I don’t know about you, but I always find that the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to start fresh and set some goals for myself.
One of my goals for this year is to finally get on track with eating healthy. I’m sure I’m not alone in this – which is why I wanted to share some tips that have helped me in the past in hopes that they might help you too!
Here are 7 tips for sticking with healthy eating habits:
Find a balance that works for you
The old adage of ‘everything in moderation’ may be more relevant now than ever; while it is important to focus on nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet, it is also reasonable to still enjoy some of your favorite treats that are admittedly not always the healthiest.
As long as they are not the only source of nutrition and you do practice mindful eating where possible, the occasional ‘cheat meal’ is okay.
The idea should not be to try and eliminate all unhealthy food groups from your diet, but rather to find a balance that works best for you by moderating your intake as well as focusing on adding in healthier options when you can.
A healthy lifestyle comes down to making small yet meaningful changes over time instead of forcing yourself into unrealistic dietary habits.
Make sure you’re getting enough protein
Eating protein-rich foods should be part of every meal in order to feel fuller longer and have sustained energy during the day.
Protein helps provide the necessary building blocks for tissue repair and growth, aiding overall health.
Popular sources of protein include meats like poultry, beef, pork, and fish, as well as plant-based sources like beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
Eating a combination of these sources throughout the day will allow you to get the full spectrum of essential amino acids that your body needs.
Additionally, adding more protein-rich foods can help reduce sugar cravings and increase satiety levels so you don’t overindulge on unhealthy snacks. Make sure to incorporate these tasty options into every meal to get enough protein!
Incorporate healthy fats into your diet
While many people think of fats as being unhealthy, there are actually good fats that can have impressive health benefits.
Adding healthy fats to your diet can help improve your cholesterol levels and prevent risk of heart disease.
Some good sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, and olive oil. So next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up some of these items to help improve your overall health!
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should be part of everyone’s daily diet, as they provide an abundance of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Eating a rainbow-colored plate with a mix of colorful fruits and veggies ensures that your body is getting the variety of nutrition it needs to stay healthy.
Whether you prefer crunchy apples or sweet strawberries, vibrant kale or creamy avocados, the abundance and variety of options from the produce section make it easy to add tastiness – as well as nutrition – to any dish!
And since their preparation can be done in so many different ways, there’s no risk of boring meals either. Fruits and vegetables are nature’s nutritious gifts; don’t forget to take advantage!
Can you tell I am obsessed? I loved fruits my entire life so eating them by themselves is not a problem. However, veggies were a bit more difficult to incorporate into my diet. If you’ve always stayed away from veggies, the easier way to add them is by incorporating them into your cheat meals.
Personally, I love adding spinach or broccoli to my creamy pasta recipes. They contribute a lot and yet the taste is not all that noticeable. Another easy way to eat veggies is by including them in a smoothie – with the right fruit combo, you won’t even taste them and yet you will benefit from all the vitamins they came packed with
After a while, it gets easier to eat them, as you get used to them, however, experimentation plays a huge role here so I highly recommend you have fun. I promise you that soon you will be eating veggies daily without making faces at your plate.
Bonus: Our top picks of blenders for that delicious smoothies
Avoid sugary drinks
When reaching for something to drink, it is important to think twice about the amount of sugars in your beverage. Sugary drinks provide lots of empty calories without any nutrition.
Too many of these empty calories can contribute to weight gain, putting an individual at risk for a myriad of health problems. Instead, reach for water or unsweetened tea; both are sugar-free and calorie-free, plus offer many energizing and hydrating benefits.
A little sugar might be worth it in moderation – just be sure to make an informed decision next time you head for the fridge.
Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated is critical for a healthy lifestyle, and drinking lots of water can help you attain that goal.
Drinking the recommended amount of water each day can have a plethora of benefits. It flushes toxins from your body, meaning you won’t put yourself at risk for health complications caused by toxins lingering in the body.
Additionally, it helps fill you up, eliminating cravings for unhealthy snacks packed with calories and unhealthy fats.
Plus, it prevents dehydration – an often overlooked risk which can be detrimental to your physical and mental well-being.
All in all, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water should be worked into anyone’s daily routine!
Bonus: Our favourite on-the-go water bottles
Taking the reins of your diet and focusing on eating healthier does not have to be overwhelming. If you focus on finding a balance between equally indulgent and nutrient-rich meals, ensure your protein levels are adequate, incorporate healthy fats into your diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, and avoid sugary drinks, you will see results.
Even gradual changes in your habits can make a tremendous difference in how you feel over time – physically and mentally. Yes, mentally as well. You will be surprised just how clear your head will feel after a couple of weeks of adopting a much healthier lifestyle. It is just insane, but do not take my word for it. Try it for yourself.
With that being said, eating healthier does not have to be mundane or monotonous; it just requires a little extra effort and planning to make sure you are providing your body with the nutrition it needs! It can actually be fun after a while, as long as you are open to the idea that is and do not force yourself to adopt a lifestyle that does not work for you or set unrealistic expectations.
What tips do you have for maintaining healthy eating habits?
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