When you decide to live a healthier lifestyle, changing your diet is essential. You can’t expect to eat junk daily and lose weight. Changing what I ate is the best thing I have ever done. I’m eating mostly clean now, with a few treats here and there. For me though, I made easy changes in the way I cooked, what I eat and eliminating the bad.
You can do the same with a few simple changes.
Healthy Eating Tips to Better Your Health
Ditch the salt
I cannot remember the last time I used my salt shaker. Salt makes you retain fluids therefore making you look and feel heavier. Excessive salt intake is dangerous, leading to high blood pressure, swelling and heart disease leading to stroke. Dietary guidelines state that you should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (about 1 teaspoon of table salt). Salt is hidden in everything; condiments, canned vegetables, sauces, fast food, frozen entrees, processed foods such as lunch meats and hot dogs, cheese, prepackaged seasonings and the list goes on. On ingredient labels you may see the words MSG, disodium phosphate and sodium chloride. These are all sodium names hidden in the foods we eat.
-Look for no salt added canned foods
-Make your own mixes and seasonings such as taco seasoning
-Experiment with dry seasonings to jazz up your foods. Cayenne and cumin can spice up meats, soups and chili. Garlic and shallots can be added to everything! Nutmeg is great in creamy soups, on sweet potatoes and when baking.
-Use salt-free seasonings such as Mrs. Dash to make foods tastier
-Limit or better yet quit eating processed junk
-Do not add table salt to your food
Remove fattening foods
I know this is pretty self explanatory but until you start eating healthier you do not realize all the excess fat you are eating.
-Still buying 80/20 ground chuck? Get rid of that now. Just look at all the grease in a skillet when using this type of beef – gross. 20% fat is a massive amount of fat. Switch to ground turkey or a leaner beef. I always by 93/7 as there is only 7% fat. Much leaner!
-Cook with butter or margarine? Change to extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Olive oil is high in fat & calories, but is a heart healthy oil with benefits galore. Eat in moderation (2 T per day) and you’ll be glad you did. Not all are created equal though. Look for the California Olive Oil Council label on your bottle so you can ensure you are consuming true pure olive oil. I always use California Olive Ranch brand.
-Gotta have your butter? Stick with regular butter or unsalted. There is only 1 ingredient in butter; cream.
-Saturated fats are found in a variety of foods and is detrimental to our health. Want heart disease, high blood pressure and increased weight? Then continue to eat it. Foods high in saturated fats include chicken thighs with skin, bacon, pork sausage and steaks. There are many more as well.
-Remove skin from chicken or simply buy boneless skinless
-Stop frying and breading foods. Instead grill, bake or broil and if you need to bread foods make your own bread crumbs and bake instead of frying in oil.
-Use turkey sausage and bacon or simply eat in moderation. Do not eat an entire pound of bacon (I know it is difficult bacon rocks!)
-Choose healthier fats-natural nut butters, seeds, nuts, oils and fish. Eaten in moderation these foods are healthy to eat every single day.
-Limit the amount of mayo, dressings and cheeses you eat. Buying low fat, fat-free and light is not better for you. Just look at the ingredient label of regular mayonnaise compared to low fat. Things are added that I wouldn’t want to eat. Just eat the servings size suggested or less and for dressings dip or make your own. I can’t wait to make this homemade ranch dressing. Also try this homemade mayo recipe. Mustard makes a great condiment and fresh salsa for Mexican night.
Read Those Labels for Serving Sizes
No kidding right? You need to learn how to read your labels. 1 serving means 1 serving. When a label shows ¾ cup of cereal, then measure it out. It is amazing how much cereal I was eating before learning this lifestyle. I was eating almost 4 servings in a sitting-that is scary. I now measure everything. Measure, weigh do what you have to do, but make sure you read those serving sizes on the ingredient labels!
Say Yes to Fiber
I have said this over and over again, but fiber is critical in weight loss as it helps makes you feel full longer. High fiber foods can help with your overall health. My high fiber green smoothie is a good example of an easy to make healthy drink that’s delicious.
-Fibrous foods are very low in calories so you can eat a ton of them – think leafy greens such as spinach and lettuces, peas, broccoli, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower and mushrooms
-Grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, 100% whole wheat breads and pasta and unsalted no butter air popped popcorn
-Choose fruits such as apples, berries, pears, oranges, avocados and bananas
-Beans! Eat them they are full of fiber. Black beans, lentils, lima and other legumes.
Here is a helpful fiber-rich foods image from Doctor Oz
Have a sweet tooth?
We all do. There is something about cakes, cookies, muffins, doughnuts and pies we can’t give up. But they are filled with sugar, causing us to gain unnecessary weight. I use in moderation pure maple syrup and raw honey when baking now but you can also choose Stevia, Truvia or agave nectar to remove simple sugars from your diet. Sugar is everywhere in soda (get rid of this now) (did you know a 12 oz can of soda has 10 teaspoons of granulated sugar), juices, sports drinks, sweets, candy, breads, cereals etc. And it just doesn’t show sugar on a label. You may see corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, brown sugar, maltose on those labels. These are all HIDDEN sugars in the foods we consume. Limit sugar intake today.
More Water Please
Water has no calories. Before each meal, drink a full 8 ounce glass of water, again after your meal. It rids your body of toxins and increases your metabolism. Your body needs water to flush out so you do not carry around excess fat that is being stored. Have cravings? Try drinking a glass of lemon water before grabbing that craving you may be sorry about. This is one of the easiest things you can do for yourself as you are avoiding unnecessary sugars and fat by drinking water. Your body will be happy with the excess water intake.
What have you changed in your diet to try to be healthier?