What you eat each day affects how you feel and your overall health and well-being. Proper nutrition is very important in helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Creating healthy eating habits does not have to be difficult and only takes small changes at a time. Making small changes at a time can genuinely impact your eating habits, providing lasting healthy eating habits that become a part of your life. Here are three basic principles you can focus on, one step at a time, to create healthier eating habits.
1. Prepare Healthy Snacks
Preparing snacks ahead of time makes you more likely to eat them in the future. Making sure these snacks are nutritious and easy to grab is so helpful. Have some cut-up fruits or vegetables in the fridge at eye level, and you’ll be more likely to grab them. Peppers, carrots, berries, or orange slices are all simple foods that are nutritious and easy to prepare. Pairing these fruits and vegetables with a healthy dip such as honey or peanut butter can make them more enjoyable to eat. Prepare your snacks and meals ahead of time on your days off or during the weekend to guarantee the nutritious foods you need for the week.
2. Drink Water Instead of Sugary Drinks
It can be challenging to get in your water, but staying hydrated is vital to your health, especially in the hot summer months. Soft drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks can contain unnecessary amounts of sugar and calories that our bodies do not need. Steering away from these types of drinks and replacing them with water is a straightforward principle of healthy living. There are multiple ways you can add flavor to your water to make it more tasteful and easier to get in the hydration. I like to add fresh fruit such as; lemon, lime, strawberry, or mint to my water to make it more refreshing.
3. Eat Plenty of Vegetables and Fruits
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential to getting an adequate intake of nutrients daily. There are many ways to get your fruit and vegetable intake in. One of my favorite ways to do this is to make smoothies with fruits and vegetables. You can add a scoop of protein powder or peanut butter to add some protein to your smoothie. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your plate at meal times and trying to fill your plate with half fruits and vegetables is another easy principle of healthy eating. The more colorful your plate is, the more likely you are getting in the nutrients and vitamins you need.
Reflect, Replace, and Reinforce
Making sudden and dramatic changes to your diet while restricting foods you enjoy will lead to short-term weight loss without lasting results. Therefore reflecting, replacing, and reinforcing is essential when improving your eating habits. You want to reflect on your eating habits and consistent food triggers you may have that lead to unhealthy eating. Secondly, you want to replace small changes to your unhealthy eating habits and exchange them for healthier choices. Lastly, you want to reinforce healthier and new eating habits while keeping yourself accountable for the small changes you make at a time.
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