Making sure your diet and nutrition are top-notch is key to a healthy lifestyle. When you neglect to intake the correct nutrition you can wreak havoc on your body. Everything from organ function, mood, and energy levels can all be impacted by the foods you eat.
Overhauling your nutritional habits can be overwhelming. For many, it’s best to take baby steps and make small changes over time. Not only are these improvements manageable, but by easing into them, you are more likely to adopt them long-term. So check out these ways you can improve your diet and nutrition and put yourself on the right dietary track.
Being Mindful of Your Food Intake
Mindless eating is one of the quickest ways to sabotage your wellness and eat extra calories. It’s important to be mindful of not only what you are eating, but of how much you are eating. Serving sizes can quickly get out of control when you are distracted. And being busy can leave you grabbing mindlessly for the easiest thing to feed your hunger pangs.
Many people don’t realize how many calories they are actually eating in a day. First, take the time to research how many calories you actually need. Everything from your activity level to your weight comes into play. Your calorie goal will also fluctuate depending on if you are trying to lose, gain, or maintain your weight.
Use a food tracking app to gauge how many calories you are eating daily. It may take a few days to adjust your meals to fit within your calories goals. The good thing about tracking your eating is that you will also be able to identify any glaring nutritional needs that you are missing.
If you are very diligent about accurately tracking, you can make sure you are getting enough of the macronutrients like protein that your body needs to thrive. You can even make sure you are getting enough nutrients like essential vitamins and minerals. If you see that there are a few that you are not hitting your targets on consistently, add foods into your diet mindfully to fill these gaps.
During meals, make sure to take your time, pay attention to what you are eating, and enjoy your food. Don’t overfill your plate and take a break before grabbing seconds. Try to avoid eating in front of the TV or when working so you can really pay attention to your body and when you begin to feel full.
Being overly busy can lead to desperate snacking. Set yourself up for success by having options on hand that are quick and convenient but also healthy. Fresh fruit and veggies, pre-portioned nuts, and protein bars with clean ingredients are all great snacks to grab and go.
Don’t Be Afraid to Supplement
Modern medicine has made it easier to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrition that you need. Don’t be afraid to supplement to meet your nutritional goals. Everything from extra protein to a multi-vitamin can allow you to be healthier and more well-rounded nutritionally.
If you are trying to build muscle, you know how tough it can be to get adequate protein. It’s key to get all of the essential amino acids that are needed to strengthen your muscles to their fullest potential. A supplement is an efficient way to make sure you are getting a great combination of amino acids.
A daily multivitamin is another great way to make sure your nutrition intake is robust. It’s not a replacement for a healthy diet. But you can think of it as a backup for any vitamins or minerals that you don’t eat enough of during a certain period. Look for one that is formulated for your gender, age, and any dietary restrictions to best meet your individual needs.
Nearly 42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. It can be tough to get enough of this essential nutrient, especially during the winter months when the sun is less available to help your body produce it. However, lacking it can lead to health issues and wreak havoc on your immune system. A daily supplement can help ensure that you are getting the vitamin D you need to stay healthy.
Meal Planning and Prep Are Key
Being busy makes it tough to prioritize eating healthy and nutritious meals. This makes both meal planning and prepping key strategies. Set aside some time each week to plan your meals for the week and prep any ingredients and dishes that you can ahead of time.
A calendar or spreadsheet can allow you to easily plan out each dinner for the week. It also gives you the opportunity to create a shopping list. Having a plan when you hit the grocery store can help you avoid impulse buys that are often unhealthy. Plus, you’ll save some cash by sticking to your list and only buying the ingredients that you need.
Prepping your lunches for the week can help you fill your days with satisfying nutritious meals that keep your energy levels at their best. Salads, grain bowls, and soups can all be prepped ahead of time. Consider your dinners and their nutritional content when planning your lunches for a well-rounded day.
Taking some time to prep ingredients for the week is another way to add a dose of nutrition to every meal. Wash fruit to throw in the blender for a quick smoothie or to add to your cereal. Chop fresh peppers and onions to add to pasta or your morning scrambled eggs. Roasting a batch of veggies like sweet potatoes or brussels sprouts for the week gives you quick and flavorful additions to nearly any dish.
Improving Your Food Habits for Long-Term Wellbeing
Being mindful of your eating is key to having a healthy relationship with food. And supplementing is a helpful tool in bridging any gaps in nutrients you may have. Grilling your food is also a way to eat healthy food.Taking the time to evaluate your current eating habits and looking for small ways to change them can help make an overwhelming process more manageable.
Don’t think of improving your food habits as diet goals, think of them as long-term lifestyle changes. With a little planning and prep, you can set yourself up for nutritional success. And by creating healthy habits, you’ll be healthier, happier, and boost your overall well being.