With hectic lifestyle comes the tendency of putting ourselves on a back burner. However, making ourselves a priority is crucial for preserving our physical and mental health, and the best way to start is to pay more attention to our eating habits. Whether you are looking to change your lifestyle or need some motivation to take the first step towards eating more healthily, here are seven tips on how you can start making better food choices today.
Control your food intake by using smaller plates
For those of us who are looking to lose some weight, scaling back our portions is a logical first step. While using smaller plates to serve food can be a great way to trick your brain into thinking you’re full, it’s not just about the size of the plate. It also has to do with which food and how much of it you are serving. A good approach would be to fill half of your plate with non-starchy veggies – the fibers from the veggies will keep you feeling full without you bringing in too many calories. Adding proteins to your meals, eating soups or salads first, and drinking water with your meals are some other strategies that can help you reduce your food portions and control your food choices.
Take some time to learn what’s in the food you eat
Many of us don’t really have the time to read the labels. Most of the time, we’ll simply toss foods into our carts without giving too much thought to what we’re buying. Even though it’s convenient, it’s not a wise thing to do when you’re trying to eat more healthily. Try changing this bad habit by taking the time to learn what’s in the food you eat, especially if it’s something you buy often. If the ingredient list is too long or you can’t understand half of what you’ve read, you’re probably better off skipping those food items and getting some superfoods instead.
Eat at home more often
Nothing beats the taste of a delicious, home-cooked meal. That being said, many of us don’t have the time to cook their own nutritious meals, especially after an eight-hour shift. While eating out is much easier, it’s usually far more expensive. In addition, when you’re eating out, most of the time your options are limited and you don’t really have control over what and how much you’re consuming. Try to get yourself to eat at home more often and give some healthy recipes a shot.
Choose healthier options when eating out
While you should try to cook for yourself more often, there will be times when you’ll have to eat out. Whether you’re heading to a party, birthday, wedding, or a corporate event, there’s no reason to ditch your healthy eating plan and food choices. In fact, incorporating healthier options into menus is a growing trend among catering companies, especially those situated in New York City. By hiring professional catering in NYC, hosts are able to meet their guests’ dietary requirements through a range of healthy food options varying from gluten-free and sugar-free options to vegan/vegetarian plant-based foods and foods that accommodate certain allergies. This makes it easier for guests to stay in control of what they’re eating while also enjoying the celebratory event in question to the fullest.
Increase your daily water intake
Staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial for anyone looking to maintain a healthy weight. Even slight dehydration can impact your well-being and how well you’re able to perform during the day. Furthermore, when our bodies become dehydrated, they’re unable to burn fat. On the other hand, optimal hydration ensures higher energy levels while also speeding up metabolism. Therefore, make sure you always have a water bottle on hand whenever you get thirsty – it’s one of the simplest changes you can make when it comes to losing excess fat.
Cut back on certain foods
Cutting calories also means cutting back on certain foods in your diet. Overly-processed foods are the first thing to go, and so are foods that contain added sugar and solid fats. Fatty meats such as hot dogs and bacon should be limited, and the same goes for candies and cakes which should be considered as treats and thus they should only be eaten sometimes. When cooking at home, try to use less salt, sugar, and solid fat in your meals, and try different, healthier cooking methods (e.g. baking instead of frying).
Learn more about your individual daily requirements
When it comes to nutrition, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Everybody is different, and while some individuals require higher calorie intake because of the nature of their job, others who don’t spend as much energy don’t need to take in as many calories. Think about your individual daily requirements and try to learn more about them. Your daily calorie intake will largely depend on your age, gender, and level of physical activity and exercise, as well as your height and weight. Taking some time to learn about your nutritional requirements will help you stay on the right track and meet your fitness and health goals more easily.
Proper nutrition is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, and what we consume on a daily basis shouldn’t come as an afterthought. With these tips in mind, making better food choices will become second nature to you.