Eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be so hard. In fact, too many of us make drastic changes to our routine and end up not sticking to it. If you wish to improve your health, the key is small, incremental changes over time that you can stick to. Read on for some nutrition tips that will improve your diet and your health in a big way, even though the changes themselves are quite small.
1. Eat a Big Breakfast
Do you have the bad habit of skipping breakfast, rushing through your mornings, and then chowing down on a muffin and a large coffee to compensate? If you do, then that’s an easy and monumental shift you can make in your daily routine. After a long night of fasting (you can’t eat if you are sleeping), your body is eager for some nutrition, especially some lean protein and carbohydrates.
That’s why if you can adjust your schedule, so you wake up 15 minutes earlier or if you prepare some healthy grab-and-go snacks like breakfast sandwiches or omelette muffins, you can avoid the early morning crash and unhealthy food intake. Don’t ignore your body’s nutritional desires in the morning.
There’s a reason why mothers would always tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try to make breakfast the biggest meal of the day, and reduce your caloric intake as the day goes on, dinner being the smallest meal (most people do the opposite). This way your body can rest at night, instead of trying to digest and process a heavy meal.
2. Variety Is the Spice of Life
Are you the kind of person who eats the same thing day in and day out? You’ve formed a routine and now you stick to that routine like it were a religion. Your body needs a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, which cannot be received from four or five food items. In fact, if you want to give your body all that it needs, you need to eat a wide variety of foods.
This includes all the colours of the rainbow and all the different kinds of grains out there. Experiment with different fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Try red quinoa or dragonfruit, if you haven’t tried it before. Find different kinds of seafood or wild game that you have never eaten before. This way you will keep your tongue from getting bored, and your body from missing out on certain nutrients.
3. Snack Mindfully and Smartly
Too many of us snack all day long without thinking about it. We finish a family-size packet of chips or popcorn and wonder why we still feel hungry.
The problem is that you are snacking, not because you like the taste of the snacks, but because your body is actually hungry and trying to get in calories. If you start making snack time a more mindful and conscious time, you can choose items that satisfy your cravings (for salt or crunch) AND your body’s desire for additional calories and nutrients.
Start building snack packets, like hummus with crackers or veggies, or boiled eggs that you can crack open for instant protein. This way you won’t end up eating birthday cake at the office or fast food from a drive-through.
4. Don’t Forget About the Big 3
Do you know what are the three most important things to keep in mind when eating healthy and wanting to lose weight? The big three are nutrition, physical movement, and stress reduction. If you wish to improve your health, then consider adding in some physical movement to your day and thinking about how to reduce your overall stress.
Using stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk with your fur baby, or doing a bit of restorative yoga before sleep – are all great ways to add movement to your day. Also, think about saying ‘no’ more often to activities that don’t nurture you and being alright with staying in at home and missing out (FOMO is real).
5. Plan Out Your Meals
Like you plan out your outfits for the week, or how you make plans for the weekend, the same thing applies to planning out your meals. If you don’t deliberately make plans on what you will eat each day, then you are going to end up going along with the flow and eating unhealthily or overeating.
Ensure that your cupboards and fridge are stocked with lots of great healthy options and fresh foods. This way you always have something at hand to cook up a great nutritional meal. And you have no excuse to order takeout or go out to a fast-food restaurant.
6. Increase Your Fibre Intake
You’ve probably heard this nutritional tip a million times before, but there’s a very good reason why nutritional coaches are always harping on about it. Fibre is king when it comes to making you feel full, helping you eat less, giving you better digestive health, promoting gut biome health and so much more.
If you wish for one tip to take away from this nutrition guide, this is it. Eat as much fibre as you can. You can eat fibre in the form of fruits or vegetables. You can start adding a salad to your meals. Or you can start drinking fruit smoothies with lots of berries in them for breakfast. There are many ways to do it!
7. Save Fun Meals for the Weekend
Don’t forget to have fun in your healthy lifestyle. All work and no play makes Jack or Jill an unhealthy person. If you wish to have a cheat meal, you can save those meals for the weekend. Meanwhile, you should try eating healthy during the week as much as possible.
Of course, sometimes nights out with friends or heavy dinners with family (date night anyone?) are unavoidable. Do what you can and don’t stress too much about it.
Which of These Nutrition Tips Will You Apply First?
As with everything related to nutrition, it’s best to keep things simple and easy. Start small and incrementally add changes to your day and routine. That way you won’t feel overwhelmed and quit when it gets too difficult.
If you are interested in support and advice or more nutrition tips from a personal trainer and nutritionist on living a healthy lifestyle, check out Nutrition2Change today. Take advantage of their free guides and challenges.