Making changes to your diet can sometimes be seen as an impossible battle. There’s an overload of information coming from an entire industry dedicated to eating ‘right’ – but what exactly is right? And what wisdom is helpful?
If you’re looking to change small behaviours that will help you feel awake, refreshed and healthy, you’re in for a treat. If we follow these 5 rules, feeling healthier and happier will be here before you know it!
1. Swap desserts for fruit bowls
Cakes, ice creams, biscuits, chocolate. They’re so tempting, they must have been crafted by the Devil himself. It’s hard to resist a chocolate digestive after dinner, and you want to treat yourself on a dinner out, right?
Sugary desserts are certainly scrumptious, but they making changes to our diets don’t have to get rid of sweetness entirely. If you want to avoid sugary foods at dessert time, switch your ice cream bowls for fruit bowls.
Fruit bowls can be rich and colourful if you mix lots of different fruits together. They also cut out the bad sugars and are full of natural (fructose) sugars that your body needs. Not to mention, they’re bursting with a variety of flavours that never get tiring, no matter how many times you eat them.
Switching ice cream for fruit bowls means you don’t have to give up on dessert, either!
2. Water bottles
Your body is 70% water – so don’t forget about it!
Drinking water regularly throughout the day helps your body function much more efficiently than when you ignore it. It’ll help you feel more awake, and for longer, too; if you’re alert then you’ll find it easier to engage with the world and keep your brain going. It also helps your skin look healthier, but, perhaps most importantly, it can help to prevent hangovers!
Making changes to your diet can be cost-effective, too. Carrying a water bottle with you everywhere will remind you to drink more, and will stop you from wasting money on single-use plastic bottles in the shops.
Not liking the taste of water is no longer an excuse, either, as there are filter water bottles available: they come with a special compartment in which you fit food to flavour your water (you get a tasty treat after you drink your water too).
3. Snack on veggies – or not at all
Sometimes, three square meals aren’t enough to get us through the day – but snacking is one of the worst ways to skewer your diet without you even realising. In that case, it’s best not to snack at all, and save your food for meal time.
If you absolutely have to snack, then put back the biscuits in the cupboard and grab a healthy alternative. Something like nuts and fruits can restore balance in your diet and save you from extra unhealthiness.
You can also turn, instead, to vegetables. These – particularly salad foods – can be just as satisfying without all the health risks associated with common snack foods. Combining carrots, cucumber slices and/or peppers with hummus, another healthy favourite, can be a great way to get protein into your diet without relying on meat.
4. Don’t be fooled by the labels
Unfortunately, marketing a product as ‘healthy’ is a way for companies to trick you into buying whatever they’re selling – and this impedes on our ability to make effective changes to our diets. They may actually be misleading you about what is in their foods, so you unwittingly buy something with more sugar, salt or fat in it than is good for you.
It helps to be cynical about what companies are telling you, and to conduct your own research through TV programmes, online searches, or through simply checking the packaging. Watch out what’s orange and red on the food charts and don’t hesitate to compare with products of the same type. Don’t give your body a nasty surprise!
5. Stuff your smoothies with goodies
Smoothies are a surefire way to make being healthy more fun for you!
Particularly handy if you’re an on-the-go sort of person, preparing a smoothie to drink on the day gets rid of a need to pack a bulky lunch or breakfast. In terms of nutrition, smoothies make eating fruit and vegetables really easy, and you can hide tastes you’re not keen on under stronger flavours you’re putting into your drink.
Smoothies are such a popular food phenomenon now that recipes are everywhere. If you’re not satisfied with a basic strawberry smoothie, consult the internet and experiment!