You want to eat well, but there are so many fad diets and trendy food options out there that it’s easy to get confused. Overwhelm sets in, and before you know it, you’ve fallen back into bad habits.
Here’s the good news: It’s never too late to give healthy eating another try. By making a few simple changes, you’ll soon discover the joy of healthy foods. So, grab your apron and your best ceramic cookware (perfect for healthy eating), and let’s get started!
- Aim to Eat a Rainbow of Fresh Fruit and Veg
We’re blessed to have access to a huge variety of fresh produce. Take a walk down the fruit and vegetable aisle in your local supermarket, and look at the beautiful array of colors. Reds, greens, yellows, oranges, purples – all these colorful fresh foods are the perfect way to get your daily vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables each day, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
- Cut Back on Processed Foods
Processed foods – like microwave-ready meals, bacon, and cakes – often contain high levels of salt, sugar, and fat. In combination and in high amounts, these three elements can do terrible things to your health.
Thankfully, you don’t have to eliminate processed foods from your diet. Instead, pay more attention to food labels, and choose options that are lower in sugar, salt, and fat. An easy way to cut back is to swap refined white bread, pasta, and rice for whole-grain varieties.
- Drink More Water
Drinking sugary carbonated beverages all day isn’t good for your health or your teeth. The acid in the fizzy drinks attacks tooth enamel, and the high levels of sugar can lead to obesity, cardiovascular problems, and other health issues.
Swap fizzy drinks for a glass of water with a splash of lime or a sprig of mint. If you miss the bubbles, try sparkling water. Other healthier alternatives include:
- Green tea
- Fruit or herb teas
- Coconut water
If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water as dehydration can often be the cause of hunger. Also, remember that factors like heat and high altitude can mean you need to drink more than just eight glasses of water a day.
- Try Some Easy Food Swaps
Consider these simple food swaps for each meal of the day:
- Breakfast – Swap sugary cereal for oats and fruit, or if you’re eating out, see if healthy açaí bowls are on the menu.
- Lunch – Swap white bread for whole grain. Use low-fat spreads and ditch the condiments like mayonnaise. Opt for a healthier olive-oil dressing instead.
- Dinner – Eat plenty of vegetables and avoid fatty cuts of meat. Choose leaner chicken or fish and grill your food rather than frying.
- Snacks – Fruit makes a great snack. Try a square of 70-percent dark chocolate instead of a sugary snack.
Start with a few food swaps each day, and add more as you progress. It’ll soon be second nature to choose the healthier option.
- Write a Shopping List and Never Shop Hungry
When you’re shopping, it’s easy to forget what you need and fill your cart with sugary snacks and treats. Unfortunately, you’re more likely to make poor food shop choices when you’re hungry. So before heading to the shops, make a list of everything you need for the week ahead. Fill your list with healthy options like fruits and vegetables, and remember to shop after you’ve enjoyed a meal to reduce temptation.
By adding these small changes into your daily routine, healthy eating will soon become a natural habit.