Most diets are restrictive, tough to follow, and unsustainable, leaving you feeling like a failure if you don’t follow through. Switching up your eating habits in a health-conscious way, however, is a more sustainable way to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy is easy when you know what to do. Making small changes in your daily eating habits builds up over time and improves your health in the long run. If these tips seem overwhelming to incorporate all at once, add them in slowly until they become part of your regular routine. Ready to make some healthy changes? Here are 10 ways to eat healthy without dieting.
10 Ways to Eat Healthy without Dieting
1. Load Up on Leafy Greens
Leafy greens, like spinach, arugula and kale are one of the healthiest things you can eat, as they’re full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. They’re high in antioxidants, support optimal brain health, and fight belly bloat. Plus, they’re super easy to add into meals, from adding spinach to your smoothie to putting arugula on a sandwich, or snacking on baked kale chips. They’re packed with nutrients but low in calories, and are a key part of a healthy diet.
2. Practice Mindfulness While You Eat
Mindful eating is so important. So much of the time, we eat quickly, on-the-go or while we work, without taking a break. This can cause us to overeat as we don’t give our bodies time to fill up before eating more. Mealtime should be a time to slow down, unwind, and enjoy your food. Put your phone away, turn off the TV and allow yourself to relax and be mindful about what you’re eating. Eat slowly and really chew your food so you’re not just scarfing your meals down.
3. Eat More Protein (And Eat It First Thing)
Protein helps keep you full and satisfied, reduces your hunger levels, and increases muscle mass and strength. You should be eating protein at every meal, and it’s especially important to eat it first thing in the morning.
Protein helps balance your blood sugar. If you spike your blood sugar in the morning (by eating pastries or pancakes), you’re more likely to eat up to double the food throughout the day. Aim to eat 15 to 20 grams of protein within an hour of waking up, as well as at lunch and dinner. Quality sources of protein are eggs, Greek yogurt, lentils, tofu, chicken breast, fish, peanuts, cottage cheese and tofu.
4. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking water is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health. Not only does it keep you hydrated, it aids in digestion, carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells and boosts your energy and brain function.
Steer clear of sugary beverages like pop or sweetened coffee drinks as much as possible and stick to water throughout the day. If you’re craving a pop, drink sparkling water and add berries, mint or lemon for some flavour. You can also try good-for-you beverages like tea and green juice, which are loaded with antioxidants and health benefits.
5. Eat Water-Rich Foods
While drinking water is important, eating foods that are high in water content boosts hydration, prevents tiredness and fatigue, and adds extra nutrients on top of H20. Load up on foods like tomatoes, cucumber, oranges, berries and watermelon, as well as broths and soups throughout the day.
6. Make as Many Meals at Home as Possible
Aim to make the majority of your meals yourself at home. This will ensure you’re aware of all the ingredients going into your recipes and will help keep you away from processed, fast foods. Even if you order from healthy food places, there’s almost always added salt, sugar or other ingredients that make it not-so-healthy.
Don’t rely on takeout or pre-made foods for the bulk of your meals. Sure, it’s nice one in a while as a treat, but making your own meals daily is the best way to stay on top of your health. Cook with nutritious foods like vegetables, whole grains, and protein and fibre-rich foods.
7. Up Your Fruit Intake
Fruits are a key source of essential vitamins, minerals and fibre, plus they’re loaded with antioxidants. Eating a diet high in fruits can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, inflammation and diabetes. It’s super easy to add fruits to your meals, especially at breakfast and lunch. Add berries, a grapefruit or banana to your breakfast, or throw an apple or orange into your lunch bag.
8. Be Conscious of Portion Size
Portion sizes at many restaurants and fast food joints seem to keep increasing, which can lead to us eating bigger portion sizes of our homemade meals too. It’s important to eat enough food to fuel your body and keep it satisfied, but sometimes when we’re served a bigger portion, we eat all of it without even being hungry.
Try using smaller plates, wait 20 minus before going for seconds (it can take time to feel full after you’ve eaten), and don’t pick at leftovers. Once you’re full, remove any leftovers from your eye line so you don’t eat them mindlessly.
9. Eat More Seeds
Seeds like chia, flax and pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious, containing plenty of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals like calcium, zinc and magnesium. You can add flax seeds and chia seeds to everything from salads to smoothies to pasta dishes, and you can snack on roasted pumpkin seeds for a healthy, delicious midday boost.
10. Increase Your Fibre Intake
Fibre is essential to a healthy diet, keeping you regular, balancing your digestive system and boosting your gut health. Fibre is the part of foods that your body can’t break down, so it passes through your entire digestive system and helps keep it healthy. High fibre foods also take longer to digest, making you feel full for longer. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lentils and oats are all great sources of fibre.
If you’re on a mission to eat healthier, use these tips to fuel your body with nutrients and satisfying foods, rather than crash dieting.
This post contains affiliate links.
Did you enjoy this post on how to eat healthy without dieting? We’d love it if you shared it on Pinterest!
Looking for more healthy eating tps? Make sure to follow our Health Board on Pinterest!