Maybe you have fallen into bad eating and snacking habits. Or maybe you realize that there are additional ways to get the most out of your caloric intake to boost your performance. Either way, improving your nutrition is not only important; it can be fun and easy.
There are some simple ways to make sure you are eating a healthy and well-rounded diet. Plus, you can still enjoy some delicious flavors and satisfying meals. So take these steps to improve your nutrition to benefit your overall health and wellbeing.
Get Plenty of Protein
Eating plenty of protein is essential for many of the body’s systems and functions. You can lose muscle, see decreased energy, and weaken your immune system if you fail to get enough protein in your diet. It’s also important that you are mindful about what types of protein you are eating as well.
Getting enough protein doesn’t have to take a ton of work and research. Eat a well-rounded diet and make sure a form of protein is included with each meal. If you are an athlete or someone that works out regularly, you might need more protein in your diet. You can also supplement with amino acids to ensure you are meeting all of your protein needs.
Clean protein is also the healthiest form. Look for organic soy products, wild-caught seafood, and grass-fed beef. If you eat lunch meat, look for options without nitrates and with minimal sodium content. Prepare your protein in healthy ways like broiling or grilling instead of using fatty methods like deep-frying.
Prepare Your Food at Home
When you cook, you have more control over exactly what goes into your food, and into your body. So make it a priority to prepare your food at home. And plan your meals ahead so you always have something healthy when hunger strikes.
Typical restaurant food can be full of preservatives, additives and artificial ingredients. You can avoid these things by prepping and cooking nutritious meals at home. Fill your fridge and pantry with healthy, organic and whole-food ingredients to get started.
If you live with others, you can have fun preparing meals together. What may seem like a chore becomes a fun, social occasion when you cook together. So enjoy each other’s company while you whip up a fresh salad or colorful soup. Then, relish in the delicious and nutritious meal that you made together.
Planning ahead makes cooking at home easier. Make a meal plan for the week and stock up on the ingredients so you never have to wonder, “what’s for dinner?” Take some free time to chop veggies, wash fruit and put together lunches for the week so you can grab a healthy meal as you head out the door.
Avoid Processed Sugars
Sugar is a tough thing to avoid and can be found nearly anywhere. Plus, one little nibble of a sweet treat can lead to a full-scale sugar binge. Sugar’s addictive properties often make avoiding it all together the best practice when trying to improve your nutrition.
Try subbing out your favorite sugary treats with ones that are sugar-free but equally delicious. Look for healthy, all-natural sweeteners and avoid artificially produced ones. Candy made from monk fruit can be just as sweet and satisfying without sugar. Or, look for drinks like soda made from stevia for a refreshing beverage.
If you find yourself with a sugar craving, look for other foods that are still sweet without added sugar. Berries and citrus fruits can give you the sweet taste you are looking for with the added bonus of nutrients. Or, chew on a piece of sugar-free gum to distract your taste buds until the craving passes.
Explore New Foods
One of the quickest ways to reach for unhealthy standbys is boredom. Explore new foods to keep your diet exciting. Plus, you’ll likely find some healthy new foods that you actually enjoy experimenting with.
Your local farmer’s market is an amazing place to find new produce that you have never tried before. Look for heirloom varieties from small, local farmers for fruits and veggies that are fresh and have unique tastes. Make it a point to look for new foods every time you visit. And since they likely change seasonally, there will be no shortage of variety.
If you find yourself struggling to come up with new meals, why not treat yourself to a healthy cookbook? Explore new recipes and try new ingredients you’ve never tasted before. You might just find your next nutritious favorite to add to your meal rotation.
When a new health food eatery opens near you, check it out with an open mind. Many of these chef-driven kitchens use healthy ingredients in unconventional ways that are super tasty. Plus, maybe you’ll get some inspiration for food and flavor combinations to try in your own kitchen.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
It can’t be said enough, getting enough hydration throughout the day is essential to your overall well-being. It’s also important for you to keep up your nutritional habits. So, make it a point to sip consistently throughout the day and hydrate well before and after workouts.
Oftentimes, your body can confuse thirst with hunger. This can lead you to reach to the nearest, most convenient snack, whether it’s healthy or not. Keep these feelings at bay by making sure you are always well hydrated. If you feel unusually hungry at an off time of day, drink a glass or two of water to see if you satisfy the feeling.
Water is a key part of your digestive system. You can eat all of the nutritious foods you would like but your body still needs to be ready to take in all of those great nutrients. Water actually aids in breaking your food down so these nutrients can be readily absorbed. So drink up!
Boosting Your Nutrition for Long-Term Health
Good nutrition is a key component of your overall well-being. It’s well worth it to take the steps to improve your nutritional habits and find ways of healthy eating that work for you. And you’ll find some delicious new lifelong habits that you can enjoy for long-term wellness.