Are you feeling determined to start eating healthier but aren’t exactly sure where to start? You can do multiple small things each day to create new habits and have a much more nutritious diet that will make you feel better and happier! Here are 10 easy ways to improve your diet that you could start using today to reach your healthier goal.
1. Make a meal plan
Making a meal plan is one of the easiest ways to organize and improve your diet. Grab a piece of paper or purchase a journal just for your meal planning. Write down your meal ideas for the coming days or the entire week, and be sure to include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and healthy snacks throughout the day.
Writing down your meal plans also helps you decide on your grocery list. Sometimes, we tend to purchase random unhealthy foods at the grocery store when we don’t have a clue what we want to eat that week. Having a meal plan set, though, will help you know exactly what to buy and will make grocery shopping a breeze.
2. Eat more fruit each day
Another way to improve your diet is to eat more fruits each day. Nutritionists recommend that we eat at least one fruit per day, which surprisingly, many people don’t even do. Fruits are a vital source of vitamins, though, and shouldn’t be forgotten from our daily savaging.
Fruits are perfect additions to breakfast, for example, oatmeal with bananas and blueberries. Or, you could also have fruit as one of your afternoon snacks, like a couple of oranges or raspberries. The more fruit per day, the better, and luckily fruit is nature’s candy, so this is an easy and delicious way to improve your diet.
3. Limit your meat intake
Although doing so is sometimes easier said than done, limiting the amount of meat you eat will drastically help you improve your diet. Not only does meat have very high amounts of calories, but they are incredibly high in saturated fat. They can also cause high cholesterol and increase your risk of developing heart disease.
By limiting your meat intake, you will give your body a much-needed refresher. You don’t have to give up meat altogether to enhance your diet. You can start small; for example, instead of having eggs and bacon for breakfast, just stick with eggs and toast. Do this a few days a week, and your diet and weight will show improvements.
4. Go vegetarian a few days per week
If you want to take your “limiting meat” habit up a notch, why not try going vegetarian a couple of days a week? This is fantastic for your diet because you can focus on vitamin-rich vegetables, fruits, and nuts on these meat-free days that will make you feel energized like never before.
Many people are against going vegetarian because they don’t know what to cook or have a misconception that they won’t get enough protein without meat. You can find amazing vegetarian recipes online, though, and there are multiple plant-based protein sources, like beans, that will guarantee your required protein.
5. Cook at home
Another simple way to improve your diet is to cook at home and eat out less. Instead of getting fast food after work, try to cook something at home! Not only will this save you money, but you will also feel much better. Processed fast food is full of preservatives, added sugars, and salt that can leave you feeling bloated, gross, and even tired.
Cooking at home can be a pain if you don’t know what to cook, but you can find some easy recipes online that are diet-friendly and easy to make. If you don’t have much time to cook at home, you can also meal prep each week so you will have a healthy, home-cooked meal when you’re on the run or at work.
6. Eat vitamin-rich foods rather than taking supplements
It’s better to eat vitamin-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, instead of taking supplements. Research shows that supplement pills do not work as shortcuts to better health.
Supplements are created with different structures than natural vitamins, so our bodies do not process pills the same way, making them less effective. Instead of buying costly vitamin supplements, you can save money and get the vitamins you need by simply eating healthier. A few examples of foods high in vitamins are vegetables, fish, nuts, oats, fruit, and many more.
7. Plan your cheat days/cheat meals
When you first begin to eat healthily, you may decide to cut out all unhealthy things you love. Though this is ultimately necessary to reach your health goals, cutting out your favorite things can cause cravings and could potentially ruin your progress.
To avoid this, plan out cheat days or specific cheat meals so you can reward yourself for all your healthy eating! For example, you can choose to have a cheat day every Friday. Or, if you want to cheat as little as possible, you can allow yourself a sweet treat after lunch a couple of days a week.
8. Drink a glass of water before meals
Another way to improve your diet is to drink a full glass of water approximately 30 minutes before eating meals. The glass of water will make you feel fuller before you eat, which will result in reduced appetite and improved digestion. If you tend to overeat when you’re full, this is a great option to reduce your eating portions.
If you drink a glass of water consistently before meals, this could also help you lose weight. Drinking water slows the entire eating process, which helps your body realize that it is full and stops you from overeating.
9. Eat more colorfully
Have you ever heard of the term eat the rainbow? If you want to improve your diet, the more color in your food, the better. Different color foods are sources of different types of vitamins, all of which your body needs to function properly.
Next time you cook a meal, don’t just focus on the greens; also try to add in colorful vegetables, like purple onions, and eat different colored fruits for sweet desserts.
10. Hold the salt
The last easy thing you can do to improve your diet is to reduce the amount of salt you put on your food. It’s very common that people use too much salt in their daily meals, and too much sodium can lead to health problems in the future.
Try to limit your amount of salt intake to around 1500 milligrams per day. Make small changes to your seasoning habits to avoid the need for extra salt. If you’re worried about food tasting bland, you can also utilize other spices that do not have high sodium levels and will taste delicious on your food.
The road to a healthy diet is not always easy, but these 10 ways to improve your diet should definitely help you reach your health goals in no time.