According to the World Health Organization, nearly two billion adults around the world are overweight, with more than half a billion are considered as obese. This is an alarming number, considering the health complications that come with obesity.
However, it all starts with this one thing: healthy eating.
Here’s the thing: healthy eating doesn’t happen overnight. It’s about choosing the right foods and employing the right eating techniques. Apparently, not everyone knows where to start, but don’t worry. Here are 17 eating strategies you can use to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle – and start feeling better about yourself now.
1. Prepare Your Own Food: The Simplest Way to Start Eating Better Today
How many times do you dine out in one week? If you rarely spend time with your kitchen, then perhaps now is the time to do so.
Here’s the deal: Eating out means you have less control on your food servings and food preparation. Since you don’t want to waste food and the money you spent paying for that meal, you ended up bringing it home where you can eat it the following day. This could also be the reason for the extra weight on your belly and thigh area.
Change that habit and do your best to prepare your own food. You have better control of the serving sizes and you are sure what goes in the food you are about to eat. At the same time, it is easier for you to take charge of what goes inside your body.
You don’t have to give up a romantic dinner for two with your partner or stay at home all the time, especially on important occasions. Save the eating out part for important celebrations and don’t forget to bring a packed lunch before heading out to work.
2. Water: Your First Step Towards Healthy and Better Eating
Surely, your mom bugged you and constantly reminded you to drink eight 10 glasses of water everyday. After all, it is good for you. Now that you are older, you appreciate why your mom kept on telling you about the benefits of water.
The truth is, water comes with tons of benefits for your body, such as:
- Keeps things going inside your digestion system.
- Naturally prevents your recurring headaches.
- Makes you feel refreshed, which could help in boosting your moods.
- Fights fatigue and keeps you energized, especially during workouts.
- Helps you lose weight by making you feel full and boosting your metabolism.
- Ensures your kidneys are in tiptop shape to facilitate waste removal inside your body.
Simple Tips to Help You Increase Your Water Intake
It isn’t easy to start drinking more water, so to get yourself in the habit with these simple tips:
- Make a water card to help you keep track of how much glasses of water you are drinking.
- Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go.
- Add a bit of lime or lemon on your water for extra punch.
- Choose water for drinks when dining out.
- Set reminders to remind yourself to drink more water.
- Drink a glass of water before, during and after meals.
3. Start Your Day With Black Coffee or Tea
Admit it. Like the rest of us, you probably can’t survive mornings without your daily cup of Joe. You enjoy adding sugar, creamer, or anything else to add more flavor to your drinks. Here’s the issue: how you drink your coffee affects not just your weight, but also your health.
To help you eat better and healthier, try black coffee. A cup of black coffee in the morning, which means no additional ingredients, contains up to two calories and zero grams of fat and minimizes the calorie and fat content of your drink. It also comes with antioxidant benefits and offers protection against various diseases like Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Go ahead and try it. If you don’t like the plain taste, add a half teaspoon of honey or sugar for sweetness.
4. Say Goodbye to Processed Foods to Start Traversing the Healthy Eating Path
How can you say no to bacon or sausage in the morning? Unfortunately, recent reports from the World Health Organization say that processed meat causes cancer. Aside from increasing your risk of cancer, processed meat can also mess up with your digestion, makes your gain weight, and increases your anxiety levels.
So, what can you do?
Get rid of all processed foods in your kitchen. Take a look at your pantry and freezer to see if you have the following:
- Refined Sugar
- Vegetable Oil
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Artificial Additives
- Refined Grains
There are tons of healthier alternatives in case you feel your tummy rumbling, which you will learn more about in the succeeding sections.
5. Bid Goodbye to Processed and Welcome Whole Foods with Open Arms
Now that you tossed away processed food, it’s now time to hit the supermarket and stock your fridge and pantry with lots of whole food. This includes fruits, vegetables, beans, unrefined grains, nuts and seeds.
In other words, whole foods are:
- Without Salt
- Contain No Added Fat
- Has No Added Sweeteners
- Is Free of Artificial Additives
Why go for whole foods? Whole foods are better for you, because whole foods are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. They keep you healthy, more youthful, and far more energized, and for longer, too. At the same time, they won’t give you a guilty feeling after eating while minimizing the bloated feelings.
6. Leafy Greens: A Surefire Way to Rev Up Your Healthy Eating Goals
Speaking of whole foods, leafy greens are one of the superfoods you should include in your daily diet. Surely, you heard and read countless times about the importance of leafy greens. The truth is green leafy veggies help you detoxify, alkalize your body, and keep your mineral levels up. At the same time, they contain important nutrients like zinc, iron, and magnesium to strengthen your immune system, boost your energy levels, and keep your skin clear.
Use the following tips to add leafy greens into your diet:
What are you waiting for? Make sure to get your supply of kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, and spinach to boost your health.
