We all want to be healthy, but it can be tough to know what changes we need to make to get there. Thankfully, improving your nutrition doesn't have to be a drastic, all-or-nothing process. In fact, making small, sustainable changes to your eating habits can lead to big improvements in your overall health over time. In this blog post, we'll cover ten eating habits you can adopt that will help you improve your nutrition and feel better in your body.
Prioritize whole foods - Filling your diet with whole, minimally processed foods is one of the easiest ways to improve your nutrition. This means choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats over packaged, processed foods with long ingredient lists.
Emphasize variety - Eating a wide range of different foods can help ensure that you're getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs to function at its best. Try to include a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables in your meals, and mix up your protein sources (think: chicken, fish, tofu, lentils, etc.).
Focus on fiber - Eating enough fiber is important for maintaining healthy digestion, stabilizing blood sugar, and keeping you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day. Aim for at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day by including plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and legumes in your diet.
Practice mindful eating - Mindful eating means being present and aware while you're eating, rather than mindlessly munching away in front of the TV or at your desk. This can help you tune in to your body's hunger and fullness signals, and can make meals feel more satisfying overall.
Cook at home more often - Preparing your own meals gives you control over what goes into them, and can help you avoid the added sugars, unhealthy fats, and excess sodium that are often found in restaurant and packaged foods. Plus, cooking can be a fun and rewarding way to de-stress and unwind after a long day.
Drink more water - Staying hydrated is essential for good health, and drinking enough water can help prevent overeating, aid in digestion, and keep your skin looking its best. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day, and experiment with infusing your water with fruit or herbs for natural flavor.
Practice moderation - While it's important to make healthy choices most of the time, it's also okay to indulge in less-nutritious foods every once in a while. Having a treat or two won't derail all of your progress, and can actually make it easier to stick to your healthy habits in the long run.
Be aware of portion sizes - Even healthy foods can be overeaten, leading to weight gain and negative health outcomes. Use measuring cups or a food scale to portion out your food, or try some simple portion control hacks (like using smaller plates or putting less food on your plate to begin with).
Don't forget about healthy fats - Fats are an important part of a healthy diet, as long as you're choosing the right kinds. Your body needs healthy fats like omega-3s for brain function, hormone production, and more. Try to include sources of healthy fats like salmon, avocados, nuts, and seeds in your diet on a regular basis.
Get support - Making healthy changes to your eating habits can be tough, especially if you're used to a certain way of eating. Surrounding yourself with supportive friends, family members, or even an online community can help you stay motivated and accountable as you work to improve your nutrition.
By adopting these ten eating habits, you can improve your nutrition, support your overall health, and feel better in your body. While it can be tempting to make sweeping, drastic changes all at once, making small, sustainable changes over time is the key to long-term success. Remember to be kind to yourself, stay consistent, and prioritize progress over perfection. Here's to a healthier, happier you!
Northeast Missouri Health Council, Partners for a lifetime of health
Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Clinics in Kirksville, Missouri, Macon, Missouri, Milan, Missouri, and Kahoka, Missouri. Visit our website to find the nearest clinic to you. www.nemohealthcouncil.com