for this by bringing snacks with you to work every day or leave some in your desk. It’s a money saver, and you’re more likely to eat what you’ve brought with you than to buy something at the office.
- Whole grain crackers
- Any fruit (apples are my favorite…they fill me up really fast)
- Fruit smoothie
5. Chug! Chug! Chug! Most of us don’t drink enough water each day. There’s also this myth that drinking water can make you gain weight because of increased water weight. In fact, you hold on to a lot of water weight because you don’t drink enough. Well that doesn’t make sense, Vivian. To give a better example, here is what your body is saying when you’re not drinking enough water:
Hmm, looks like I won’t be getting a lot of water today. I have to hold on to the water I already have so I won’t dehydrate!
And this is what your body is saying when you are drinking enough water:
Wow, I get a lot of water! Looks like I don’t need to hang on to the excess water I already have. I will be getting more!
6. Replace sweets with a fruit mix or a smoothie. Got a sweet tooth? Fruit has sugar in it too! Satisfy your sweet tooth with a healthier alternative, like a fruit salad or a fruit smoothie. It won’t give you that guilty feeling either, like the one you have after you eat a huge piece of cake.
7. Slow down! Hey, where’s the fire? When I went to France, one thing always captured my attention: the way the French eat. They eat very slowly, savor each bite and taste of food, and enjoy their meals. As a result, they don’t each as much food as we do. Next time, really sit down and enjoy your meal. Slow down the rate at which you are eating—you’ll become fuller while eating less food.
8. If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it! It’s simple as that. If you don’t buy it, it won’t be tempting you in your pantry, and you won’t eat it.
9. Step away from the sodas. Sodas do not have any nutritional value to them and neither do diet sodas. Even though diet sodas have no calories, studies have shown that drinking diet sodas actually cause many people to gain weight. Why? In a nutshell, diet sodas do not satisfy your body’s craving for actual sugar, so you satisfy that craving by eating/drinking something else with sugar.
There you have it folks! Follow these easy steps to a healthier you!
Hungry to learn more? You can always take classes to get a Master degree in Nutrition and Wellness. It will help you understand the nature and role of nutriments and the how they work in your metabolism. You will learn about the pathological and psychological impact of obesity through the life cycle as well as treatment to fight it. This program has been developed online to simplify the learning process and help students manage their daily activities while studying.
Do you have any tips for healthier eating?