We’ve all likely had times in our lives where we thought “I need to find ways to eat more healthfully”, but it can seem overwhelming, or expensive, or just flat out difficult. However, we do know that eating a healthy diet not only helps us stay physically healthy, but also impacts our mental health. While it’s not easy, it may be easier than you think… plus, we’re here to help!
Here are five of our favorite ways to eat healthy more easily:
- Aim to make half of your plate fruits and veggies.
Fruits and vegetables provide a wide variety of nutrients and benefits. And getting your veggies can be more than eating a simple salad at a meal. A good way to make sure you’re eating enough is to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies – anything from greens like spinach or romaine lettuce, to root vegetables, to berries. The possibilities are endless!
- Make water your beverage of choice.
An easy way to keep your calories in check and stay hydrated is to make water your beverage of choice. Other beverages, like milk, 100% fruit or vegetable juice, teas and coffee have their place, but if you focus on drinking water, it will help with your hydration and satiety.
- Choose foods you like, but don’t be afraid to try something new.
Make it easy on yourself, and choose foods you like! If you try and force yourself to eat something that you don’t like (kale, quinoa, whatever it may be), then healthy eating becomes a hated chore. But eating healthy foods you know and like doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something new! Be willing to expand your horizons and try new ingredients – it can make healthy eating fun and exciting.
- Eat mindfully.
It’s easy to overeat and ignore fullness cues when we’re distracted while eating. Turn off the TV, put down the phone, and take time to focus on what you’re eating. You will enjoy your meal more because you’ll be paying attention to the flavors and textures, and you’ll be less likely to overeat because you’ll notice how much you’ve already eaten and how you’re feeling.
- Start slow.
You don’t have to change everything overnight! In fact, that might derail you. Take it slow, and figure out which healthy eating habits are easiest for you. Not sure you’re ready to try new fruits, veggies, or grains? Okay, no problem – work on filling your plate with fruits and veggies you already know you enjoy. Usually watching TV and on your phone while you eat? Cut one out to start. Small steps are still steps, and if we start slow, our changes will be more sustainable.