A healthy body is truly a blessing in modern days.
In order to keep yourself healthy and functional, you need a well-balanced healthy diet regularly.
A healthy diet, as the name suggests, is packed with essential proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients that collectively boost your immunity to the risk of several chronic diseases, diabetes, and other diseases.
Chances are you don’t have a healthy eating habit. And, making some major changes to your diet seems an overwhelming task, doesn’t it?
Well, rather than completely changing your diet, I suggest starting with a few smaller changes.
Healthy Diet Tips
In this article, I am going to suggest some small diet and lifestyle changes to help you stay healthy and fit.
Here are 27 healthy diet tips for weight loss that you can start implementing today.
1. Slow down with the food
The speed at which you eat greatly influences the amount of food you eat in one bout and how likely you are to put on weight.
In fact, various studies based on this speed have concluded that those who eat faster are up to 115% more likely to gain weight than others.
Your body has different hormones that control your appetite, how soon you get full, and how much you eat at once. In fact, these hormones signaling your brain whenever you feel hungry or full.
Depending upon person to person, the brain takes around 15 to 20 minutes to receive these signals. This shows that the slower you eat the more likely you are to consume less food in one bout.
Here, the hidden objective is the slower you eat the more thorough you are likely to chew your food, which is directly linked to better body weight management.
2. Eat whole grain meals not refined
In contrast to refined grains, whole grain meals are linked to a variety of health benefits.
Eating refined grains is directly link to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes cancer and heart disease.
Whole grain bread is a good source of fiber minerals vitamin B, Iron, Zinc, and Manganese.
As opposed to their availability, whole grain bread tastes a lot better than refined bread.
Whenever buying whole grain bread make sure to read the label to ensure that it is made of whole grains only. If you can find that that contains grains are oilseeds nothing is better than that.
3. Never go grocery shopping without a list
Where you need to go grocery shopping there can be multiple strategies that you want to employ.
You certainly wouldn’t want to go to a grocery store hungry and without a shopping list prepared in advance.
It has been noticed that those who go grocery shopping on an empty stomach are likely to buy unwanted stuff. This is because hunger exacerbates the impulses and makes room for impulse buying.
In order to make sure you do not get into your impulses, prepare a list of what all you need beforehand.
Doing this will help you not only buy healthy items but also save money that you might spend on unhealthy foods.
4. Include greek yogurt in your diet
Greek yogurt is more of a thicker and premium version of a regular yogurt. You may also call at Greek-style yogurt.
In other words, Greek yogurt is nothing but a strained version of regular yogurt where the excess water has been removed. The end product is a greek yogurt that is high in both fat and protein at the same time.
Greek yogurt has up to three times the protein than regular yogurt, which is up to 9 grams per 100 grams of yogurt.
You probably already know that eating a good source of protein helps you feel full for a longer period of time. It helps you manage your hunger and leaving you less prone to eating calories.
Since Greek yogurt is a strained version of yogurt, it includes fewer carbs and lactose as compared to regular yogurt. This makes it more suitable for people who are lactose intolerant.
However, make sure to pick an unflavored, unsweetened version of Greek yogurt as they may include unhealthy ingredients like sugar.
5. Eggs should be your first meal of the day
Nothing can be as healthy as eggs if you consume them for breakfast.
Eggs contain high-quality proteins and include many essential nutrients (like choline) that many people do not get in enough amount.
In fact, based on various studies that compared different types of calorie-matched breakfasts, one could have, eggs would top the list.
When you eat eggs for breakfast, they curb your appetite making you feel full for a longer period of time. People have been seen consuming fewer calories for the next 24 to 36 hours who consumed eggs for breakfast.
Undoubtedly, this is the best and most helpful for people who on a weight loss diet.
A study showed that those who ate eggs for breakfast would consume around 300 fewer calories in a day as compared to others.
6. Increase Your Daily Protein Intake
Not to forget the fact that protein is the king of all nutrients, it does have many superpowers.
