Most people have goals to eat healthier, lose weight, and get in shape; but making huge changes to your daily routine is hard, and the road paved with good intentions is sometimes filled with pot holes. But who said you need a complete overhaul to get you started? You don’t need to go big right from the start. Here are simple, easy ways to ease you into healthier eating and on the road to a healthy life!
Keep a snack bowl filled with crunchy, healthful foods like carrots, apples, or nuts! Chewing takes longer than slurping, and gives your brain time to register how full it is. Additionally, there’s psychological evidence to show that having food out for easy consumption makes that food more appealing to eat, therefore having a fruit bowl encourages you to snack healthier!
Eat at the Table
When you eat on the go, your brain’s too busy focusing on other things to track how full you are. The less distracted you are when you eat, the faster your brain will register when you are full, and the more efficiently your body will absorb nutrients. If you make a concerted effort to eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner slowly, in an undisturbed state of mind, you’ll eat less.
Be Able to Recognize Your Food
Processed foods are filled with additives. A fruit roll-up, for example, is not a suitable fruit replacement, just like a chicken nugget is not a suitable replacement for chicken. If you can’t clearly recognize your food, you’re probably ingesting sodium and preservatives instead of the nutrients you would be getting from unprocessed fruit or a cuts of chicken.
Watch What You Drink
Store-bought drinks like “vitamin water” and soda are filled with sugars that will make you hungrier, give you cravings, and make you gain more weight in the long run. Water, skim milk, regular coffee, and tea are great for daily consumption, but everything else is a treat. Try mixing carbonated water with juice or experiment with home brewed ice tea instead!
Cook for Yourself
In order to have complete control over what you’re eating and when, you need to cook your own meals! This way, you can make conscious decisions about what’s going into your body. This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours standing over a hot stove – making yourself a simple sandwich is enough! If you’re in control of the ingredients, you’re in control of your diet.
Give Yourself Slack
The reason why those complete overhaul diets have trouble sticking is because of the extreme rigidity. Falling into a shame spiral over a stray potato chip or two will only make you more likely to give up. If every now and again you want fried chicken or a doughnut, have it – and enjoy it. As long as you eat slowly and you don’t go overboard, you’re not going to ruin your diet.
Photo Credits: All Women’s Talk, Food Portfolio, Food Thinkers, Gizmodo, Wolves’ Art, Signature Care For You, Food Network