Are you having trouble sticking to your New Year’s resolution of making healthier decisions in the kitchen? Adding nutritious foods to your diet can be difficult, especially when you lead a busy lifestyle. What if you don’t have time to cook at home? What if healthy food doesn’t sound appetizing?
Whether you’re adopting a healthier diet to lose weight, ease symptoms of chronic illness, or even aid in your addiction recovery, making healthy food choices is well worth the effort. Whatever your obstacle -- maybe you have picky taste buds, struggle to cook at home, or just don’t know where to start -- these four tips will help you add healthy foods to your meals effortlessly.
1. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
If you spend a decent portion of your day away from home, pack a lunchbox with several healthy snacks. Even if you don’t eat them, you’ll have them on hand if you get hungry. We are far less likely to purchase unhealthy snacks if we have free food available.
Healthy snacks could include fruits (such as apples, oranges, bananas, or plums), crackers, cheese, or pre-made snack packs that are around one hundred calories each. Bring several options to avoid excuses. You should also pair your snacks with a large water bottle. The more you stay hydrated throughout the day, the less hungry you’ll be.
2. Shop Smart
It’s not exactly a secret that healthy food is more expensive than junk food, but don’t let prices stop you from following through on your resolution. Foods that can be purchased for less than two dollars include: brown rice, multigrain pasta, whole-wheat bread, Greek yogurt, oats, potatoes, and more. Shop smart and include these items on your list, eliminating the excuse that healthy eating is too expensive for your lifestyle. One great way to get extra fruit and vegetables in your diet is to make a smoothie every morning. Just make sure you’ve got blender capable of crushing ice.
3. Make a List
Are you a picky eater? If you weren’t encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables regularly as a kid, you may not eat a lot of them now. Solve this problem by generating a list of healthy foods that you enjoy eating. Some crowd-pleasing options include rice, bananas, apples, watermelon, carrots, celery, raisins, and oats. Use this list to plan your meals for the week. Your version of healthy eating might not look as colorful as the dishes in a cookbook, but it will make a significant difference in your physical health.
4. Track Your Food
One surefire way to encourage healthy eating is tracking the food you ingest, especially if you aren’t able to cook for yourself at home. More often than not, we aren’t aware of the number of calories we eat on a daily basis. It can be shocking when we learn the truth.
On average, humans should eat 2,000 calories each day to maintain their current weight. Download a tracking application on your computer or smartphone or simply write it down on paper. Learn more about the best options through Healthline.
For the first week, eat as you normally would. This will help you determine what your current habits are. From there, make necessary changes to improve your health.
These four methods will help you add nutritious food to your diet without breaking the bank or making yourself uncomfortable. Losing weight and making healthy decisions can be frustrating. In the end, however, you’ll be grateful for the positive changes in your physical (and mental) health.
Source: Sheila Olson