If you’re looking to lose weight, build muscle, or just slightly improve your health and well-being, there is a good chance that you’ll have considered cleaning up your diet. Our diets are so, so important for a whole variety of different reasons, yet unfortunately most of us are guilty of not consuming enough of the right produce. Healthy eating not only helps you to drop body fat, it also helps to boost your health and well-being, improve your mood, and even prolong your life. Contrary to what some people may have you believe, healthy eating is also about much more than just steamed chicken breast and salad. Healthy eating should not be viewed as a quick fix, it should instead be considered a lifestyle choice, as that is the only way of virtually guaranteeing success. No matter what your reasons for healthy eating may be, sticking to a healthy eating lifestyle can be tricky at times. If you’re struggling to get back on plan, or if you’re looking for ways of ensuring you do not fall off of the healthy eating wagon when you do begin your change in diet, here are some useful healthy eating tips that are simple, and very effective.
Avoid products with lengthy lists of ingredients
When it comes to healthy eating, ideally you want food that is fresh and natural. When you purchase chicken breasts for example, ideally you want 100% chicken breast, not 80% chicken breast, dextrose, sodium, water, and other preservatives and fillers. Before buying your foods, read the ingredients and see how many ingredients each product contains. When going for jars of sauces, look for natural ingredients such as: tomatoes, basil, oregano, onion, garlic, mixed pepper, salt, pepper. These ingredients are generally all healthy, and you know that they are all natural. If you see lists of E numbers, chemical preservatives, flavourings, colourings, and additives, steer well clear, as these ingredients are likely to do more harm than good. Generally you should look for foods and drinks with as few amounts of ingredients as possible.
Drink more water
Water may not be the tastiest most flavoursome beverage in the world, but when you’re thirsty, there is nothing that beats an ice cold glass of fresh water. Water hydrates our bodies, it helps ensure our organs function correctly, it fires up our metabolisms, it quenches our thirst, and it helps to replace electrolytes and minerals lost via sweat when we exercise. Avoid fruit juices, sodas, and “diet” sodas and opt for plenty of fresh water instead, as it is much better for you. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day. As a top tip, to help increase the nutrient content and flavour of your water, try infusing it with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Plan your meals in advance
When it comes to healthy eating, preparation literally makes all of the difference as you need to know exactly what you are eating for the week ahead. Planning your meals in advance not only means you know what to get from the store, it also means you are less likely to have to rush out to buy more ingredients later in the week, plus it allows you to stay on schedule. If you have no idea what you are eating for dinner one night, if you leave it too long you may lose interest in cooking and may opt for unhealthy takeout instead. If you know what you’re eating on each specific day, you will be far more likely to stay on track, which means there is less chance of cheating on your diet and eating junk instead.
Have plenty of healthy snacks around
When trying to eat healthily, there will be days when you are tired, stressed, hungry, and fed up, in which you constantly crave unhealthy food you cannot have. When it comes to people falling off of the wagon when eating healthily, hunger is often a driving force behind people coming unstuck with their diets, so the last thing you want is to ever find yourself feeling hungry. To help ensure this is not an issue, make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks around for when you do find yourself feeling hungry. You could opt for protein bars, fruit and yoghurt, a few mixed nuts, dehydrated vegetable snacks, seaweed snacks, boiled eggs, or any other snack deemed healthy. When you feel hungry, simply grab a healthy snack, eat it, and wash it all down with a glass of juice. Around 5 minutes later your hunger will have gone, and your mood should have lifted as a result.
Don’t forget your supplements
Whilst supplements are generally not too beneficial if your diet and exercise regimes are not on point, if you are dedicated and have both of those elements nailed, supplements can really give you that extra boost. Always go with a good quality multivitamin and omega oil supplement to begin with, and from there, consider your health and fitness goals. If you’re looking to build muscle, protein and amino acid supplements could prove useful. If you’re working on your endurance, creatine and amino acid supps are ideal. Whatever your goals, there will almost certainly be a supplement for you which will really help you to step up your game, improve your health, and improve your physique in the process.
Try not to eat out too much
Healthy eating is not about dieting, it is about changing your lifestyle, so of course you should not deny yourself meals out, and takeout food every now and then. If however, you eat out several times per week, either because of your job, or because you enjoy doing so, you may wish to cut back slightly. Whilst it is possible to eat out and eat healthily, finding healthy options whilst dining out is a great deal tougher. When you dine out, you want to enjoy yourself anyway, and generally, ordering a chicken salad with no dressing, is not considered enjoyable. If you’re strict and on plan during the week, one meal out per week will not do you any harm at all, and will actually do you a great deal of good, especially psychologically speaking. If however, you often dine out more than twice per week, unless you know that you are consuming healthy produce, you may wish to cut back on the dining out.