5 Ways to Eat Healthier
With the New Year in full swing, many of us are looking for ways to eat healthier. One thing that people struggle with the most is food and nutrition, this isn’t surprising with the overwhelming amount of information and headlines that are bombarding us online every day.
Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be that complicated, in fact it is so simple to eat healthier that we believe there are only 5 fundamental things you need to do to get on track and begin living a healthier life through nutrition. This article has been written to filter through all of the rubbish and get you on track to a healthier lifestyle
1. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
We’ve all heard this saying before but it is also completely relevant when it comes to food. How many times have you been caught out hungry on the go and you’ve had to settle for a Macdonald’s or a bar of chocolate from the local garage? Although things are changing and there is a growing number of healthy food options, it is still a lot easier to pick the cheapest and most convenient thing which often isn’t the healthiest.
In-order to swerve situations like this, one of the ways to eat healthier is by being prepared. This means preparing your meals a few days ahead or the night before so you’ve got a healthy option if you do get hungry whilst you’re out. Another useful when to be prepared is when doing your food shopping. If you plan healthy meals and ingredients in advance then you’ll not exactly what you’re shopping for. Not only does this mean you’ll save time in the supermarket, it also means you’ll be less likely to impulse buy processed foods.
2. Eat more protein
Protein, being one of three essential macronutrients (along with carbohydrates and fat) is not only useful, but essential for our body. We need for our hair and nails, hormone regulation, to build and grow muscles, and it can also be useful for weight-loss.
Ghrelin is also known as the hunger hormone, as it is the hormone that is produced to make you feel hungry when you haven’t eaten enough. Often though, we begin to feel hungry when in-fact we don’t need any more food. Protein helps to suppress this hormone; plus, high protein foods leave you feeling fuller for longer compared to high sugar and carbohydrate foods. If you struggle to get enough protein in your diet then you can also use protein supplements.
3. Reduce processed foods
Processed food often gets demonised in the press, and although it isn’t all bad, many foods that have been processed are calorie dense and nutrient deficient. This means we are eating the calories without gaining any health benefits from the food. On top of this, usually processed foods are crammed with hidden sugar and salt to make them taste better, next time you pick up a microwave meal in the supermarket have a look at the amount of sugar and salt.
One huge way to cut out unnecessary calories is by reducing your in-take of processed foods that are often much higher in calories than wholefoods. Of course, there are high calories whole foods, such as nuts and avocados, but these offer a wealth of health benefits too. Swapping processed meals for real foods could cut your calorie in-take down and you would instead be filling the body with useful vitamins and minerals.
4. Eat more fruit and veg
Eating plenty of fruit and veg is one of the best ways to eat healthier. It’s been inscribed in the rules books of healthy eating since we were young, so why would it change now? We’ve always been told to eat plenty of fruit and veg and there’s a good reason for it to. In total opposition to most processed foods, fruit and veg is low in calories and nutrient dense meaning they are the best types of food to fill up on.
Additionally, as well as eating plenty of fruit and veg, it is important that you get a variety of it too, eat the rainbow is the phrase. Different coloured fruit and vegetables carry varied vitamins and minerals that help the body ticking over nicely. Therefore, if you’re going to load your plate with anything, it’s probably best that you do it with vegetables.
5. Drink plenty of water
It is very easy to forget that drinks also contain calories as well as food. So, when you’re knocking back that bottle of coke, remember it contributes to your daily intake, and the same goes for the morning cappuccino. And don’t forget alcohol, there are 7kcal per gram and that’s not including all of the other things that are packed into beer, wine and spirits.
One of the body’s best way to detox is through drinking plenty of water. The guidelines are different for each person, but as a rough estimate, adults should drink around 2 litres per day. Drinking enough will keep you dehydrated and often stops you from unnecessarily snacking when you think you might be hungry.
Ways to eat healthier…
And it’s that simple, you know the 5 ways to eat healthier. You don’t need any special diet pills, or supplements to help you get on track to eating healthier. It’s all about going back to basics, eating as much fresh produce as possible and reducing your intake of processed foods.
One of the most important things to do is to be consistent and stick to your guns. Especially at this time of year so many people begin guns blazing and slowly begin to fall off the wagon because the hardest part is being consistent. Stick to these 5 rules and you’ll be set on a healthier way of living.