The key to eating healthier meals is simple: don’t eat junk food. Now, if only it were actually that simple. Processed foods, fast food, fried foods, frozen foods, refined sugars, and hormone-filled meat and dairy products tempt you at every turn, and all of these foods pack on the calories, sodium, and simple carbohydrates. So how do you get it together and reform your eating habits?
People who want to lose weight are often recommended to eat 1,500-1,800 calories per day, but healthy eating is more about focusing on foods that have a diverse nutritional profile, as opposed to solely worrying about calorie content. Calorie counting is the simple act of counting calories, and rarely do people account for the macronutrients, vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the body to function optimally. At the end of the day eating foods that your body needs, e.g. vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains, epitomizes healthy eating. Now, you shouldn’t consume 5,000 calories a day without exercising, given that the body stores calories that aren’t burned as fat; rather, use the following tips to help eat healthier meals.
Get Good Snacks
Chips, cookies, and packaged snacks may be single-handedly responsibly for high sodium, fat, and blood sugar levels in the body. They are delicious and people can’t get enough of them. The problem is that they do not make you feel full, which is why you can easily polish off a bag of Doritos without thinking about it. The first step to curbing hunger between meals is to get nutritious snacks. Forget salty snacks and start purchasing raw nuts, dried fruit that is un-sulfured, whole fruits, vegetable sticks with almond butter, cold-pressed juices, or the ingredients for homemade energy bites. You’ll find that you won’t need to eat as much to feel full when you focus on healthier snacks.
Don’t Get Thirsty
Fluids are of the utmost importance when it comes to being a healthier person. We’re not talking about alcohol, energy drinks, coffee, sugary juices, or sodas, because those do not hydrate the body; in fact, they dehydrate the body. It is recommended to focus on water, herbal teas, and freshly made juices to avoid dehydration and the symptoms that come with it. The sugars that are in processed drinks can damage the kidneys, pack on calories, and impair sleep quality. When it comes to water, aim to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day because the eight or ten eight-ounce glasses of water rule per day may not be enough for everyone.
Make Meals That Are Delicious
Food is obviously about taste, but the appearance and smell are equally as important. Nobody wants to eat a greenish-brown plate of mush, so start thinking about food as something that you can savor and enjoy with all of your senses. Create multiple textures and flavors that harmonize with each other. This does involve some research, but looking for healthy meals should be fun. For instance, nobody dives headfirst into an entirely green vegetable smoothie. You start by blending a banana with spinach, mango, pineapple, and water. You may not eat flaxseed pudding right away, but baked sweet potato with roasted Brussels sprouts with a balsamic dressing is more appetizing. Start simple and build from the ground up. Create dishes that you can smell before you start cooking, and get excited about experimenting with new foods.
In the end, one also has to make educated choices when it comes to food. A little indulgence here and there isn’t the worst thing in the world, but always remember to give the body substantial meals with a diverse nutritional profile. This is how you begin to transform your diet and health.