Protein comes with the ability to curb your hunger and is definitely the key nutrient amongst them all.
A recent study revealed that people who increased their daily protein intake from 15% to 30% would eat 441 fewer calories than others.
Protein is an essential nutrient for everyone, especially for those who work out, as it helps to put on muscle mass. In fact, a high protein intake helps burn 80 to 100 more calories a day.
Therefore, you must add good sources of protein to your diet. The list includes peanuts, beans, lean meat, peanut butter, and most importantly, eggs.
7. Drink plenty of water
You must have heard of this famous saying that the human body is made of 70% water. In fact, water is the best natural beverage you can get to drink on this planet.
Studies have proven that drinking plenty of water every day is very important. It not only keeps you hydrated but also helps manage body weight.
Also, doctors recommend drinking water 30 minutes before your meals, as it curbs your appetite, and therefore, calorie intake.
Other studies have proved that drinking enough water helps minimize your sugar levels as well. These people have shown to consume up to 200 fewer calories as compared to others.
8. Eat baked and roasted instead of fried and grilled
Your cooking style has significant impacts on the way it is going to affect your health.
Some popular methods of preparing food are grilling deep frying boiling etc. And, you might not believe when I tell you that your cooking method leads to the generation of several potentially toxic compounds, such as
- Advanced glycation end products (AGEs)
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and
- Heterocyclic amines (HCAs)
These are directly linked to several chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer.
There are other ways of cooking like, such as baking, slow cooking, broiling, simmering, pressure cooking, and sous-vide. These do not lead to the formation of any of these harmful compound, keeping your body healthy.
9. Take vitamin D and omega-3 supplements
Comprising the 42% of the US population, a huge and surprising number of people all over the world are living with the deficiency of vitamin D.
Very important for your bone health and well as your immune system proper functioning, vitamin D is highly fat soluble.
Believe it or not every single cell in your body has vitamin D receptor signifying its importance.
You may not find all vegetarian foods rich in vitamin D, but certain types of seafood are rich in vitamin D.
In fact, seafood is also very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which most to us humans lack in.
Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, help maintain a healthy heart, and significantly promote brain function.
As not everyone can eat seafood on a regular basis, it is recommended to take supplements.
10. Consider replacing your favorite restaurants
Well eating out does not have to be unhealthy, always. You can easily find healthy options out there too.
So, consider upgrading your favorite restaurant to a healthier one today as the first step to a healthy life.
Just Google ‘healthy foods near me’ and you will find a range of restaurants to order food from. However, nothing can be better than cooking a healthy meal at home for yourself.
11. Make yourself a new healthy recipe every week
Are you eating the same meals again and again just because you failed to decide what to eat for dinner?
Chances are you order the same foods every other day from the same restaurant.
As you may have been eating healthy and unhealthy foods, it is always healthy and beneficial to try something new when it comes to food.
What you can do is find yourself healthy recipes on YouTube and try at least one once every week. This is really essential in terms of your nutrients intake which is overall healthy for your body and mind.
12. Bake your potatoes and not fry them
Potatoes are very fulfilling because of the starch they have and are pretty common to most dishes.
As mentioned above, the way you cook your food determines how it is going to impact your health.
You will be surprised to know that one serving (100 gm) of baked potatoes contains only 94 calories, whereas the same amount of fried potatoes contains as high as 319 calories.
Moreover, the french fries you eat at McDonald’s and Burger King contain harmful compounds, such as trans fat and aldehydes.
Simply replace your fried potatoes with baked ones to cut down on excess calories and avoid health risks of various types.
13. Eat whole fruits instead of juices
Your mom always tells you to eat fruits, don’t they?
You should have heard her and had fruits in full instead of preparing fresh juices out of them, as they are very rich in vitamins, fiber, water, and antioxidants.
Various studies have revealed that drinking whole fruits reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer of certain types.
Fruits contain various plant compounds and fiber, and their sugar is slowly digested in your body. As a result, it does not spike your blood sugar levels.