7. One Green Smoothie a Day will Keep Your Doctor Away
What comes to your mind when you hear the word, “smoothie?” Most of the time, you associate it with fruits, something sweet, or a drink to jumpstart your day.
Here’s the challenge: how do you turn your morning smoothie into something healthy?
In this case, try a green smoothie. It satisfies your sugar cravings, supplies your body with essential nutrients to keep you energized, and cleanses your colon. Aside from this, green smoothies are rich in chlorophyll, a powerful antioxidant that eliminates pesticides, toxins and other unwanted substances inside your body.
Simple Green Smoothie Recipe
Here’s how to make a green smoothie in a snap:
- In a blender, blend two ripe bananas or one large ripe mango, two handfuls of spinach or any of your preferred leafy greens, and up to two cups of water.
- Blend until smooth then place it in an attractive container to encourage you to drink more.
Remember, it’s just one green smoothie a day and you will see a difference in your body. This leads you to the next tip.
8. Skip the Sweetened Drinks Regardless of the Occasion
You may be tempted to gulp on juices and soda when you are out on a date or dining with friends or family, or having dinner at your parents’ place every Sunday. This becomes your excuse, since you don’t do it often.
What if dining out happens often?
Then do your best to replace sweetened beverages, including the “diet” versions. In other words, skip the sweetened and carbonated drinks, regardless of the occasion you are celebrating. Aside from the calories, this type of drink has added sugar and could lead to cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and diabetes.
If you want some added punch in your drinks, add fruit, like lemon and orange in your water. It is good for your waistline,too.
Are you still wondering what other healthy changes you can make? There are more eating strategies waiting for you below, so make sure you will stick around and read the rest.
9. Develop New and Effective Eating Habits for a Better and Healthier You
Let’s say you have the necessary tools ready on hand to start healthy eating habits. This doesn’t necessarily follow that you are on your road to health and fitness. Most of the time, your eating habits play a crucial role in this arena.
What does this mean?
How you eat your food matters. Here are tips and techniques you need to remember to make sure you set yourself up for success – in eating:
- Keep the healthiest foods in front of the fridge.
- Think smaller portions when serving and eating meals.
- Hide the bigger plates to avoid the temptation to eat more.
- Stick to fruit for dessert.
- Make every meal last for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Pace your mealtime, giving each meal a gap of at least three hours.
- Always snack in handfuls and avoid bringing the entire bag of popcorn when watching TV.
10. The Challenge: Change Things Up When Inside the Grocery Store
Here’s the deal: eating healthy starts with what you buy in the grocery store. It’s not enough that you know what healthy eating is all about. You should be able to practice what you learned by applying it when inside the supermarket.
Grocery Tips for You to Live By:
- Always make a grocery list – and stick to it to avoid impulse buys.
- Do not go to the grocery when hungry to prevent unhealthy food items from finding their way into your shopping cart.
- Stay away from canned products, since they tend to have more salt or sugar.
- Buy in bulk and divide it into portions to cut down both the costs and serving sizes.
- Read the labels before buying anything for you to know what goes inside your body.
- Stick to the edges in the grocery store, since the outer edges are usually reserved for fresh produce, bread, meat and dairy.
Take note of these tips and write them in a piece of paper to remind you of what to buy to encourage healthy eating not just for yourself, but also for your family.
11. Counting Calories: Why It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
Someone told you that the best way to lose weight and be healthy is by counting how many calories you consume in a day. The lesser calories you have, the better. This explains why there are many food delivery services available where you can choose how much calories to consume per meal.
Here’s the thing: eating healthy is not dependent on how many calories you eat. Checking the nutrition label and jotting down how much calories you had on a specific time while deducting it to know how much more you need could be tiring, annoying, and time consuming.
Instead of worrying too much on how much calories you are getting, focus more on meals that includes variety, freshness and color. If you want to maintain nutrition and balance in your meals, then forget about counting calories.
Speaking of colors, this leads us to the next eating strategy.
12. Rainbow Reset: Eat More Colors to Encourage Healthy Eating
One of the top tips to encourage picky eater kids is to add more color in their meals. The more colorful their plates are, the higher the chances of eating healthy.
Why not adopt this technique to encourage you to eat healthy?
Here’s something you should know about keeping your food colorful: the bright colors in fruits and vegetables signify concentrated nutrients such as fiber, antioxidants and vitamins, which are good for your health. This follows that the more colorful your plate is, the more diverse the range of nutrients your body is getting.
The best part is it will naturally fill you up, thereby minimizing your cravings for unhealthy food.
Create a rainbow-colored plate with these foods:
- Greens – Lettuce, mustard greens, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, and kale are some of your best options. They are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium, among other nutrients.
- Fruits – Add berries for cancer-fighting properties, citrus fruits for vitamin C, apples for fiber, and bananas for potassium.
- Sweet Vegetables – This includes carrots, corn, squash, beets, onions, sweet potatoes, and yam. The good thing about these foods is that they are natural sweeteners, thereby reducing sugar cravings.
