Eating better should be a priority for everyone in this country. Poor nutrition can lead to all sorts of issues; it affects our energy levels and moods, and it even affects our ability to think. In a recent survey, 73% of Americans said that they are more focused on eating healthily, but 53% said that they often slip up every now and then. The thing is that eating healthy is as much about education as it is about making lifestyle changes to make it as easy as possible. Here are a few hacks to help you start eating better.
A lot of people think that snacking in all of its forms is bad, but that’s actually not true. It’s what you decide to snack on that matters. Snacking properly could help you reach your health goals in many ways. The right snacks will keep you full for hours and prevent cravings while supplying you with all the nutrients that you need.
As a rule, you want to avoid anything that comes from simple carbs, i.e., any type of carb that is white, such as white bread, potato chips, or white rice. What you want to snack on are complex carbs and protein.
The reason why protein is so important is that it will support your muscle mass. This in turn will keep your metabolism running. Protein also requires more energy to be digested. This goes for both drinks and food. As a matter of fact, about 30% of the calories coming from protein will be used to break it down.
So, we suggest you ditch the chips and fatty dips for pita bread and hummus, nuts, and plenty of high fiber fruits. Be careful with fruit juices as well as these contain much more sugar than a comparable serving of fruit.
Cut the Dough
Anything that is made of dough, especially white dough, is usually bad news for your health. While you won’t always have wholegrain options at your disposal, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
If you’re getting something like a burger, for instance, many places will allow you to replace the bread with lettuce. If that’s too much for you, you could only use one bun and eat the burger as an open-face sandwich. Or, you could gut out the buns to take some of the carbs out.
This goes for things like pizza as well. A lot of people write off pizza as unhealthy, but it can actually be one of the most nutritious foods if prepared correctly. If you have the choice, always go for thin crust. This alone will make the pizza much healthier. Another thing you could do is learn to cook pizza. This way, you can go for low sodium options, cut down on the cheese, or even substitute the flour dough with something healthier like cauliflower for instance.
If your Weber Kettle is collecting dust in your backyard, know that it could be your best ally in cutting fat from your diet. Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook. There is a huge gap in calories between a piece of fried and grilled chicken. And, while a butter-basted pan-seared steak sounds nice, it will be less fatty and healthier on the grill.
Grilling can make vegetables more appetizing as well. Skewers are a great and delicious way to add more vegetables to your diet. You may even start appreciating all veggie options once you realize how good they can taste on the grill.
As you can see, there are tons of ways that you could make your diet healthier. Most of these only require minor changes, so don’t expect it to be impossible to achieve.