Unfortunately, the same formula does not apply when you create juices out of them.
Even real juices lack chewing resistance and fiber content found in whole fruits, which makes juices likely to spike your blood sugar levels.
14. Eat greens in abundance
Your meals should be filled with greens like salads. To make sure you don’t avoid them, try to eat them in the beginning.
This way, you are more likely to eat all your greens while you are the hungriest. You can fill the rest of your stomach with other less healthy foods.
Doing this will help you eat fewer calories and maintain a healthy body weight.
Studies have revealed that eating greens just before a carb-loaded meal helps maintain blood sugar levels.
They also slow down the pace at which carbs are absorbed in your body and mixed into your bloodstream. This helps blood sugar regulation in both the short- and long-run.
15. Eat homemade foods very often
Eating at home is a pretty good habit. It not only helps you stay healthy but also saves you enough money that you would otherwise spend on eating out.
Most importantly it is easier on your monthly budget.
Another important benefit is that when you cook food for yourself, you exactly know ingredients you have added and how much calories you are going to eat.
You can also cook large servings and the leftover can be consumed on the next day if it is still healthy.
Moreover, cooking at home seems to be fruitful as it reduces the risk of excessive weight gain particularly in children.
16. Stay more active
As good food and exercise go hand in hand, a regular home-based exercise schedule is all you need.
Not only does exercise help improve your mood it also tends to decrease the feeling of depression anxiety and stress.
It is a popular belief that exercise only helps strengthen your bones and muscles. However, it also helps you lose excess weight and increase your overall energy levels.
Experts suggest that exercising daily reduces the risk of chronic diseases and improve your sleeping pattern at the same time.
Make sure you do at least 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity workout on a daily basis. If you cannot go to the gym you can watch exercise videos online and try them at home. However, start with stretching and light weight exercises.
17. Cut down on sugary beverages
You may feel great while sipping your favorite soft drink on a hot afternoon. However, these are among the unhealthiest choices you could ever make.
Consuming excess sugar is directly linked to open invitation to several diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
You should be aware of the fact that your brain does not register your calorie intake from liquid sugar the same way it does from solid sugar.
This means that you cannot compensate for all the calories you consumed by drinking unhealthy sugary beverages by eating any less solid foods.
FYI – 500-ml soft drink contains approximately 210 calories.
Therefore you must quit on sugary beverages or simply replace them with lemon water.
18. Say No to “Diet Foods”
You probably think diet foods are safe alternatives to other and healthy packaged foods.
Let me break your bubble; they are NOT.
What these foods usually have is reduced fat content and are labeled fat free, reduced fat, low-calorie etc.
However, they end up adding artificial colors, sugar, and other preservatives to enhance the taste and texture, which makes these foods high in calories.
In other words, many diet foods end up containing more sugar than usual. They sometimes contain too many calories than their fat counterparts.
All you can do is seriously avoid a packaged food if its wrapper says diet.
19. Always get a good night’s sleep
Nothing can compensate for a good night’s sleep whatsoever.
On the other hand, sleep-deprivation leads to irregular appetite or increased appetite (quite often), which further increases your calorie intake. This results in increased body weight.
A study revealed the fact that those who sleep less tend to gain excess body weight than those who get enough sleep.
Moreover, sleep deprivation causes lack of concentration, decreased productivity at work, reduce athletic performance and adverse effects of your metabolism and immune system.
You may get surprised when I tell you that sleep deprivation increases your risk of developing several chronic diseases, including heart disease and inflammation.
So, make sure you get enough good night’s sleep and that too in one bout.
20. Consume fresh berries rather than dried ones
Do you know what good berries can do to your health? Berries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
They are available in a variety, including fresh or frozen and dried. While all these types of berries are good for your health, the dried ones (specifically) are pretty much-concentrated sugar sources because of almost zero water content.
Consuming one serving (100 gm) of fresh or frozen berries gives you 32 to 35 calories, whereas the same quantity of dried berries gives you around 396 calories. This is because dried berries are loaded with sugar for the sole purpose of taste enhancement.