The bottom line is to keep your plate as colorful as possible.
13. Small But Mighty: Sneaking Seeds in Everything You Eat
The phrase, “Small but mighty” surely applies to seeds. They may be tiny, but they contain essential nutrients like fiber, iron, and protein, which your body needs for optimal health. However, it’s not just any kind of seeds you can find in the supermarket.
Here are some healthy seeds you should add in your diet:
- Chia Seeds – This superfood has high amounts of soluble fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, folate, and magnesium, which are all essential for boosting your health.
- Pumpkin Seeds – These seeds have high concentration of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps lower your anxiety levels.
- Hemp Seeds – This is a great source of protein and fiber, which helps promote heart and gastrointestinal health.
- Sunflower Seeds –This superfood is an excellent source of B vitamins and promotes healthy immune system. It is also rich in vitamin E to maintain healthy skin and hair.
- Flaxseeds –This type of seed is a great source of soluble fiber, which lowers your cholesterol, stabilizes your blood sugar, and makes you feel fuller longer.
- Quinoa – This “most popular superfood” is loaded with protein, fiber, iron, zinc, and magnesium among others. It also has low glycemic index that prevents a boost in your blood sugar levels.
Simple Chia Seed Pudding
Here’s a simple pudding you can make using chia seeds:
- In a blender, combine two cups of almond milk and16 ounces of fresh strawberries.
- Pour in a bowl.
- Add one-half cup of chia seeds, one-fourth cup of raw honey and one teaspoon of vanilla extract into the strawberry mixture.
- Refrigerate for four hours or overnight.
14. Save the Cake and Other Sweets on Your Birthday
In every special occasion, cake and other baked goodies will always be staples in the table. In fact, a celebration will never be complete without this. Here’s the thing: it could take a toll on your waistline.
Let me tell you a secret that will help you in getting started with healthy eating: when it comes to cakes and sweets, do not use events as an excuse to get your hands on one slice. Celebrating every birthday, anniversary, and other important milestones in life is fine. However, this doesn’t mean you should eat sweets all the time.
The point is to redefine what special occasion really means where you can indulge in a slice of cake. That way, you will enjoy the cake better and appreciate it more.
15. Practice Product Placement Strategies at Home
Marketing and advertising dictate that in most circumstances, you buy what you first see. This is the reason why some companies insist on placing their products at eye level to entice you to buy them, even if you don’t need them.
Apply this science inside your home; however, you don’t need shelves just like what you see in the grocery store. This simply means that put healthy food choices on the table, on the kitchen counter, or in front of the refrigerator. Keep cheat foods out of sight to minimize your need to graze. By employing this technique, you will be able to reduce your cravings and urge to eat.
What should be on your table?
Place fruits and nuts in bowls, instead of chips and salty crackers. You can also make your own chia seed pudding or homemade trail mix using nuts and seeds,and place it on front of the fridge where you can easily see them.
The bottom line is to place the healthy foods in easily accessible areas in your home and hide processed and junk foods deep in the pantry.
16. Ways to Make Smart Ingredient Swaps in Your Meals
Here’s the thing about healthy eating: when you cut back on unhealthy foods in your meals, you have to make sure that you will replace them with healthier alternatives. Switching to healthier alternatives could make a difference.
Here is a list of healthy but yummy food substitution.
- Sweeten your smoothies and shakes with dates.
- Spread avocado, not mayonnaise on your sandwiches.
- Bake zucchini or sweet potatoes for your dose of French fries.
- Freeze grapes and eat them like candy.
- Keep your soup smooth and creamy with potatoes or cashews.
- Make your own pizza dough using cauliflower.
- Go for oatmeal, not breadcrumbs on your meatballs and meatloaf.
- Try lettuce wraps instead of tortilla.
- Make flourless brownies using black beans.
17. Attitude Adjustment: When It Comes to Food, Don’t Hate, Appreciate
Growing up, you learned that there are two types of food: good and bad. Later on, you realized that the “bad” foods make you bigger while the “good” ones are, well, good for your body. Because of this, there is a tendency to restrict yourself and ban certain foods.
Here comes the problem: the more you ban certain food groups, the more you crave them. This encourages you to give into temptation.
Instead of restricting yourself to eat only this particular set of food, why not reduce the portion size of the unhealthy ones, one day at a time. It would also help if you make unhealthy ones less accessible until you forgot that you have those in your pantry. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, cravings lessen and you will think of them as an occasional indulgence.
Things to Bear in Mind
It takes one step at a time to help you start eating healthy and feel better about yourself. Take note of these 17 strategies to get you better in achieving your health and fitness goals. Try one each week and you’ll soon adopt healthier habits.
Keep in mind that the journey will never be easy. Relax, don’t rush, have discipline, and you will soon find yourself feeling that healthy eating is already a part of your system.