9 SIMPLE WAYS TO START EATING HEALTHIER IN 2019
Good health is really about the hundreds of small decisions you make every day, starting with small changes to your diet and watch how much healthier you’ll be.
I have to say that sometimes I forget that changes to results don’t happen from day to night.
This could be about starting a fitness journey, wanting to be more active, losing some weight or simply treat our body right.
Whatever your reason may be, this article will be helpful for you! I will be sharing with you little changes you can make to your diet one step at a time.
I believe this is one of the most effective ways to start your healthy journey as once you adjust to these small changes after a couple of weeks, they will start to seem normal to you and you won't feel like you are depriving yourself of anything.
What's more, you can keep making changes to make your diet healthier and healthier! So let's get started now!
1. Don't drink your calories
Yes they may taste good, but they are throwing your healthy eating off path. Make water and tea your "default" drink. If you are a coffee lover or can't imagine a day without a coke, this can seem like a big step.
What I'm going to say next applies to every transition I will be suggesting in this article: If it seems too difficult, make a smaller step instead.
If you love coffee so much, just let yourself have one cup a day, and replace the rest with tea. If with every meal you have a sugary drink, drink a diet soda instead.
When people eat calories in the form of solid food, they naturally feel full and their calories intake match up with their food intake.
But when people ingest liquid calories, they don't feel full but often have taken enough calories, making them indulge in more food and adding calories.
Once you get comfortable with these changes, you can make new ones. Baby steps, remember that it is a process.
It's not a diet but a lifestyle. You want to make changes that you can actually keep up with.
2. Count nutrients, not calories
If you want to improve the quality of your diet, focus on the nutrients in your food instead of calories. “
Our energy intake can only depend on our ability to extract that energy from food,” writes blogger and nutritionist Rhiannon Mack.
3. Eat whole grain bread
Due to grains being ground down during processing, white and whole wheat breads have a higher glycemic index (GI) than whole grain bread, which results in glucose being released into the bloodstream more quickly.
If you can't see yourself cutting off bread completely from your diet, replace white bread with the whole-grain version.
If you want to go a step further, avoid eating any kind of bread with your lunch and dinner.
4. Stick to unsweetened coffee, tea, and water.
Artificially sweetened drinks aren’t the answer, these can prime your taste buds to crave other sweet foods.
5. Make 70% of your meal veggies
I was actually told this by my nutritionist the first time I visited her. No matter what you are eating, always try to have 70% of it being vegetables. The other 30% could be pasta, meat, whatever it may be. But try to have veggies with every meal. If you are having pizza, add veggies on top instead of pepperoni, if you want to eat a burrito, be clever with what you put in it. Even if your meals are not 100% healthy, they are healthier than they used to be, and that's already a step forward.
6. Choose whole foods instead of processed
Swap your frozen pizza and instant ramen with whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
They are packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals as opposed to processed foods which contain empty calories.
7. Cut out one food at a time
It would be unrealistic to change your diet from one day to another and suddenly starting eating things you are not used to at all.
If you think that there are foods you are consuming that aren't that healthy for you, cut out one at a time, so you can get used to not having that food anymore before cutting more out.
You will prevent cravings and won't feel like you are depriving yourself. I suggest starting off cutting one food per month so you have enough time to get used to!
Take this as an example:
Month 1: cookies
Month 2: rice
Month 3: fried food
8. Avoid packaged snack foods
Snacks like breakfast cereals, canned soups, pre packaged dried fruits and vegetables are delicious, yes but should be avoided when planning to eat healthier.
Snacks themselves are not unhealthy, as we should be eating every 3-4 hours to keep our metabolism going.
However, we should be smart about what we consume as a snack. I like to bring nuts with me to university for example.
If you know you won't be home for a long time, always bring a healthy snack with you to avoid giving in to temptation and buying something on the go. Nuts, almonds and fruits are great options!
These are some things you can start doing to be more conscious of the food you are consuming but are not actual food swaps, hence the "bonus" section!
Cook your own food: know exactly what's in every meal you eat
Read the nutrition labels
Try a "Meatless Monday"
Drink one glass of water before every meal (even if later you will have your meal with soda)
Use smaller plates
Roast your food instead of frying it
I hope that by reading this article you got some new year's motivation back! Remember that little changes add up, and you will start seeing a difference by being consistent with them, and at one point, they will become natural to you!