For many, starting a diet can be a real challenge; changing our eating habits and sticking with it are not easy tasks to achieve. The key is to be committed. There are many ways you can stay on course, reach your dieting goals, and improve your health. As long as you’re open to trying new things during this process, you will eventually break out of bad habits. To help you along, we’ve put together a list of some easy ways to eat healthier and improve your overall health.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are high in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup and it can affect your metabolism. These foods can also lead to obesity, diabetes, and cancer if you are not careful. A beneficial first step could be replacing frozen and packaged foods such as pizza and chicken tenders with whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Stop Drinking Soda
Sugary drinks are one of the biggest culprits of weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Soda contains a lot of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other unhealthy ingredients. These factors cause soda to be incredibly addictive which can lead to many problems down the line. If you are someone who enjoys a Coke with every meal, do your best to quit this habit. The best way to begin breaking this pattern is to replace your soda with water. Water is crucial to your health—making this simple change can have a positive impact on your life. Water will make you feel full whereas soda will keep you coming back for more, ultimately keeping you further away from your health goals.
Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
It’s typical for most people to need a little fuel to help them get through the day, and snacks are perfect for that. By consuming small snacks throughout the day, this will keep you comfortable and prevent overeating during each meal. However, your snack choice makes a big difference in achieving this. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, have some trail mix—do your best to grab healthy alternatives over junk food. We recommend keeping healthy snacks in your pantry; this will keep you on track.
Preparing meals ahead of time is one of the most important ways to eat healthier. The first step to this is knowing what ingredients you need before heading to the grocery store. The last thing you want to do is “wing it.” Plan your meals out in advance for the next week or two, then shop. You also don’t want to shop while your hungry—this could lead to you buying unhealthy snacks. Once you have bought all your food, it’s time to prepare your meals for the week. Having food instantly available is not only convenient, but it will keep you away from impulsively eating junk food after a long day.
Be Wary of Portion Size
Portion size leads back to the idea of overeating, which is one of the easiest ways to disrupt your diet. One reason we tend to fall into an unhealthy wormhole is not only from the food we eat but the amount as well. In fact, serving sizes in the United States are known to be far larger than others. The best way to combat overeating is to serve your meals on a smaller plate. This is a great way to train your subconscious into making yourself feel full—perception is key.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Eating while you’re bored is another common diet faux pas, so to help you stay strong (and full) include more protein in your diet. Protein is one of the best ways to stay full and avoid thinking about food 24/7. Another great thing about protein is that there is a wide variety of foods to choose from. Items such as fish, chicken, and eggs are great ways to keep your stomach from rumbling throughout the day.Another way to consume protein is to indulge in a whey protein shake or a meal bar during the day; this will hold you over in-between meals.
Take Vitamins and Supplements
It can be hard keeping track of all the necessary nutrients you should have in your diet. However, there is an easy way to ensure you get everything you need—take advantage of vitamins and supplements. Vitamins and supplements ensure that you are getting all the nutrients you need to fulfill your diet requirements. There is an array of vitamins and supplements on the market making it easy to get what your body needs to achieve your goals.
Choose the Healthiest Option
Fast food chains are everywhere, and even though they’re a simple and quick way to get a meal in, their menus are full of unhealthy options. Thankfully, times are changing, and plenty of fast food restaurants are offering healthier options. Popular chains such as McDonald’s, Chick Fil A, and Chipotle all have menu items that will keep you on your diet . While you should be preparing your meals to avoid the temptation of eating at these locations, sometimes life gets in the way. So, remember to be smart when you are on-the-go and need a fast meal.
Drink Black Coffee
We all love to include something sweet in our day-to-day drinks and meals. However, for those on a diet, satisfying their caffeine craving becomes quite the challenge. Many people need coffee to survive the work week and starting a diet doesn’t mean you have to give it up. Do your best to avoid sugar, syrup, heavy cream, milk, and sweeteners. Instead, stick with black coffee. This may not sound very appealing, but it’s a small sacrifice you’ll need to make to stay on your diet and maintain your normal energy levels. Start off slow by adding a little milk and cream—just avoid sweetening it. You also want to make sure you’re consuming no more than 4 cups a day, and never after 2 PM. Similar to quitting soda, overcoming the taste and replacing it with something more ‘plain’ can be tough. We know you can break these habits. At the end of it, you may not even miss these unhealthy options.
While dieting is a great way to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle, you also want to make sure you remain active. No matter if you’re trying to slim down or bulk up, investing in home exercising equipment and performing regular exercise will help you reach your goals at a quicker pace. Your body isn’t supposed to be sitting down all day—by creating a constant workout schedule, you’ll be giving your body want it wants (and needs). If you commit to a healthy diet and say active, you will put yourself in a great position to enjoy life without complications.