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Living a healthy lifestyle with a focus on healthy eating is a goal of many people, and with good reason. There are many benefits to eating healthier. These include: living a longer life, weight maintenance or loss, increased productivity, improved mood and emotional well being, and even lowered health insurance rates.
These are mostly common sense reasons for eating healthier, but that doesn’t make the process easy. In fact, when you consider the prevalence of diet-related health issues and the obesity epidemic throughout the US, I’d say it’s downright impossible for most people. This is probably because eating healthier is considered akin to deprivation.
Good news though – it doesn’t have to be that way! Honestly, it’s possible to eat healthier and still enjoy life, and your meals, to the full. Incorporating small changes into your dietary habits can help you stave off any feelings of deprivation. There’s no magic formula to make spinach taste like chocolate cake, but let’s examine 5 simple changes you can start with today to get you started down a healthier path.
- Drink that H2O! I’m sure you know the common wisdom of drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day, and while that’s great advice, I’m talking specifically about using water to help you avoid gorging yourself. Before you sit down to a meal, or before you give in to a snack craving, drink a glass of water. In addition to helping to fill up your stomach so that you eat less, water can stop cravings cold since our bodies often mistake thirst for hunger.
- Do some condiment swapping. Use salsa or a simple oil and vinegar dressing on your salads instead of creamy, fat-ladened dressing. Swap out mayo for spicy mustard or avocado on your next sandwich. Mix up a dip with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Have fun experimenting with different options until you find the right combination for your tastebuds.
- Opt for healthy fats and skip the chemicals. If you think using margarine or low-fat/low-cal “spreads” is the healthy choice, think again! These items are chock-full of chemicals that your body will be much better off without. Use real butter, olive oil, coconut oil, or nut oils instead. Your body will thank you!
- Start your day on the right foot. I apologize in advance if I sound like your mother, but start your day with a healthy breakfast every single day. Jumpstart your metabolism and get your day going on the right foot. Some great options for a quick, healthy morning meal include: egg dishes of any kind, oatmeal, quinoa cereal, smoothies and smoothie bowls, Avocado whole-grain toast, or homemade granolas.
- Keep your sweet tooth satisfied. It’s natural for our bodies to crave sweet flavors, and there’s nothing wrong with giving into those cravings. You have my full permission to indulge when you’ve got healthy options, such as fruits, dark chocolate, homemade date-based balls, bars, or truffles, or even baked traditional desserts that are made with healthier substitutions, at hand.
Now that I’ve given you these ideas, what’s your excuse for not starting on a healthier path right now? Come on…you can do it! And we’ll be here providing tips and ideas every step of the way.