Food has become much more complicated than it should be. We have cooking foods, nutrition segments on popular TV shows, various supplements and super-foods which vie for our attention, and a continuous stream of news reports and articles which provide information — and often disinformation — about nutrition research and food quality.
Eating should be much simpler than that and it can be. In this post I will give you 15 tips that will make it easier to eat better every day. Enjoy.
1. Plan Your Meals In Advance
Food should be an adventure, but it doesn’t have to be a chaotic one. If you approach food with a whatever-comes attitude, you’ll be putting things in your mouth that have no business being there. You will also lose control over quantities. Plan your meals in advance and you will eat better and healthier.
2. Out Of Sight Out Of Mouth
If you have bad food in your kitchen and cupboards, it will, sooner rather than later, make its way into your mouth as well. You need to keep your kitchen free of fattening, unhealthy food. The harder it is for you to get these “negative” foods, the better it is.
3. Water Is Your Friend
Some people say that water makes them less hungry. Others don’t feel a difference. There are two things on which there is no argument: water is healthy and drinking water will make you less thirsty. Let’s expound the latter of the two: beverages also contain calories, some of them hundreds, but water is calorie free. It is also sugar, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals free.
Changing what you drink can save you thousands of calories each year and a good number of pounds. Water should be your main beverage. Drink more of it and reduce other beverages.
4. Have Healthy Snacks Ready
Temptation is all around us: in commercials, fast food joints, office parties, etc. If you find yourself hungry when encountering such temptations, you will likely succumb to them. The way to avoid that is to have healthy snacks with which to satisfy any sudden cravings. You should be armed with such snacks whenever you go to work, to school, long trips, and so on.
5. Eat With Attention
When you eat you satisfy physical and mental urges. You can give your body the calories it needs, but still feel a certain hunger: one which is psychological. This often happens when you eat without enjoying your food, when you are distracted by some other stimulation while you eat.
This is why eating at a table, without watching TV or reading, provides a fuller eating experience than many people enjoy. If you eat and remain hungry, eat with your full attention of your food and you may feel satiated.
6. Avoid Heavy Meals
Whatever is on the table will get eaten. This should be your assumption. It may not always be true, but it’s a good rule to follow. We eat with our eyes and once food is available, we want to try it out, to have more of it. So, if you get served a heavy, big meal, you will likely also eat a heavy, big meal and may become . . . well, you get the idea.
Your body doesn’t need a big injection of food. It does quite well with small-medium portions once every few hours. To prevent getting stuffed and reduce the risk of weight gain, you should avoid heavy meals.
7. Reduce The Sugar In Your Diet
While fat gets most of the attention in diets, sugar is also problematic. I’m talking about white, refined sugar as well as high fructose corn syrup. Sugar can quickly lead to weight gain and it may also boost your hunger. Sugar is everywhere, in foods as well as beverages. Reduce your intake of it and you will improve your health and reduce your waistline.
8. Read Labels
If you want to know what you’re eating you must read the label on the back of the product. Learn what each term means. Become adept at judging the health level of foods. Shop according to quality and not just price. Knowledge is power. Knowledge begins at the label.
9. Eat Simple
When you read product labels do you find a long list of ingredients, many of which with strange, convoluted names or mysterious, short terms? If so, proceed with caution. Often, it is very hard to know what these ingredients really mean and whether they are healthy for you or not.
I recommend eating simple food, with less ingredients and those which you know and understand. This isn’t a hard rule, but it does make keeping a healthy diet simpler.
10. Eat a Big Salad Every Day
We all know how healthy vegetables are. They provide a host of vitamins and minerals. A wide selection of vegetables is important to have a well-balanced, full diet.
Despite the fact that people are aware of the health benefits of vegetables, many people neglect eating enough of them. The solution is to eat a big salad as part of your diet routine. A big salad can be a meal in itself and be a valuable tool in any weight loss process. Salads are often lower in calories than other meal options, so you get more nutrients for less calories.
11. Cook Your Own Food
No one will take better care of you than . . . YOU. This goes for your finances, your insurance, your work, and your diet. If you delegate too much, you lose control. There are some things which you have to entrust to other people. Your diet is not one of them. You can and should cook for yourself. It is not hard to create healthy and tasty meals, and it doesn’t have to be time consuming either. When you cook for yourself, you know what goes into your body. You don’t let anyone else determine your food quality.
12. Enhance Taste With Caution
Is pasta fattening or not? What about bread? There’s not a definite yes or no answers to these questions as it depends on what you add to the pasta or bread. Whether it’s a sauce or a spread, what goes on the main ingredient can play a big role in determining whether the whole dish is healthy or not. So, enhance the taste with caution. Be aware of what the added materials contain in terms of calories and nutrients.
13. Get Enough Quality Protein
Protein, high quality one, is an important macro-nutrient which is important for building muscles and to maintain a controlled appetite. Quality protein comes from eggs, tuna and other fish, chicken, turkey, nuts and almonds and various seeds. Make sure you get enough of these foods each day.
14. Learn To Say No
Food is easy to get and there are plenty of people who are eager to offer it to you. Anyone who works in an office will encounter a variety of parties and events which include a large amount of food. Similar things happen in schools and universities. Anytime you meet a group of people, food is usually served, and it is not always the good kind. You need to be able to say no. This can save you from a whole host of problems.
15. Think Before You Eat
We get hungry for all sorts of reasons: physical and emotional. Often, when you feel hungry, it’s not because your body really needs nourishment; the hunger comes from an emotional source. You need to think before you eat. It’s the way to identify the nature of your hunger. Then, you will be able to eat only when you really need food.
I hope that these 15 tips have proven handy. Apply them and improve your diet for both health and weight loss.