Many people want to eat a healthy diet but find it difficult due to their busy lifestyle. Eating healthy requires preparation and planning, but it is worth the effort. If nutritious food is readily available, a person is more likely to stick to a plan. A healthy diet consists of foods that provide the right nutrients to the body to maintain health. It is best to avoid foods that are pre-packaged or made in a factory. Below are some tips to facilitate a healthy diet.
1. Have healthy snacks readily available, such as an assortment of nuts, fruits, low sugar protein bars, granola, trail mix, yogurts or non-GMO popcorn.
2. Prepare meals ahead of time. Sunday is a good day for most working people. Develop a meal plan for the week and then shop and prepare meals per your plan. It is a good idea to get the family involved in the meal plan and assign each family member a meal to prepare. Grill or cook your meat for the week, such as fish, lean meat and chicken.
3. Mason jar salads are a convenient lunch and can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. There are lots of fabulous Mason jar recipes online, for those who need a little inspiration.
4. Prepare slow cooker dinners the night before or in the morning, so you and your family can come home to a hot, delicious meal.
5. Eat locally prepared meals. Businesses like Eat the 80 offer weekly breakfast, lunch and dinner options that can be picked up or delivered to your office. The cost is comparable to eating out at a local restaurant. These meals are ready to eat (but may require heating) and can be stored in your office refrigerator.
6. Choose the healthier options at fast food restaurants. Skip the bread and fries and go for the grilled chicken and salad.
7. Wash and cut up vegetables and then store them in the fridge so they are ready to toss into a vegetable stir-fry, soup or salad.
8. Pack a cooler in the car with healthy snack options. This will help to curb hunger if you’re going from work to a sports game, practice or the gym.
9. Stay hydrated with water throughout the day. Water is essential to the body and is 60 percent of a person’s body weight. Water is vital to flush toxins and carry nutrients to the cells. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 13 cups (3 liters) of fluid and women 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluid daily.
10. Slow down and chew food thoroughly. Research has shown that eating more slowly and chewing food more completely can lead to decreased intake, better absorption of nutrients, better appetite regulation and an improved feeling of fullness.
When a person takes control of his or her eating plan, it limits the intake of processed foods that are loaded with additives, harmful chemicals and genetically engineered ingredients. By incorporating some of these tips, a busy person will be more successful in eating healthy, which can improve health, nutrition, energy and overall wellbeing.
For more information on the components of a healthy diet, please refer to the article “Three Ways to Improve Your Health with Optimal Nutrition” published in the October/November 2016 issue of HOME magazine.