Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the midst of other commitments can be tricky to say the least. Slaving over the stove to make a healthy meal isn’t what anyone wants to be doing after a long day’s work, and convenience leads many of us to pick up some fast food on our lunch breaks. We’ve all been there, but our diet is immensely important to our health and wellbeing.
Not only does a balanced diet make us feel better in ourselves, but it puts us in better stead to combat health-related issues and potential visits to oncologists. No one is saying it’s easy to take control of your diet, but it’s certainly doable with the following steps.
One simple way of taking control of your diet is to plan your meals in advance. This way, you’ll avoid the rush that pushes you into throwing frozen food in the oven or ordering takeout. Of course, you shouldn’t expect yourself to cut out takeout food completely, but everything must be enjoyed in moderation. Not only will cutting back on takeout benefit you health wise, but your bank account will also thank you. Unfortunately, takeout food contains a lot of salt and fat and, although these are staples of any diet, eating them in excess isn’t good for your health.
Find Healthy Alternatives
A lot of us are guilty of snacking throughout the day, whether it’s salty chips or sweet chocolate. Unfortunately, these snacks don’t have much nutritional value and too much can damage your health. If you’re a sweet tooth, you might buy vegan chocolate in place of milk chocolate, as these alternatives tend to contain fewer fats, calories, and ingredients. Similarly, if you love chips, maybe you can put some broken-up wholemeal tortillas in the oven to make your own tortilla chips. These small adjustments will ensure that you’re not going hungry, but also help you steer away from over-indulging.
Track What You Eat
Another way that you can reclaim control of your diet is by tracking what you eat. There are many apps out there, such as MyFitnessPal that allow you to create a food diary and monitor what you’re eating. This gives you the means of honestly assessing your diet and observing your eating patterns so that you can identify any issues. These apps are also great for those who want to lose weight, as they allow you to count your calories, so that you’re not exceeding your required calories for the day. You might find that you sometimes eat out of boredom and identifying this can help you kick your bad eating habits.
Particularly in the US, portion control is a problem. Most of us are guilty of eating more than what we need, and you’re more likely to eat more if you pile your plate up. Instead, you should serve yourself smaller portions and go back for seconds if you find that you’re still hungry around 20 minutes later. The brain takes around 20 minutes to register that your stomach is full, meaning that you may be easting unnecessarily up until this point. Eating little and often keeps you fuller for longer rather than engorging yourself with large meals, which leads to cravings.
Finally, a controlled diet alone won’t keep you healthy; you also need to regularly exercise. This doesn’t mean that you need to be running three miles, seven days a week, but you should at least go for a 30 minute walk each day. You might even find that this leads to you being less hungry throughout the day.