A healthy diet is essential to your well-being. What you consume determines more than just your weight. Among other things, it impacts your skin, your energy levels, and even your risk of contracting certain illnesses.
That said, following a healthy diet isn’t always easy. Chances are you’ve tried to adopt healthier habits in the past, to no avail. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible — you may just need a different approach.
Do you want to improve your diet but need help getting started? In this article, we highlight easy tips to help. From eating more slowly to making sure you get a good night’s rest, here are four effortless ways to better your diet.
1. Drink Your Fruits and Vegetables
One of the best ways to improve your health is to ensure you’re consuming enough fruits and vegetables every single day. Fruit is packed with antioxidants, dietary fiber, and essential minerals. Vegetables contain many minerals and phytochemicals. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy weight, protect against cancer, and reduce high blood pressure.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, fruits and veggies are also more filling and can lead you to consume fewer calories. As you can see, eating fruits and vegetables can go a long way in improving your diet and overall well-being. That’s why finding ways to integrate fruits and vegetables into your diet is so important.
The problem is, consuming enough fruits and vegetables can be challenging. There’s all the trimming, chopping, and cooking to consider, and some people don’t like the taste or texture. Thankfully, there are ways to make getting your veggies easier, such as using super greens powder. Such supplements contain vital vitamins and minerals with no added sugar or artificial ingredients. All you have to do is mix the powder with water and reap the diet-boosting benefits.
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2. Eat Slow
According to research, people who eat more quickly are about 115% more likely to be obese than slow eaters. While it’s hardly surprising that eating by the shovelful could lead to weight gain, there’s a more sophisticated mechanism at work.
When it comes to controlling your appetite, there are two hormones that take charge: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is what tells your brain when you’re hungry, and leptin sends signals when you’re full. The thing is, it can take about 20 minutes or so for your brain to receive these messages. Eating slowly gives your brain more time to realize it’s full, which can keep you from overeating. Slow eating can also encourage you to chew your food more thoroughly, which can likewise keep you from overeating.
Moving forward, do your best to be mindful of how quickly you’re eating your food. That may mean eating without distractions, like your phone or the TV. Often, people don’t realize how quickly they’re eating because they’re preoccupied with something else. Put away all the distractions during meals so you can make sure you stay in control.
3. Set Realistic Goals
Improving your diet takes time and patience. Unfortunately, many people put unnecessary pressure on themselves to make healthy changes all at once or with no wiggle room. Don’t do that. Being too strict can actually have the opposite result. Not only can it be stressful, but it can lead to nutrient deficiencies, feeling fatigued, and yo-yo dieting.
If you want to achieve long-term results, you need to set realistic goals. For example, instead of saying you can never eat out, set the goal of cooking healthy dinners at least three times a week. You could also replace your daily soda with water a few times weekly. Or drink black coffee every so often instead of coffee with cream and sweetener.
As you can see, you don’t need to make drastic changes off the bat. Starting small is a great way to gradually introduce changes so that you can lead a healthier life. By building on them, you can make a big impact.
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4. Get a Good Night’s Rest
On the face of it, getting a good night’s sleep might seem like an odd suggestion for improving your diet. Sure, while you sleep, your body goes to work supporting healthy brain function and healing your physical body — both good things. And according to research, getting a good night’s rest can reduce your stress levels, improve your mood, and help you think more clearly. That’s where sleep’s diet-improvement potential comes into play.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to poor nutritional choices. And remember the two hormones, ghrelin and leptin, that control feelings of hunger and fullness? Sleep deprivation also throws them out of whack, prompting individuals to overeat and increasing their appetite for calorie-dense foods. Getting sufficient high-quality sleep is thus an easy and effective way to stop sabotaging your diet.
If you struggle to fall and stay asleep, consider making some changes. For example, be sure your bedroom provides a restful environment. Keep it cool, quiet, and dark, and limit the time you spend in front of a screen before bedtime.
It’s important to remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. It requires persistence and patience to improve your diet. Start small, take your time, and set realistic goals. Instead of instituting a bunch of rules and restrictions, use the tips above to help you achieve a healthier life.