The internet is full of classes, courses, and coaches telling you that they have the secret sauce to health and weight loss. While that may or may not be true in some cases, you don’t have to be an expert in anatomy or nutrition to start making healthier choices. Keep reading to learn about 6 proven tips on how to eat right and healthily.
Tip 1: Add Nuts and Seeds to Your Diet
Adding seeds and nuts to your diet might seem like a minor detail, but over time, it has long-lasting benefits on your overall health. Nuts like almonds, filberts, peanuts, pecans, cashews, and filberts are incredibly high in vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin E, potassium, fiber, and folic acid. Pumpkin seeds are also incredibly high in potassium.
Nuts and seeds are also good sources of protein, which makes them the perfect snack for those who can’t seem to stop reaching for chips or sweets. For vegans or those who are lactose intolerant, nuts can also be made into products like milk or cheese.
Tip 2: Cut Out Snacking
Most developed countries view snacking as a normal part of everyday life, but it turns out the popular habit is doing more harm than good. The truth is that your body is always in two modes, digestion or starvation. People often get scared by the term “starvation”, but it simply means that the body is burning fat rather than processing it. In order to maintain a healthy weight and fight off disease, your body needs equal amounts of time in each mode.
The digestive system needs rest in between meals in order to digest the food you’ve eaten and burn any fats you’ve consumed. If you’re constantly snacking between meals, your body will always be busy digesting, and the immune system will never be able to take the main stage to fight off diseases and infections.
You might think that snacking is fine if the snacks are healthy, but this is also a flawed assumption. No matter how healthy the snack is, if you start munching on a carrot or some almonds as soon as your stomach growls, your body will use them for fuel instead of those organic sweet potatoes you had for lunch.
Tip 3: Slow Down Your Eating
In this fast-paced world we live in, it can be hard to find time to sit down and enjoy your meals. After all, the faster you eat, the faster you can get back to everything else you have to do. However, studies have shown that people who eat too fast are more likely to have a higher BMI (body mass index) than those who take their time.
This is because the gut lining in our stomach sends signals to our brains in the form of hormones. Once we’ve eaten enough food to gain all the calories and nutrients we need, the stomach sends a hormone to the brain telling it you’re full. This process takes about 20 minutes.
If you eat your entire meal in less than 10 minutes, you could potentially be consuming too many calories and could gain weight over time. This Welltech guide will help you make sense of why you can sometimes still feel hungry after quickly eating your meal.
Fast eaters also tend to chew their food less and are at a higher risk of overworking their digestive system and causing disease. If you slow down your eating and take at least 20 minutes, you will feel fuller and naturally chew your food more. This, in turn, will keep your weight down and leave you with more energy after your meals.
Tip 4: Never Shop Without a Grocery List
There are so many options at the grocery store, it can be overwhelming sometimes. If you walk in without knowing exactly what you’re looking for, you can easily overspend and purchase unhealthy options you wouldn’t otherwise buy.
To prevent this, always plan your meals ahead of time and have a list of specific ingredients you need. If you don’t like to meal prep, at least have a list of items you use regularly and stick to those.
Another important tip is to never, ever, EVER go to the grocery store if you’re hungry. Walking through all those aisles on an empty stomach can make processed foods far more tempting than they would be if your brain wasn’t in survival mode.
Tip 5: Prioritize Foods with Fiber
You’ve probably heard for most of your life that this fruit helps fight cancer, or that vegetables help fight diabetes. You might’ve heard that and always wondered how that food helped that issue specifically. Well, the answer is simple. It doesn’t.
Unprocessed fruits and vegetables help strengthen your immune system as a whole, which allows your body to fight off long-term diseases. One of the most important ways they do this is with fiber. Regularly consuming fibrous foods with every meal will keep your digestive tract clear out and keep bloating and inflammation down. Foods that are particularly high in fiber include almost leafy greens, chia seeds, and apples.
Tip 6: Drink Plenty of Water
This tip may seem like common sense, but with all the different beverage options out there, it can be easy to overlook water nowadays. Your body requires water for organ function, lubricating joints, digesting foods, transporting blood, and countless other functions.
Water is a natural blood thinner, and if you aren’t drinking enough, your heart is working overtime to pump thick blood throughout your body. This can lead to fatigue, blood clots, and other health issues.
Consistently swapping out sugary drinks for water will also bring cosmetic benefits that you may have attributed to other causes. For instance, drinking a glass of water before every meal can decrease your calorie intake and lead to weight loss. It can also clear up acne and leave hair feeling stronger and shinier.
Regularly consuming at least 8 glasses of water every day will do wonders for your overall health, and you’ll see and feel the benefits within just a few days.
As we said earlier, adding these healthy habits to your daily life is simple and easy and quickly has you on your way to looking and feeling better. Consulting an expert is recommended if you have a serious health issue or need extra help. However, knowing the ins and outs of your own diet will help you feel in control and ready to take back your life.