We all know the recipe for better overall wellness: a healthier diet and regular exercise. But while the steps towards weight loss and a healthier diet are simple, they definitely aren’t easy. Overhauling your meal plans and drastically changing your daily habits can feel like a daunting task. Instead, try making gradual changes over time.
Today, we’re showing you five small steps you can take this week towards a healthier diet. These small steps will add up to big changes in your overall health.
The best way to start your day off healthy is to eat a balanced breakfast. The Mayo Clinic found that people who eat a healthy breakfast tend to eat more vitamins, maintain a healthy weight, focus better throughout the day, and have fewer cravings.
The best breakfast, according to science? Eggs. These protein-packed powerhouses contain tons of nutrients and keep you feeling fuller longer. One study shows that those who eat eggs in the morning have better control of their diet throughout the day.
A balanced breakfast should also include fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.
Prepare yourself for those between-meal cravings. Instead of grabbing a high-fat snack from the office vending machine, come prepared with an apple, some low-fat cheese, a natural granola bar, or a couple of handfuls of almonds. Healthy snacks that are low in sugar will fill you up, steady your blood sugar, and keep you happy until your next meal.
Curbing a sweet tooth can be difficult, so start small if you need to. Sugar stimulates the same parts in the brain as cocaine, so it’s no wonder that craving is so hard to shake.
Small steps, like choosing water over sugary soft drinks or swapping a piece of fruit for a highly-processed afternoon snack, can add up to big changes in your overall health. Start by eliminating just one serving of sugar per day, and work your way up from there.
Meal planning is crucial to a healthy diet. Take a few minutes before your busy week to plan out healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Then, grocery shop for those items - and only those items. Keeping nutritious foods on-hand - and having a plan to eat those healthy foods when you’re hungry - will keep you from making poor choices during that afternoon slump.
One of the easiest ways to improve your diet and stay healthy is to choose healthier versions of the foods you already eat. Pick whole-grain bread instead of white. Use low-fat cheese or yogurt instead of whole milk varieties. Choose baked tortilla chips instead of fried.
Being healthy doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the foods you love. But choosing healthier alternatives can drastically reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other health problems.
If you are ready to revamp your nutrition, you don’t have to completely change your lifestyle. Small steps in your every day habits can add up to big changes in your overall health.