It is a common story–you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, but you keep slipping and picking up junk food from the vending machine or grabbing a hamburger from the nearest fast food place on your way home because you are ,just too hungry and tired. You are not alone. With the daily pressures of life it can often seem too hard to maintain a healthy diet. However, by following these simple steps, it can be easier to eat healthy.
1. Drink lots of water. Some people say you should aim for eight glasses of water a day. This may or may not be enough for you. Instead of counting glasses of water, learn to pay attention to your body. You may be mistaking thirsty signals for hunger signals and trying to eat your way out of dehydration. Try keeping a water bottle filled with water near you all day and sip out of it often. Substitute water for juice and pop at your meals.
2. Eat lot of fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables contain fiber which helps with digestion and keeps you feeling full longer. When you go shopping, head to the produce section of the grocery store first and fill your cart with fresh produce. If you are always eating on the go, don’t pick out produce that is going to need a lot of effort. Instead, pick things like grapes or baby carrots which can be eaten quickly with very little mess. When you get home, don’t hide the produce in a drawer in your fridge. Display it on your counter or, if it needs to be cold, put it at eye level in the fridge so it is the first thing you see.
3. Eat protein. Protein is an important part of your diet. It takes longer for your body to digest so you feel full longer and it is a great source on energy so you are not left feeling sleepy a few hours after your meal. A great source of protein is meat, but it is not the only one. Tofu, beans, and nuts are also excellent sources of protein. Keeping a small bag of nuts in your desk to snack on a few hours after lunch can help ward off hunger.
4. Plan ahead. Everyone has a different schedule. Find a way to prepare healthy meals that works for you. A slow cooker is a useful tool. Many traditional meals such as casseroles, tacos and soups can be prepared in them. A little extra time in the morning will give you a delicious meal in the evening. You can also cook a week worth of meals on the weekend and freeze them until you need them. Another option is to eat your salad as soon as you get home from work. It does not have to be a fancy salad, just a few greens and a little dressing is fine. Enjoy it and then make your main course when you are not starving. This will prevent you from sampling your dinner too much.
By drinking water and eating lots of fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins you can improve your lifestyle and become healthier. It needs some effort and planning, but not much. When you know you have a healthy meal waiting, you won’t be tempted by the fast food chain on the way home.