As the old adage says, you can’t out-train a bad diet. It’s no secret that the journey to health starts in the kitchen. Developing a healthier diet can feel intimidating if you’re not used to eating this way, but you can make a huge difference with just a few short, simple changes.
If you want to get in shape, stay lean, and increase your health, read on for the six steps you need to follow to overhaul your diet.
Reduce Sodas and Sugary Drinks
In most cases, It is never a good idea to cut out a whole food group. Balance is everything. However, an easy way to improve your diet is to significantly reduce, or cut out altogether, any flavored waters, sports drinks, juices, or sodas.
These tend to be filled with sugar and offer little to no nutritional benefit.
Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
Fruits and vegetables are another crucial component of a healthy diet and offer the most nutrients per serving.
Fruits and veggies have benefits that can’t be obtained from other foods, and they help keep you full for longer. Aim for a minimum of five servings of vegetables per day, and between two and three servings of fruit each day.
Cut Down On Processed, Pre-Prepared Foods
This is a major change, given the focus in society on fast and convenient foods. According to experts, around a third of the calories consumed by the average American occur outside the home, typically in fast-food restaurants or take out options.
Processed foods tend to have more salt and fat, and offer very few nutritional benefits.
Replace your convenience foods with home cooked dishes, packed with vegetables and nutrients. If you are short on time, you can batch cook on the weekends or a free evening. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of freezer food without the downsides.
Cut Down Fried Food
The secret to success is to enjoy everything in moderation, which means you don’t have to cut out fried food altogether. You can, however, make healthy substitutes for the majority of your meals. For example, switching butter for olive oil, or deep-fried fish for grilled or poached options.
As a rule, you should seek to eat healthy around 80% of the time, and choose healthy food options during this period. The other 20% of the time you can relax and enjoy butter to your heart’s content!
Watch Your Intake of Grains
Just like fats, grains are not inherently a bad thing. However, it’s a good idea to enjoy these in moderation.
Grains can cause bloating and uncomfortable reactions in the gut, and this can leave you feeling less than your best.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water is the fastest and easiest way to see significant benefits in your health. It clears your skin, improves your energy, and keeps your body balanced and hydrated. This, in turn, allows you to concentrate more effectively.
As an added bonus, water can also be a very useful tool for weight loss. Often, when we think we are hungry we are actually feeling thirsty. A glass of water can satiate your appetite as well as quench your thirst. You should aim for approximately eight glasses of water each day.
Getting started with a healthy diet does not have to be overwhelming or intimidating. Making just a few simple changes can offer you significant health, and you don’t need to overhaul your entire lifestyle to see results!
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