Your health is one of the most important aspects of a happy, satisfying life, but if you’re trying to hold down a career, and perhaps take care of a family, it can be increasingly challenging to hold on to a healthy diet for extended periods of time. Today, we want to make this process a bit easier by talking about some easy tips that you can utilize to improve your diet, without sacrificing any more of your time.
1. Weekly Shopping
Let’s face it, if you want to eat healthy, you’re going to have to start buying and cooking your own food. The problem with cooking is that you need to have a constant supply of groceries, and getting groceries can be a time-consuming process – if you’re not smart about it, that is. Planning ahead and knowing what meals you’re going to be preparing the following week, and then buying all the necessary groceries in one big visit to the store is the best way to handle this, and then all that’s left is actually making the meals.
2. Meal Prep
Cooking is a time-consuming process, but only because of the time that it takes to prepare for it and clean up afterwards. By cooking multiple meals at the same time and putting them in the freezer for later, you only have to prepare and clean up once, instead of four or five times. Then, when it’s time for your next meal, you just have to defrost one of your existing meals, at any time during the week.
3. Increase Fruits and Vegetables
Experts recommend eating at least 5 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit per day. Choose fruits and veggies that are currently in season – for example, broccoli, kohlrabi and cabbage are all winter veggies – as those will likely be fresher and cheaper.
4. Coffee in Moderation
Sometimes the best way to eat more healthy is to stop existing habits instead of trying to create new ones, and an unhealthy habit that a lot of people have is drinking too much coffee. Excess caffeine is bad for your liver and can contribute to dehydration, so make sure you don’t overdo it. A cup or two a day should be fine, but you probably don’t want to have more than that.
5. No Midnight Snacking
Our bodies are not that good at digesting food after a certain time in the evening, which is why experts recommend letting your stomach rest after 8PM. This promotes healthy bowels, and can actually help you lose weight since you aren’t bombarding your organism with calories during a time when it can’t really get the most out of them.
6. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a cheap, healthy and easy-to-prepare alternative to bread, and it’s so easy to cook up a weekly batch and have some anytime you need a “filler” food. It’s also much more nutritious than white rice because the hull of the grain that contains various vitamins and minerals is left intact instead of peeled away.
7. Increase Your Fiber
Fiber is a type of sugar that is actually indigestible to your body, but is nevertheless essential for maintaining proper bowel function and speeding up your metabolism. It’s easy to introduce fiber into your diet – just up your intake of fruit and vegetables. Starfruit and enoki mushrooms are a great source of fiber that not many people know about, as are all types of berries, nuts and even oatmeal.
8. Healthy Snacks
Instead of snacking on stuff like chips, just bring along some sliced carrots (raw) or an apple. Most of the time, when your brain craves snacks it is simply bored – which is completely normal – so it doesn’t actually matter what you’re snacking. Might as well be healthy!
9. Drink More Water
The brain isn’t always perfect at figuring out what it needs, so it can often mistake hunger for thirst, especially if you don’t usually drink a lot of water. The next time you feel like craving something unhealthy, try just drinking a tall glass of water – chances are that you’re just thirsty.
10. Stop Overeating
Finally, it’s important to emphasize that the best way you can improve your diet is probably just to stop overeating. This is a big problem for a lot of people these days, and a good rule of thumb is to simply stop when you’re about 70% full – or when you’re no longer hungry.