How to Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is not all about lots of limitations and strict calorie counting. Instead, it’s more about setting goals, making better choices, and enjoying every bit of it. 5-Minute Crafts has prepared some tips that you can use to improve the quality of your diet.
❗ Important: All the information represented in the article is for informative purposes only. You should always consult with your doctor first.
1. Plan everything ahead.
Setting up a schedule can make it easier to stick to your goals and stay motivated. You can create a daily or weekly list of healthy meals and decide what products you need to buy for them. It will save you cooking time, allow you to control your portions, and reduce unhealthy food options.
2. Clean out the shelves.
Even if you decide to eat healthier but still keep junk food around your home, you have a higher chance of being tempted to snack on unhealthy things. So eliminating this impulse is important. If you still want to treat yourself to something salty or sweet, you can make it so you have to leave the house to get it.
3. Keep your meals balanced.
Unless your doctor recommends you to do so, don’t completely eliminate some foods from your diet. Instead, make sure you have a good balance in everything that you eat.
- Starchy foods: potatoes, rice, couscous, and bulgur wheat
- Foods high in fiber: pears, avocados, apples, raspberries, bananas, carrots, and broccoli
3. Add protein — it helps your body to be stronger, promotes bone health, boosts metabolism, and allows you to stay satisfied for longer.
- Foods high in protein: beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish, prawns, crab, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes
4. Add healthy fats — they provide your body with energy and help it to absorb vitamins.
- Foods high in healthy fats: avocados, cheese, dark chocolate, eggs, fatty fish, nuts, chia seeds, and extra virgin olive oil
4. Reduce unhealthy food options.
To keep your progress going, make sure you get rid of these options as much as possible:
1. Sugary drinks — when you drink them, your brain doesn’t recognize them as food. As a result, you don’t feel satisfied and can end up taking in a larger number of calories. Also, most of the time, they are very high in sugar, which might have a damaging effect on your health.
- Instead: Drink water, soda water, coffee, or tea.
2. Pizza — a lot of pizzas are made with unhealthy ingredients, like processed meats and trans fats.
- Instead: If you crave pizza, it’s always a good idea to make it at home.
3. Sweetened breakfast cereals — this is also a type of processed food that is usually very high in refined sugar.
- Instead: When you choose your breakfast cereals, go for options that contain high fiber and as little added sugar as possible.
4. Pastries, cookies, and cakes — most of these products are usually made with a large amount of added sugar, refined flour, or an excessive amount of unhealthy fats.
- Instead: You can treat yourself to a nice dessert by mixing Greek yogurt with fruit or dark chocolate.
5. French fries and potato chips — apart from being high in calories, they contain carcinogens that are poisonous for your body.
- Instead: The best way to get the most of the nutritious benefits of potatoes is to boil them.
5. Don’t be too harsh on yourself.
If you decide to stick to a healthy diet, it doesn’t mean that you need to avoid your favorite foods forever. Eliminating junk food completely can sabotage your diet and make you lose your positivity. So, don’t forget to allow yourself to enjoy controlled portions of unhealthy options from time to time.
6. Don’t forget about water.
Among many health benefits, water is important for a healthy diet because it helps your body to absorb nutrients. First of all, it’s necessary for your body to break down food. Secondly, it plays an important role in dissolving vitamins, minerals, and other necessary elements that come from food. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day.
Tip: Find a useful guide on how much water your body needs throughout the day here.
7. Don’t rush it.
Switching to healthier food options doesn’t happen overnight. Do it step by step, gradually eliminating unnecessary products and slowly adding in new foods and better options. Give yourself some time to adjust to small changes. This approach will make it easier for you to stick to your goals and ensure you don’t return to your previous habits.
8. Make sure you get enough sleep.
If you don’t get enough good quality sleep, you’re more likely to overeat during the day. This happens because of the hormonal imbalance that a lack of sleep causes in your body. As a result, you can crave more junk food and eat more than usual.
9. Motivate your partner or your friends to join you.
Sometimes it’s hard to stick to your goals when you do it all by yourself. But if you do it with your partner or a friend, the chances of success can increase. For example, you can have a talk with them and discuss the goals and motivation you can strive for together.