Eating healthy is one of the most powerful things you can do to lose weight and improve your health, but in our fast-paced, fast-food modern world, that can be challenging. Have you ever struggled to find creative ways to eat healthy and lose weight? If yes, take a look at the following 11 easy tips that are healthy for you and helps you lose weight too.
1. Eat more salads.
Salads are one of the healthiest food choices you can make for yourself. They are low in calories, delicious, and packed with nutrients and fiber. Even better, they are incredibly inexpensive unless you’re adding exotic ingredients. You can buy lettuce and a nice selection of vegetables to make a huge salad for $10 or less, it takes just minutes to prepare, and it will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least a few days.
2. Add fiber.
Eating plenty of fiber is a great help when you’re trying to find ways to eat healthy and lose weight. Fiber keeps everything moving along in your digestive system, so you don’t feel bloated and uncomfortable. Good sources of fiber include most vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. If you still struggle to get enough fiber despite eating high-fiber foods, add a few teaspoons of flaxseed to your meals, or use a tasteless, powdered fiber supplement. You won’t even know it’s there, but your stomach will thank you.
Once a week, spend an hour or so washing, peeling, chopping, cooking various vegetables, and then freezing them in single-serving containers. During the week, you just need to heat them up and enjoy them. You can do this with lean poultry, meat, and fish, as well as grains like brown rice and quinoa. How fast and easy would meal preparation be if you just had to warm up foods that you’ve already cooked?
3. Start a vegetable garden.
Do you have a little spot of a yard that’s not being used? Plant a few vegetable seeds! All they need is water and sunlight, and nature will do the rest. Imagine going out to your own garden and enjoying fresh tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, or anything else you want to plant. Yum. (You don’t have to make it a HUGE garden, just a few square feet of space – or use containers on your deck or patio.)
4. Eat fresh fruit.
Fruit makes an excellent quick snack; it’s portable, it’s satisfying, and it’s low in calories. Fresh fruit can be a little pricey sometimes, especially if you buy it out of season. However, more and more discount retailers are beginning to offer fruit at lower prices, and you can find some good deals on them from time to time. During the warmer months, be sure to check out your local farmers’ markets – they often have locally grown fruit for great prices.
5. Canned/frozen fruit.
If you can’t buy fresh fruit often, canned and frozen fruit are still good choices – better than eating junk food, right? Keep a few cans of peaches, mandarin oranges, pears, and pineapple in your cupboards and eat a serving as a snack when you don’t have fresh fruit available. Canned fruit also comes in convenient single-serving cups. Be sure to choose the kind without added sugar or heavy syrup! Keep a bag or two of frozen berries in your freezer so you can add them to smoothies, cereal, and on top of frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream. When your fresh fruit starts getting too ripe, peel and freeze it to use later!
6. Use natural flavors.
Rather than smothering your food with salt and heavy creams, start experimenting with various herbs and spices. Squeeze fresh lemon onto fish. Add a dash of cayenne pepper to soups. Add garlic, onion, and horseradish to salads. Check out the spice section in your local supermarket, and you’ll find several varieties of seasonings, both in liquid and powdered form.
7. Visit a health food store.
Many health food stores (sometimes called “natural foods” or “organic foods” stores) have prepared meals, sandwiches, salads, and even packaged foods without preservatives and excess sodium. If there is one nearby, go there for lunch or dinner. If you have to travel a little farther to reach it, stock up on healthy foods you can keep in your refrigerator and cupboards at home, and take some to work with you.
8. Organic soup.
Many stores now have organic, low-calorie prepared soups available. These are much better for you than the sodium-rich canned soups lining the shelves. Look for the soups in cardboard cartons – and check out the ingredients. Most of the vegetable soups are low-calorie, low-sodium, and still very tasty.
9. Make your own soup.
Better yet, it’s incredibly easy to make your own vegetable soup! Start with a low-sodium broth (or make your own from chicken stock or vegetable stock), add your vegetables and seasonings of choice, and simmer until vegetables are cooked through. Then either puree it into a smooth soup or leave it chunky. You can freeze it in small containers for easy reheating later or leave the big pot in the refrigerator to eat during the week.
If you tend to have an “all or nothing” attitude about healthy eating, you may end up making poor choices more often than not. Workaround this by compromising with every meal and snack where you feel tempted to make bad decisions.
Okay, so your spouse insists on stopping at the local burger joint for dinner. Rather than surrendering to the siren call of fattening fried foods, compromise by ordering a grilled chicken sandwich and a small salad. Okay, if you want to enjoy a few french fries, it probably won’t kill you, especially if most of your meal is pretty healthy.
When you feel tempted to eat a candy bar from the vending machine at work, first eat the apple you brought home that morning. If you still want the candy bar, compromise by eating only 1/3 of it and saving the rest for later.
These are all very easy ways to eat healthy and lose weight, but you don’t have to stop there. As you prepare to eat each meal and snack, simply consider whether there is a way to make it healthier. Get creative with your choices, and your efforts will be repaid many times over with a slender, healthy body for years to come.