Sometimes making the switch to a healthier diet can be just about as overwhelming/boring as doing taxes. But it doesn’t have to be. There are many small – read easy – steps you can take to make eating healthier easy and delicious!
Putting even one or two of them into practice can make a huge difference. Here are a few ideas:
1. Add fruit to your morning cereal
Sprinkle some blueberries over your morning bowl. They’re loaded with antioxidants and they’ll sweeten your cereal as well so you won’t be tempted to spoon quite as much sugar over your cereal.
Plus, fresh and frozen fruits are great sources of vitamin C and fiber so breakfast can not only boost your immune system but help with weight loss as well.
2. Include legumes among your protein options
Legumes, which includes beans, peas, and lentils, are an inexpensive and super nutritious protein sources. Those luscious legumes are packed with fiber, folate, antioxidants, and lots of other vitamins.
Find out more about the benefits of legumes.
Checking every nutrition label before putting anything on your plate is not only a bother, but actually counterproductive.
Think about it.
Are 400 calories of fudge really equal to 400 calories of apples? Do you think you would feel the same after consuming 400 calories of soft drinks as you would after eating 400 calories of cream of potato soup?
Research shows that, on average, those whose diets are based on whole foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes – consume more calories, and yet weigh less, than their calorie-counting counterparts.
Rather than counting calories, instead focus on meals that include a variety of nutrients, colors, and fresh ingredients. It’s much easier to keep a healthy, balanced diet this way than by counting calories.
4. Replace butter or margarine with healthier spreads.
An undressed sandwich or dry bread, while lower in calories and fat, is a bit unappealing, but butter and margarine and mayo only add calories and pack the pounds. Try mashed avocado instead. Or almond butter. Or this High-Fiber Applesauce. Or this Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam.
Rather than adding to your intake of refined fats, avocados offer oleic acid – a super nutrient that has been shown to reduce hunger and help burn fat.
Almond butter contains nutrients that help maintain blood sugar levels and reduce food cravings.
High-Fiber Applesauce gives you, well, fiber 🙂 which is a key for healthy weight loss.
And this Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam is deliciously sweet without the unhealthy sugar.
5. Replace mayo with a healthier option.
You can make a similar switch using avocado for mayonnaise. Mash a ripe avocado with lemon juice, salt, and onion powder and use it in place of mayo. Avocados offer tons of rich creaminess and yet with much more fiber and nutrients than mayo.
Or – even better! – try the Skinny Mayo from my 14-Day Weight Loss Program.
6. Steam or roast vegetables instead of boiling them.
Many claim they don’t like vegetables because they’ve only eaten them prepared in boring ways. Steaming or low-water simmering help keep the flavors (and nutrients) in. Add a splash of lemon juice and season with herbs for more flavor.
7. Use fruit sauce or applesauce on your waffles instead of syrup.
Butter and maple syrup can transform a healthy breakfast into a fattening dessert. Which is great if you’re having dessert, but if you’re trying to slim down by starting your day with a nourishing morning meal, consider topping your waffles with slimming fruit sauce or homemade strawberry applesauce.
8. Sneak it in
Add a small handful of spinach or shredded carrots to your sandwich or in a pasta dish. Even a small amount (not enough to wrinkle your nose at) will give a serious boost to your intake of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, and cancer-fighting flavonoids.
9. Limit Liquid Calories
Since the human body doesn’t register calories from liquid the same way it does from food, taking in excess calories from beverages is easy to do – especially since the average American gets 400 calories a day from beverages. Food sends signals of satisfaction to the brain, causing you to eat less throughout the rest of the day; beverages don’t.
Avoid juice (which has as many calories as soft drinks and is a refined product), alcoholic beverages (all, including wine, increase cravings), coffee (caffeine has been shown to interfere with fat metabolism), caffeinated tea (interferes with fat metabolism), soft drinks (which are basically sugar water), and diet soft drinks (which have been shown to stimulate the appetite and cause weight gain).
Thirsty? Opt for water instead. Not only does water contain ZERO calories, but it steps up your metabolism and helps your body burn fat.
10. Use slimming potatoes or blended cashews instead of fattening cream to make soups smooth and creamy.
Comfort food – happiness in a dish. Unfortunately, most comfort foods bring more than comfort with them. Calories and fat are the first that come to mind.
Cream-based dish, like scalloped potatoes, cream of potato soup, Fettuccine Alfredo, mashed potatoes, and more get a make-over by replacing the cream with a creamy blend of raw cashews and milk or water. The nuts give a serious nutritional boost of vitamins, mineral, and slimming (!) fiber and you’ll get the luscious creaminess without the fatteningness.
Blended potatoes also work well in some recipes like this Potato Corn Chowder.
Eating Healthier – Easily
Eating healthier doesn’t have to be difficult. Little changes really do add up! If you’d like more secrets to losing weight without depriving yourself of delicious food, check out my online Weight Loss Program.