You have a goal in mind—maybe to lose weight, get healthier, or both. But without a clear idea of what constitutes a healthy diet, it’s hard to know where to begin. After all, there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to food. Each of us has a unique metabolism and interacts with food in a different way. Some eat to fuel their active lifestyles, while others eat to soothe their nerves.
To help you on your journey, we’ve put together a list of tips that can guide you towards a healthier lifestyle. And remember, if you’re looking to shed a few pounds, it’s never easy; but if you follow these guidelines, it’ll be much easier. So sit back, relax, and get ready to reset your metabolism.
Monitor Your Caloric Intake
Caloric intake is a key factor in weight loss. This refers to the number of calories you take in compared to the calories you expend. Calories are mainly derived from food, but they can also come from drinks or medicines. To ensure you’re not consuming more calories than you need, it’s important to track what you eat and how much you eat. Several apps and food trackers can help you with this.
Eat More Plants
Plants are known for their therapeutic properties, and that’s reflected in the way vitamins and minerals are more easily absorbed by our bodies when consumed with food. With that in mind, it’s important to note that the more you eat, the more you’ll likely lose. So, if you’re looking to shed some pounds, it may be in your best interest to increase the amount of plant-based foods you eat. That said, this does not mean that you have to give up meat—quite the opposite. You just need to know how to make the right choice. When selecting animal products, opt for those that are organic and raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics. Also, eating seafood frequently can actually increase weight gain, so be careful not to overindulge.
Watch Out For Additives
Every product you consume, be it food or drink, has been through some sort of processing. This includes cooking, mixing, and preservation techniques. Unfortunately, along with these helpful processes comes a laundry list of artificial ingredients that may be lurking inside your food. It’s important to be aware of what these are and how they may affect you. For example, many soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, and this can contribute to tooth decay. Some other commonly found additives include monosodium glutamate, aspartame, and high fructose corn syrup. You may be surprised to learn that many fast foods like burgers, hot dogs, and pizza contain gluten—a protein found in grains like wheat and barley.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking at least eight glasses of water per day will help you stay hydrated and regulate your appetite. You wouldn’t think that thirst would play a significant role in helping you lose weight, but it does. The best way to fight thirst is by drinking sufficient amounts of water. Try for eight glasses per day and you’ll be on your way to a slimmer waistline (and maybe even a few compliments!).
Avoid Foods With Added Salt
Too much salt is bad for our hearts and blood pressure, but it’s also highly carcinogenic. This is a significant health risk, and it’s something you should avoid. If you’re concerned about your health, it’s best to opt for healthier alternatives such as fresh spices and herbs. Another option is to reduce the amount of processed foods you eat, since these often have added salt. A great way to check whether or not a food is high in sodium is by looking at the nutrition facts listed on the packaging. If you think that you or your family members are likely to be affected by high blood pressure, then it may be a good idea to cut back on the amount of salt you consume.
Choose Foods Based On Their Nutritional Value
When choosing foods that are rich in nutrients, it’s important to bear in mind that the calories can still be substantial. The trick is to choose fruits, veggies, and nuts that are colorful and offer a lot of dietary fiber. For example, strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C and provide a good source of fiber. Nuts and legumes are also highly nutritious and provide fiber and protein. These are all food types that you should eat in moderation, as they’re high in calories.
Avoid Foods With Added Sugar
When sugar is added to a food or drink, it contributes to that item’s caloric content. While some sugars can be healthy, you should always avoid those that are over-processed such as candy and soft drinks. They’re empty calories that will cause you to gain weight rather than lose it. Instead, eat fruits and veggies that are packed with antioxidants and nutrients. If you want to lose weight, it’s important to reduce the amount of sugar you consume—even if it means giving up some of your favorite foods!
Consume More Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that is good for our bodies. According to experts at the American Institute of Stress, getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet can help improve your mental health. The nutrients found in these foods help maintain a healthy brain and improve cognitive function. These experts also note that consuming more vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Reduce Your Coffee Consumption
Coffee is a strong antioxidant and some studies have even shown that it can help boost weight loss. However, more coffee isn’t necessarily better when it comes to weight loss. Some research has even associated drinking too much coffee with increased belly fat and other unfavorable health outcomes. There’s also the fact that coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Too much caffeine can cause problems for some people, particularly those with heart disease or diabetes. If you’re serious about losing weight, then it may be best to avoid coffee altogether.
Make Sure You’re Hydrated
You should drink adequate amounts of water on a daily basis to maintain a healthy body weight. If you’re not drinking enough, your body will store the extra calories as fat. This is why you should drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Make sure you drink a glass before you eat, as this can help prevent you from craving unhealthier food later on.
Eat More Protein
Eating more protein can help you maintain a healthy body weight. This is because protein helps you feel fuller for longer compared to carbs or fats. This can also help with weight loss, particularly if you’re looking to achieve significant results. You should aim to eat at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. So, if you weigh 75 kg, you should be eating at least 45 grams of protein per day.
Check The Nutrition Facts
You can’t lose weight if you don’t know how much you should be eating. This is why it’s important to be mindful of what you’re consuming. When selecting food items, you should always check the nutrition facts listed on the packaging. If you think that you or your family members are likely to be affected by certain diseases or have a greater chance of suffering from nutrient deficiencies, then it may be a good idea to check the facts before purchasing these items. Remember, the majority of the calories you consume will come from sugar, bread, pasta, and other carbohydrates. So, keep an eye out for these items with high glycemic indexes.
Reduce The Amount Of Carbs You Take In
Reducing the amount of carbs you take in can help you lose weight. This is because carbs contribute to your body’s glycogen storage, which can lead to weight gain. Eating less carbs will also make you feel fuller for longer, resulting in fewer food cravings. There are several ways to reduce the amount of carbs you take in. You can limit yourself to certain foods or groups of food, adjust the way you cook or prepare your food, or simply avoid foods with a high glycemic index.