Contrary to what many people may believe, eating healthy isn’t something that is just meant to be adopted when you are trying to lose weight, or get fit; rather, eating healthy is a lifestyle choice that people of all ages and all levels of fitness should be making. Whether you suffer from chronic illness or pain, are over or under weight, have specific health concerns like high blood pressure or cholesterol, or you’re an ideal weight and have a clean bill of health, eating healthy can benefit you both inside and out.
Of course, saying that you want to eat healthy and make better food choices is one thing – following through is a whole other beast. If healthy eating is something that really hasn’t been on your radar in the past, you may not even know where to begin. In order to take all the mystery out of it, we’ve gone ahead and put together eight tips that will help you to adopt a healthy eating lifestyle and be successful in your quest to better health.
Stop Eating Out
One of the first things you’ll want to do is drastically reduce, if not completely cut out the amount of times you eat out. This doesn’t just apply to fast food restaurants – which most people are well aware of the fact they aren’t healthy – but any type of restaurant. The fact is that, unless you are cooking it, you can’t be sure of what ingredients are used and how the dish is prepared. The only way you have full control is to take over meal preparation yourself.
The great news is that you’ll be able to eat healthy well-balanced meals that you have prepared, and you’ll be saving money by not eating out so often.
Get into the Habit of Planning Meals in Advance
The main reason people opt for fast food and restaurant meals is for convenience. After a long day at work, people don’t always have the energy to go home, search the cupboard for ideas, hope you have the right ingredients to whip up a good recipe, and then prepare the meal.
A great workaround is to start planning your meals in advance. Typically, a one-week meal planner is a great tool to use. Once you’ve planned your meals, you can then build your shopping list based on what ingredients you’ll need, and you can even prepare meals in advance and store them in the fridge or freezer. Sticking to the plan will help ensure that you are eating well-balanced nutritious meals rather than just a fast option.
Fill Your Grocery Cart with Fresh Items
Another tip is to start getting into the habit of filling your grocery cart with fresh items. Try to make fresh items the majority. This includes fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood. When you are using fresh ingredients, you’ll be getting the maximum health benefits out of each food.
Make Water Your Beverage of Choice
Here’s a tip that can do wonders for your health, your energy level, your focus, and even help you to cut down on food portion size. Making water your beverage of choice means you’ll be passing up all the sugar filled drinks like juice and soda. These don’t offer anything good for your body, and they can even elevate your risk of developing anxiety, liver damage, and gaining weight.
Stop Adding “Extras” to Your Food
Are you guilty of adding salt to whatever you eat, maybe hunks of butter, and thick sauces and condiments on everything? The majority of these items are packed with sodium, sugar, and other ingredients that won’t do your body any good. If you find your food is lacking in flavor, start to experiment with fresh and dried spices and herbs instead.
Embrace Whole Grains and Beans
Whole grains and beans are something that many people simply aren’t consuming enough of, and the fact is that they offer incredible health benefits. Besides all the nutrients and minerals that they contain, they are also known for helping you to feel fuller faster, and keep you feeling fuller for longer. This means you’ll eat less, and won’t feel as inclined to snack between meals.
Portion Size Matters
Even if you have all the best intentions, and are making excellent food choices, portion size still matters. You don’t have to think of it as a diet, rather just a healthy amount of food that you are consuming. One trick is to start eating on smaller plates. The plate will appear full, so it tricks your mind, but in reality, you are eating less.
Use a Meal Prep Service
One of the hottest trends in the food and meal category at the moment is the use of meal prep and even food subscription services. The idea behind these services is that it takes all the guesswork, shopping, and coming up with a recipe out of the equation. You will be able to benefit from healthy, freshly prepared meals with little to no work on your part.
A great example is Athletics Fit, a healthy meal prep company that services the area of Miami, Florida. The way it works is that Athletics Fit offers a few different plans – a healthy traditional meal plan, a weight loss meal plan, or a healthy custom plan, each of which addresses specific health and wellness goals. Simply pick that one that works for you needs, and the rest is up to them.
Considering that people seem to be working more hours than ever before, even working two or three jobs at a time, there is little time left for grocery shopping, let alone healthy meal preparation. These services can act as the perfect solution.
Getting a Hold on Your Eating
These tips and tricks are designed to help you take control of your eating habits, and start to make much healthier decisions. Remember, healthy eating doesn’t just benefit you now, rather it provides long-term benefits, so you will be glad you made the change.