Eating a wholesome, balanced diet is one of the first recommendations we get when we talk to our doctors and nutritionists about enhancing our health. What we put in our bodies has a significant effect on our vital organs and functions. But it's not as easy as it sounds. Promoting healthy eating takes time, intention, and a lot of trial-and-error.
But despite the challenges, there are a few ways to help promote healthy eating and develop new habits to keep you on the right track. These five tips can help you jumpstart your quest to improve your diet and wellbeing.
Plan for Healthy Eating
It sounds simple, but it's one of the best ways to ensure that you'll stick to a healthier lifestyle, and that is to plan. Let's say you get home from work, you feel tired, and you don't know what to make for dinner. You open the fridge and see an assortment of food that doesn't click. Going to the store sounds exhausting, so what do you do? Do you turn to take out and order a pizza? Do you grab the nearest bag of chips and call it a meal?
When you don't prepare, how can you expect to stick to a plan that works? The best thing to do is meal planning, which has grown in popularity recently. Spend one day a week choosing meals, writing shopping lists, and preparing as much as you can beforehand. This way, when you return home after a long day, you have a healthy meal ready to make quickly.
Prioritize Healthy Choices
When you plan, you hold yourself accountable for your original meal choices. And when you're not tired and craving sugary or fatty treats, you can prioritize a healthy diet that fills you faster and more efficiently. Not everyone follows the same diet, so take this advice and apply it to your preferred regime.
In general, healthy eating must include wholesome food, such as fresh (or frozen) fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. This advice also includes snacking. Have healthy snacks available to you so that you can make a wholesome diet a priority when you need one.
Eating healthy food throughout the day will keep cravings in control. We often crave sugar because of sugar imbalances. Yes, we've been taught to have three meals a day, but that can result in an imbalance of blood sugar. By eating healthy food regularly, you can keep cravings down and continue to make the right decisions.
Another reason why regular eating patterns can promote healthy choices is psychological. When you restrict yourself, you often start to crave the things you've told yourself to avoid. But when you allow yourself to consume wholesome foods in abundance, you trick yourself into feeling satisfied.
Has anyone ever told you that when you feel hungry, you might just be thirsty? By staying hydrated with healthy liquids—and limiting sugary drinks—you can better satiate your hunger. When you're not hungry and craving bad foods, you're more likely to choose healthier options. Staying hydrated has other benefits, as well. It can help regulate your body temperature, support your organs, and prevent infection, amongst other things.
Start a Garden
When you grow your own food, it changes your perspective. Supporting seedlings to grow into edible plants and vegetables is a great way to understand the importance of nourishing your body. And when you better understand where good, healthy food comes from, you're more likely to choose it over processed alternatives.
Gardening gives you a unique connection with the natural world. This connection allows you to slow down while lowering stress levels and anxiety. Feeling calmer and less stressed promotes healthy eating because you can make better decisions when choosing what to eat. If you don’t have your own property for a garden, there are community plots or community gardens that you can use or help with volunteerism.