So, always opt for fresh berries for a natural, juicy taste and fewer calories.
21. Eat popcorn and not chips
You may be surprised to know that popcorn is whole wheat that is loaded with fiber and nutrients.
Consuming one serving (100 gm) of air-popped popcorn gives you about 387 calories along with 15 grams of fiber, whereas the same amount of chips gives you 547 calories combined with 4 grams of fiber.
Studies have shown that whole grain diets are directly linked to great health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and inflammation.
You can also try and make healthy popcorn at home or simply buy air-popped popcorn only when you have to buy it from the market.
22. Take a smaller portion
There is no doubt about the fact that the size of your plate affects the amount of food you consume in one bout.
Eating a smaller portion in a big plate makes it look smaller while the same amount of food looks bigger on a small plate. Various studies have proven the fact that people tend to eat about 30% more when served in a large plate or a large bowl.
Since you don’t realize that you ate more than usual in the current meal, you are not going to compensate when it is time for your next meal.
So, make sure to choose a smaller plate for all your meals and trick your brain that you’re eating in full. This will help you eat less.
23. Use healthy cooking oils
Over the past a few years, we have been using highly processed vegetable and seed oils for cooking, such as cottonseed, canola, soybean, sunflower etc.
Well, all these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in essential omega-3s. This high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio reduces the risk of inflammation and chronic diseases, such as inflammation, heart diseases, cancer, osteoporosis, and autoimmune diseases.
Simply replace these cooking oils with their healthy alternatives like avocado oil, coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil.
24. Drink black coffee
Coffee may be your favorite beverage but it is very much healthy if you avoid sugar and milk.
Do you know coffee is a major source of antioxidants that are linked to certain health benefits, including a lower risk of diabetes, liver disease, and mental decline?
Coffee helps you stay active for a longer period of time and can be your best mate if you’re a working professional. However, many ready-to-drink, packaged varieties of coffee are nothing but desserts in a cup.
These packages contain high amounts of sugar syrup and other artificial sweeteners and milk, which may enhance its taste but curb the expected health benefits at the same time.
So, make sure you drink black coffee or add a little bit of milk and/or sugar as per your taste.
25. Be careful with your salad dressings
You may or may not believe when I tell you that there are some people who consider ordering salads at a restaurant an achievement. Are you one of those people?
First of all, you should prepare your salads yourself. Besides, your efforts shouldn’t end there.
Salads prepared at restaurants like Subway are smothered in high-calorie dressings that make your salad even higher in calories than other items in the menu.
26. Eat oatmeal very often
Oats are very healthy for you, as they’re rich in fiber and other nutrients.
Not only is oatmeal quick and easy to make but it also keeps you full for a longer period of time. This helps you avoid unhealthy foods, especially when you’re not at home.
The best way to prepare a healthy oatmeal recipe is to add skimmed milk. It significantly enhances the nutritional value of your meal by including up to 6 grams of high-quality protein, 200 mg of calcium, 250 mg of potassium, vitamin B and D.
So, make sure you add skimmed milk instead of water to your quick oatmeal recipe.
27. Use mustard and not mayonnaise
Many people are seen using mayonnaise or simply mayo-based sandwich spreads, which are very high in calories, omega-6 fatty acids, and fat quantity.
Thess dressings or sandwich spreads are easily available at your nearby provisional store or in supermarkets. They certainly enhance the taste of your sandwich but what about the nutritional value of your meal?
Mustard, on the other hand, enhances the nutritional value of your meal and cuts down about 100 calories, over 7 grams of omega-6 fatty acids, about 1.5 gram of saturated fat from your daily diet.
Now, many of you must be thinking that it’s impossible to implement so many changes to your diet. However, I suggest starting with the simplest ones.
Replace white bread with whole wheat bread, unhealthy cooking oil with a healthy one, add salads to your meals etc.
Things aren’t that much complicated, are they?
Do let me know what diet changes you would like to start with, in the comment section below.