We all know that eating healthy has major benefits for our body and mind, but sometimes it’s not an easy as it seems. Healthy eating often requires effort and sometimes the quick, convenient solution is more tempting. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult though! There are some healthy eating hacks that can make it that much easier for you to reach for the healthy option and to turn that decision into a habit. Follow along for our tips and tricks to eat healthy every day:
Plan Meals Ahead of Time
One of the best ways to have a healthy diet is to plan your meals in advance. Try to sit down on the weekend and plan out what you’ll have for dinner that week and make a grocery list based on these meals. This method eliminates any stress throughout the week and helps you choose healthy, wholesome options since you have them planned out in advance.
You could also do this with your lunch and breakfast, but having a few healthy options on hand may be sufficient if you tend to opt for lighter options for these meals. Smoothies, oatmeal, salads, and omelettes are a few easy go-to options for these meals.
Write a Grocery List
Have you ever got to the grocery store and felt overwhelmed with the amount of options so you end up wandering aimlessly? This is definitely a common problem for many, which often results in a cart full of random items. To make your grocery trips quick and effective, we suggest writing a list in advance based on your weekly meal plan.
Writing a grocery list ensures that you purchase items that pair together well and ones that will definitely be put to good use. It also ensures that you aren’t tempted by unhealthy options.
Prep Fruits and Veggies at Beginning of Week
Set yourself up for success throughout the week by prepping all your fruits and veggies in the fridge so they’re an easy option to grab. Before your week begins, wash up all your fruits and veggies and chop them up so they’re the easy choice when you make your way to the kitchen to grab a snack.
Taking out the barrier of having to wash and cut up your fruit throughout the week will make you reach for these healthy options more often. Your future self will thank you for the extra effort on the weekend.
Increase Water Intake
Sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re actually just thirsty. To avoid excessively snacking when it’s not necessary, ensure to keep your body hydrated throughout the day. If you do feel hungry, try drinking water first. If you feel satisfied, you were likely just dehydrated.
Aside from helping you feel full, drinking water has major benefits for your body and mind. Drinking water helps to carry nutrients to your cells, aids digestion, flushes bacteria, improves brain function, lubricates your joints, and so much more.
Increase Your Fiber and Protein Intake
If you eat a big meal but still don’t feel full or satisfied, this could be due to the fact that you’re not consuming enough fiber and protein. These are two kinds of food that will help you feel full for a longer period of time and will help you avoid reaching for unhealthy snacks between meals.
A few good sources of protein are eggs, lean meats, and poultry, while fruits, veggies and nuts can provide you with a boost of fiber.
Meal Prep Ahead of Time
Meal prepping is one of the best ways to ensure you’re eating healthy throughout the week. Meal prepping may not be realistic for every meal throughout the week, but even if you could meal prep for your lunches or breakfasts throughout the week, this is a great start.
Meal prepping is a great way to provide you with a healthy meal that you can simply heat up and eat when you’re short on time. To do this, spend a few hours on the weekend cooking and separating each meal into a container to be consumed throughout the week.
Stock up on Healthy Snacks
It’s effortless to grab a healthy snack when they’re readily available to you. Rather than stocking your pantry with high-sodium chips and pastries, try filling your space with more wholesome options.
You could stock up on low-sugar protein bars, carrot sticks with hummus, frozen fruit for smoothies, yogurt with granola, or a handful of mixed nuts. It makes a huge difference having healthy options in eyesight rather than a pantry filled with convenient, less-healthy ones.
Have you ever found yourself quickly shoving food into your mouth to move on with your day? This could be a big reason why you don’t feel full after eating. It’s been proven that eating slower can help you feel full faster and also help you feel generally more satisfied.
Be sure to be mindful as you eat and chew slowly. This actually has even further benefit than just helping you feel full longer. If you eat slower, you’ll chew your food properly, which will help your system digest your food easier and help your body absorb more nutrients.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Cutting out sugary beverages is a simple hack to consuming less sugar overall throughout the day. High-sugar soda, fruit juices and even highly sweetened coffee are sneaky ways that you may be consuming too much sugar without even thinking about it.
There are so many healthy options that you can drink to keep you hydrated without all the added sugar and adverse health effects. Try infusing your water with juicy fruit, blending a smoothie, or opting for a sparkling water as a healthy alternative.
Read Nutrition Labels
While obsessing over nutrition labels isn’t necessary, it is good to be aware of what exactly is in the foods you purchase. Don’t be fooled by gimmicky marketing phrases such as “low-calorie,” “low sugar,” or “reduced fat” though.
Instead, opt for reading the actual nutritional facts. Some areas you should be aware of are fat, cholesterol, and sodium. You should also evaluate the levels of fiber, vitamins, calcium, and iron. Also remember to keep in mind the serving size when weighing these metrics.
Eat at the Table
Another good tactic for eating healthy everyday is to make a habit out of eating at the table. If you’re someone who tends to eat on the couch or while working, it may be time to reevaluate this habit.
When you’re not fully focussing on the food in front of you, you’re less likely to feel full or satisfied after the meal. This can also make it easier for you to overeat because you’re passively eating instead of being mindful and focussing on your meal.
Find Balance and Treat Yourself
With all this being said, one of the best tips to eating healthy every day is to remain balanced and treat yourself every once in a while. It’s not a healthy lifestyle if there’s over-restriction occurring regularly.
If your body is craving something, let yourself have it, within reason of course. It’s not necessary to cut every “unhealthy” food out of your lifestyle, but it is important to have mindful habits so you can be self-aware and balanced.