Most people struggle with eating healthy consistently and it can be overwhelming trying to change all unhealthy habits at once. By changing a few things at a time, you can create new healthy habits will help you have long term success. Megan Dymond, Body Language, NASM CPT, shares 15 nutritional tips for a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Limit liquid calories. Soda has a large amount of sugar and calories. Fruit juices also pack a lot of sugar and calories. The best drink to grab is water. There is also unsweetened flavored sparkling water if you need something different.
  2. Eat nuts! Despite being high in fat, nuts are healthy and full of nutrition. They are packed with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, and various other nutrients. Grabbing a serving between meals will help curb your hunger!
  3. Avoid processed food. Have you ever just stepped back and looked at what exactly you are eating? It’s amazing how much we have strayed from clean whole foods. Processed food is convenient but incredibly unhealthy. So many additives are in processed foods that our bodies weren’t meant to process. Therefore, we see an increase in weight gain and illnesses.
  4. Eat fish. Fish is a great source of protein. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to decrease your risk of heart disease. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes with fish!
  5. Drink water before meals. Drinking a glass of water before a meal helps satiate you. The best time to drink water is 30 minutes prior to a meal.
  6. Eat fruits and vegetables. Common sense, right? But most people do not consume enough in a day. It’s important to get 1-2 servings of vegetables at each meal.
  7. Minimize alcohol intake. Alcohol not only has sugar in it but also can trigger inflammation in the body.
  8. Track your calories. Tracking your calories can help you realize how much you consume in a day. For most people their caloric intake in quite a bit higher than the standards. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women are likely to need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day, and men from 2,000 to 3,000.
  9. Make healthy food swaps. For example, switch rice for cauliflower rice, pasta noodles for zucchini noodles, and white potatoes for a sweet potato. Although white potatoes aren’t unhealthy, the sweet potato is lower on the glycemic index therefore it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar like other potatoes.
  10. Portion control. This is important for maintaining a healthy weight. Portion control is probably one of the biggest struggles for most. When creating a plate, you want to make sure ½ of the plate is vegetables, ¼ is protein and the last ¼ is a healthy carbohydrate.
  11. Make good choices while out to eat. While ordering at a restaurant, try getting your salad dressing on the side. You will find that you consume less of the dressing if you don’t pour it all on your salad but instead dip your bite into the dressing. Although salads are a great healthy choice at restaurants, most of their dressings are high in calories. You can also ask for a small amount of olive oil and fresh lemon to squeeze instead of the dressing. It is delicious!
  12. Plan your meals ahead of time. It’s so easy to come home from work and feel unmotivated to fine something to cook. If you prepare your meals or ingredients in advance it will be less overwhelming to create a dish. Prepping your protein and pre-slicing your vegetables will create less work on the weeknights. You will be less likely to stop and grab something unhealthy if you know you have a quick healthy meal at home waiting for you!
  13. Always have a healthy snack on hand. During our work weeks, or even travel, it’s important to be prepared to have a healthy snack on hand. Skipping lunch or working late through dinner will most likely end in an unhealthy food choice. We tend to grab whatever we can from the vending machine, gas station, and even fast food when we have gone so long without fueling our body. Great snacks to keep on hand are nuts, apples, and a protein bar. If you always have a backup snack it will help hold you over until you can make better food choices.
  14. Get enough fiber. Getting enough fiber in your diet can help keep you feeling fuller longer and regulate your bowels. A healthy gut is very important in overall health!
  15. Drink coffee. Coffee is not bad for you. Everything added to coffee is! Try reducing the number of calories in your coffee by choosing low fat or skim milk and no whipped cream. All the syrups added to the coffee at coffee shops are high in sugar. Try skipping it! In time you might even find that you enjoy your coffee without all the additives.

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