A good diet and proper nutrition is a vital part of any healthy lifestyle. The food you eat will have a significant impact on your health. Following a nutritious diet will help keep your body strong, boost your energy levels, and prevent chronic health conditions. Fortunately, there are endless ways to improve your daily diet and eating habits. With that in mind, here are six tips to improve your diet and nutrition.
1. Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables
It is common knowledge that we should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This is recommended because fruit and vegetables contain high levels of vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetables are also fantastic sources of fiber, which aids digestion and helps to prevent health issues such as constipation. Eating sufficient amounts of fruit and veg is, therefore, an easy way to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to function healthily. Despite this, a recent survey by the CDC found that only 1 in 10 adults eat enough fruit and vegetables. If you’re struggling to include fruit and veg in your diet, then here are some tips to help you:
- Make a delicious smoothie for breakfast using lots of fresh and frozen fruit.
- Add finely chopped vegetables to meals like lasagne, stews, and curries.
- Replace common carbs with vegetables i.e. try making zucchini pasta.
- Add banana, strawberry, or other fruit to your cereal in the morning.
- Try a variety of new fruit and vegetables to find new favorites.
- Add a side salad to your dish.
2. Avoid crash dieting
Many people have a fitness goal to lose excess weight or drop their body fat percentage. Lowering your BMI can be a fantastic way to boost your overall health and fitness levels, but it must be done gradually, using healthy methods. It may be tempting to lose weight fast through crash diets, juice detoxes, or diet pills. While these techniques may deliver quick results, they are rarely effective long-term and can even cause lasting damage to your health. According to pritikin.com, crash diets can cause electrolyte imbalances, heart palpitations, and a weakened immune system. Therefore, it is always best to take a sensible approach to weight loss and set yourself realistic goals and expectations. Flexible dieting is an excellent way to lose weight healthily. This is because it is not too restrictive and enables you to continue enjoying social situations and the occasional treat while still achieving your weight goals. You can use a macro calculator from Myprotein to track your daily food intake and adjust your diet accordingly, whether this is to support your weight loss goals through flexible dieting or other goals.
3. Don’t drink calories
Sugary drinks are empty calories and drinking them too often can quickly lead to weight gain, but it can also put you at more risk of developing health conditions like type 2 diabetes. A calorie count chart on medlineplus.gov states that there are around 140 calories in a standard serving of cola. Keep in mind that fruit juices can also contain lots of natural sugar and high numbers of calories. You can drink fresh fruit juice as part of a balanced diet, although you should limit the amount you’re drinking to around one glass a day. Soda can add huge amounts of unnecessary sugar and calories to your diet. Drinking sugary drinks can also harm your dental health and cause tooth erosion and cavities, so stick with drinking water or sugar-free alternatives such as tea.
4. Eat at regular times
Trying to eat at set times when you have a busy schedule or work irregular hours isn’t going to be easy; however, it is possible. However, eating food at regular times helps to get you into a healthy routine, while ensuring that your body is getting all the nutrients that it needs to function correctly. Eating regular meals will also aid your digestion and give you sufficient energy to remain productive throughout the day. Breakfast is commonly referred to as “the most important meal of the day” and this is for good reason. Eating breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period and kickstarts your metabolism. Begin each day with a nutritious breakfast such as eggs, wholegrain bread, low-sugar cereal, or fat-free yogurt with fruit. You can find a fantastic selection of quick and healthy breakfast recipes by reading online cooking blogs. Try to eat your lunch and dinner at roughly the same time each day and have healthy snacks in between meals to keep your energy levels high.
5. Choose healthy snacks
Eating snacks will keep your energy levels up throughout the day and provide you with an extra source of nutrition. Snacking can also aid weight loss by controlling hunger and preventing you from overindulging at mealtimes. That being said, the calories from unhealthy snacks can add up quickly and increase your daily calorie intake without you knowing. This will make it difficult to maintain your ideal weight and body shape. Some snacks that are perceived as being healthy, like granola bars and smoothies, can also contain high amounts of sugar and hidden calories, so always read the nutritional information on the packets carefully. Luckily, there is an excellent variety of healthy snacks that can give you an energy boost without adding extra calories to your diet. Some of the best healthy snacks to indulge in are fruit slices with peanut butter, fat-free yogurt with berries, mixed nuts, and vegetable crisps.
6. Drink enough water
This one is extremely simple to do. Having enough water is vital to your health and wellbeing. Your body needs sufficient water to aid digestion, flush waste and toxins from your body, and support various other bodily functions. Increasing your water intake can also improve your complexion and aid weight loss as thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Therefore, you should pay attention to the amount of water you are drinking and try to consume around two liters of water a day. This amount equates to roughly eight glasses.