Just like a car needs fuel and oil to run on, your body requires proper food to remain healthy and function properly. What you eat dictates how much energy you will have, your weight, and your long term health. However, improving your nutrition does not have to mean cutting your calories down to an absurd level or buying some exotic, overpriced, and hyped up food item or supplement.
There are many ways you can make your nutrition routine better without going crazy, spending a lot of money, or restricting yourself to the point of starvation. Allow me to share 5 of those tips with you here:
1. Eat at home: Cooking is a skill that many of us have lost. In the past, more people would cook their own food, or have it cooked for them at home. They controlled everything they ate: they knew what they bought, what went into their food, and they knew how much they put on their plate. Plus, eating at home can save you money: See: 5 Ways to Save Money on Food.
People eat many of their meals out instead of making them themselves at home. This means that they don’t have any control over the preparation of food and, most likely, that they’re eating food rich in oils, sugar, and salt. This is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. Cooking your own food can help you remain healthy and lean, as you’re more aware of the ingredients used and have the ability to make healthy substitutions.
2. Stop eating before you feel full: Your brain is not that quick at processing “fullness”. It takes your brain about 15-20 minutes to register when you’ve had enough. Most people don’t take this into account and continue eating until they feel stuffed. If they had only waited for 15 minutes, they would have been pleasantly full.
What’s a solution? Stop eating when you feel almost full. A few minutes later the last pangs of hunger will vanish and you will feel like you’ve had just enough.
3. Avoid processed foods: Some of the food we eat is what I like to call quasi-food: there are nutrients in there, but they’re mixed up with all sorts of chemicals and preservatives, plus a whole lot of sugar. These not-so-complex carbohydrates don’t keep you full for long and are poor sources of nutrient dense foods.
What’s a good solution? You want to eat the most nutritious food you can find without consuming too many calories. A great way to do that is to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Stray away from packaged meals and Twinkies. Buy produce and fresh food and make your own creative dishes. If you eat food which is closer to its natural state, you will improve your overall health and feel fuller for longer.
4. Drink less alcohol: I’m not a teetotaler and I don’t advocate that you become one either. However, if you want to maintain good health, I recommend drinking in moderation. Alcohol over-consumption can lead to liver problems and the calories in alcohol are certainly not nutrient dense. After about 5 beers, you’ve most likely consumed over 500 empty calories!
In addition, if you’re trying to lose weight you should know that alcohol is not your friend for fat loss. Not only are many alcoholic beverages rich in calories, but the very presence of alcohol in your blood delays fat burning.
5. Eat from smaller bowls and plates: If you want to reduce your total calorie consumption you need to use smaller plates and bowls. We tend to fill our plate with food at a certain proportion and clear our plates. If you use smaller plates, you will eat less. Easy!
I hope that you will take these tips to heart and apply them in your life. They’re very simple and can make a huge difference in your health or the health of someone you know!