Eating healthy shouldn’t be a hard task for anyone. Surely, calculating calories or keeping the cholesterol count in check could be too hard for anyone at the start. When the challenge becomes too much to bear, eventually, people would rather opt to eat unhealthily just because of the fact that eating properly could be a chore.
Then again, healthy options shouldn’t be too hard to choose. Something as simple as going for water instead of soda can be one of the most important health decisions you would ever make.
Find out more about the easiest ways for you to be healthy – you don’t even need to think too hard. These health hacks targets your unconscious mind:
Using Smaller Plates
One of the best actions you could take is to get smaller plates. The simple idea is that when using smaller plates, you brain is wired that only a small amount of food can fit on it.
Of course, bigger plates mean bigger portions, and that means you eat more. According to many studies, opting for a smaller plate can help you eat significantly less amount of food. For example, if you made a simple change and served your dinner on 10-inch plates instead of a 12-inch plate, you would eat 22% less food over the course of the next year.
Also, psychology says that eating less is not as easy as just putting less food on your plate regardless of the diameter of the plate. If you’re thinking, “maybe I’ll just put less food on my plate,” you become more susceptible to being unsuccessful as compared to someone who uses a smaller plate. Additionally, psychology says that when you eat a small portion off of a large plate, your mind feels unsatisfied. Meanwhile, the same portion seems more filling when eaten off of a small plate.
Make water more accessible
Most people mindlessly give in to the temptation of drinking soda or a sip of iced tea while the mind is busy doing something else. The human mind would choose to drink the nearest possible potable liquid that the arms could reach, especially when thirsty. This is why a good measure for you to be healthier is to put enough distance between you and any unhealthy drink.
Try this instead: buy a large water bottle and set it somewhere near you throughout the day. You would find that if it’s sitting next to you, you would often opt for water instead and avoid less healthy options naturally.
Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids – and having fresh water with you any time you need it can definitely help you a lot. For one, your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
Don’t keep junk food in the house.
Much like the idea of keeping water close to you at all times, if you keep away the junk food from yourself, you can put yourself into a position to be healthier. There are numerous reasons for this.
For example, if you’re hungry and looking for something salty to munch on, you’d most likely opt not to eat at all when there is no junk food on one of your cupboards – the idea of having to go out of the house and go to the nearest convenience store is most often enough to deter you from satisfying your temptations to eat junk food. Conversely, if there is any junk food inside your house – even if it’s not your favorite one – you would easily fall into the temptation of binging on them.
Learn to eat more vegetables and fruits a day
Not everyone is fond of eating a lot of vegetables; you may be even that kind of person who generally hates eating vegetables. Surely, the taste of vegetables (or the healthiest fruits) isn’t that desirable for everyone. The big problem, however, is that the most common health concerns arise from people not eating the vegetables or fruits regularly.
Then again, you can teach yourself to get used to eating healthy food that you don’t like. Yes, you can learn to love vegetables if you start eating smaller portions then increase your rations as time goes by. By starting small then slowly increase, you can acclimate your taste buds to like vegetables and fruits after a given period of time.
First, for one week, keep track of how often you eat fruits and vegetables. One serving equals one-half cup of chopped fruit or most vegetables; for raw leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach, a serving is one cup. Once you have your baseline, try adding one fruit or vegetable serving a day.
Always opt for the healthiest snacks.
The biggest misconception about packing snacks is that it’s hard to do. One thing that works for most fit people is preparing healthy snacks for the entire week, or getting them together the night before. It literally takes five minutes. Doing so can help you eat healthier throughout the day.
Here are some healthy snacks that take no time to prepare:
Beet Chips With Curried Yogurt: Mix together 2 tablespoons plain low-fat Greek yogurt and ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon curry powder. Serve with 1 cup beet chips.
Crackers With Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread and Banana: Dividing evenly, spread 2 crisp bread crackers with 1 tablespoon chocolate-hazelnut spread. Top with 1 sliced small banana.
Ham and Jicama Wraps: Wrap 6 jicama or celery sticks with 3 slices ham. Serve with 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard for dipping.
Banana, Kale, and Almond Milk Smoothie: In a blender, puree 1 medium banana, 1 cup chopped kale, and 1 cup almond milk until smooth.
Minty Pea Dip With Pretzel Chips: Mash ½ cup frozen peas with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint and 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice. Serve with 15 pretzel chips.
Bagel With Ricotta and Strawberries: Spread ½ toasted whole-grain “flat” bagel with 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta. Top with ⅓ cup sliced strawberries. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar.
Lemony Avocado With Endive Dippers: Mash ⅓ chopped avocado with 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Serve with endive leaves.
If you opt for these easy meals based on very healthy ingredients, you could find yourself craving for the healthiest types of food almost every time.
Definitely don’t skip breakfast.
Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast – that’s where its name originates, breaking the fast. Without breakfast you are effectively running on empty, like trying to start the car without petrol. Nutritionists advise that breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking, and that a healthy breakfast should provide calories in the range of 20-35% of your guideline daily allowance (GDA).
Apart from providing people with energy, common breakfast foods are good sources of important nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins as well as protein and fiber. The body needs these essential nutrients and research shows that if these are missed at breakfast, they are less likely to be compensated for later in the day. Fruit and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Try to include a portion of your daily five at breakfast, whether that be a banana or glass of fruit juice.