Sometimes it is extremely difficult to make healthier decisions when you have no idea where to start. This article points to five changes that will not kill your budget and might actually save you some cash, all while making changing your lifestyle a bit easier.
1. Never Skip Breakfast.
To regulate your body’s glucose levels, it is important to eat within 60 minutes of waking up. Sometimes we skip breakfast because we are incredibly busy but research has shown that by skipping breakfast you often consume more food throughout the day than you would have if you had just given yourself 10 extra minutes to eat breakfast. I recommend that you eat something which is high in protein such as oatmeal or eggs, which will leave you feeling fuller for longer as opposed to Rice Krispies.
2. Reduce your starch and sugar intake SLOWLY.
By eating foods that are high in sugar and high in carbohydrates your body goes through a quick energy release which might make you feel good for a short period but when that sugar spike drops you can be left feeling moody, lazy and tired. If you are trying to cut down your high-sugar and high-carbohydrate foods you need to look at it like building a new habit. This change is very drastic to your body, so start small. This will also help with overcoming withdrawal symptoms and might help with the guilt if you slip up. For the first two weeks, eat no high sugar or high starch foods for 4 days per week. After the first two weeks add another day and so on. You will be consuming less sugar and starch in no time.
3. Eat more Protein, Vegetables and Natural Fats.
We often forget to eat our veggies and often only leave it to dinner time but there are many ways to include veggies in all your meals. Try cauliflower in your smoothies for a thicker and richer texture. Also, try snacking on celery sticks or carrots instead of chips. By eating more veggies and protein you are keeping your body fuller for longer as well as stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Choose whole grains, legumes and lean proteins like fish and chicken breasts when trying to meet your protein levels. Also try to stick to healthy fats like avocados, seeds, nuts and olive oils but don’t overdo it!
4. Watch your salt intake.
I know a lot of people that just cannot help themselves when it comes to that salt shaker. Here are a few truths that might help you understand the importance of using salt scarcely: too much sodium can affect your blood pressure, damage organs and leave you with that bloating feeling we all hate. Try to slowly reduce your salt intake by ensuring you do not add extra salt to your meals. Instead, season your food with fresh herbs. Try getting into the habit of reading labels even on your bread and sauces because they can contain a ridiculous amount of salt and buy unsalted nuts and butter.
5. Swap artificial sweeteners for the natural sources.
We often think that sweeteners are so much better than ‘actual’ sugar. I have seen some of my girlfriends cut out sugar, but add artificial sweetener to their teas, coffees and foods. Studies have shown that artificially sweetened food and drinks can actually make you feel more hungry throughout the day which means you eating more calories. Majority of sweeteners are equivalent to two teaspoons of sugar anyway, so it is not a healthier option. Try to avoid ‘sugar free’ foods or that sweetener at your local coffee shop. Try using natural products like small amounts of honey or date syrup which will add some natural goodness to your food and drinks.
You are what you eat so eat well!