Healthy eating isn’t about strict dieting or having unrealistically thin expectations. Nor is it about depriving yourself of the foods that you love. It’s about finding a good balance which will lead to effective long term results. Don’t you want to feel great, look good and have more energy? Here are some simple tips you can use to help improve not only what’s good for your mind but for your body as well.
Tip #1 : Make the right changes and keep it simple
Plan accordingly each day. Do not make any drastic changes as this often ends up in failure. It’s the small changes which will eventually become a habit. For example, add more veggies in your diet or increase your protein intake. Cut down on your sugars and salt and try to avoid processed foods when possible. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to prepare your own meals. This will also be more economical. You can control what you put into your mouth and feel good about it. Make a big pot and portion out your meals for the next day or two. Some people I know like to use a crockpot for convenience purposes. I like to bake my sweet potatoes for the week and boil my eggs so I can take them easily with me. I’ll make ground turkey which will last me for a few meals and have my frozen veggies ready at hand. I don’t have time to cook often so I need something simple that fits into my schedule. Preparing ahead of time is key as well as keeping it easy.
Tip #2 : Balance out your meals
Are you eating enough protein or overdoing it on the carbs? Do you have enough good fats in your diet? Every person is different and it depends on what your daily activities consist of. If you’re sedentary, you would not be eating the same way as an athlete. I’m not going to get into percentages as I’m not a nutritionist but I believe in experimenting through trial and error to see what works well for your body. Results will vary for each individual. You should be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with two snacks in between. Stick to healthy carbs which should include a combination of whole grains, veggies and fruits. These would be quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, beans and a variety of fruits and veggies. Do not overdose on fruit and incorporate dark leafy greens as such as kale and spinach for rich sources of calcium. Add high quality lean protein to your diet such as chicken, fish, and grass-fed meats and organic eggs. I personally don’t like to eat too much red meat and will try to choose grass-fed as often as possible. Plant based protein can be nuts, seeds, and soy products. Cut down on saturated = bad fats and increase your good fats which are essential to physical and emotional health. Examples of good fats are coconut oil, avocados, fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil which should be consumed in moderation. Eliminate or decrease your intake of animals fats, dairy products and processed foods which can clog your arteries.
Tip # 3 Drink more water
I cannot stress the importance of drinking enough water. This helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins. Water keeps our skin healthy and helps us from becoming dehydrated. You may get faint or dizzy if you’re not hydrated, especially during exercise. Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty. Water helps keep your metabolism in check and keeps you energized so drink up!
Tip # 4: Cut yourself some slack and don’t compare yourself to others
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You can still maintain your fitness goals such as losing weight or toning up once you find that healthy balance. No one is meant to be perfect. Don’t compare yourself to celebrities or what you see on social media. What works for one person may not work for you. We are all unique in our own way. By experimenting, you will find the formula which suits you best. You will need to go through trial and error to explore further. It may be helpful to keep a food journal to evaluate how you feel after your meal. Did your energy dip? Did you feel sluggish at any point throughout the day? Some foods may work better than others. You won’t know until you try so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Eating healthy is a lifestyle. This is why diets don’t work. You can still achieve your health and fitness goals by learning how to have a good balance. It will be a learning process. You will make mistakes. It’s ok. Have patience and allow yourself to be open. Embrace the journey.
Have an amazing day,