Simple but Effective Diet Ideas for a Healthier Lifestyle
Changing your diet and eating habits can help you create a healthier lifestyle. And don’t we all want to be a little bit healthier? Taking action in your life now can have huge benefits down the road—from increased energy and stronger bones to reducing your risks for certain diseases. And while you’re on the road to better health you might as well wear a pair of comfortable sandals.
Make a Colorful Plate
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), your plate should be half fruits and veggies, with a focus on whole fruits and varying vegetables. The other half should be split between whole grains and a protein (like meat, poultry, seafood, beans, eggs, etc.).
Don’t Forget Dairy
Milk and dairy products help build strong bones. One cup of milk, yogurt, soy milk or cheese is recommended in your daily diet. The USDA suggests finding fat-free or low-fat dairy options.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Along with the excessive calories, sugary drinks—especially diet soda—can also make you hungry. And consuming high levels of sugar can cause an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and lead to tooth decay.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
There are simple and healthier replacements when you’re craving cookies, cakes, and candy. Try a rice cake with nut butter and honey or baked pears with cinnamon.
Skip Happy Hour
Wine, beer and other cocktails can add empty calories to your diet. If you want a low-calorie alcoholic beverage, try a vodka soda with a squeeze of lime or a glass of champagne.
Say “No” to Late-Night Snacking
Eating a meal or snack late in the evening can lead to weight gain because your body isn’t burning as much fat while sleeping as it does during the day. Your body ends up storing more carbohydrates.
Don’t Starve Yourself
Give yourself a cheat day where you can eat that piece of chocolate cake or have that cheeseburger. It takes 3,500 calories to add 1 pound of fat, so as long as you’re not overeating unhealthy foods all day, you can treat yourself to your favorite (and maybe not-so-healthy) food without feeling guilty.
Step on the Scale at Sunrise
To get the most accurate number on the scale, weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. If you are keeping track of your progress, make sure to weigh yourself on the same scale at the same time each day (or same time each week).
These tips will help you move toward a healthier lifestyle, but remember that exercise is also a key part of the equation. Make sure you are moving your body at least two and a half hours a day. It sounds like a lot but you could spread it out. This could mean commuting to and from work by bike, gardening in the backyard, even simply walking (just make sure to find some supportive sneakers).