In today’s society, being healthier can be more difficult than it seems. People are always busy trying to balance time for work, family and other responsibilities. As a result, the objectives of the meal plans are often not achieved. However, staying healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Here I show you 22 simple ways to be healthier with minimal effort.
1. Fill Half the Plate with Non-Starchy Vegetables:
Vegetables can basically be classified as starchy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables generally have more carbohydrates and calories than non-starchy vegetables. Examples of starchy vegetables can be mentioned: potatoes, corn and beans. Non-starchy vegetables include spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Filling half the plate with non-starchy vegetables is a simple way to adopt a healthier diet. They are low in calories but have many nutrients, fiber and water . By replacing part of the starchy vegetables and protein with non-starchy vegetables in your meals, you can eat the same amount of food and at the same time consume less calories. In addition, this simple strategy also saves you the trouble of worrying about the serving sizes you serve.
Summary: Filling half the plate with non-starchy vegetables is a simple way to eat healthier. Non-starchy vegetables are low in calories but have high fiber and nutrient content.
2. Eat in Smaller Plates:
Believe it or not, the size of your plate can affect the amount of food you eat. In one study, scientists found that people who ate in large plates ate 56% (142 calories) more than people who ate in small plates. An analysis of 72 studies, scientists consistently found that people ate more when they were offered larger portions and plates.
“The simple illusion of eating on a smaller plate could help you feel fuller with less food”.
Summary: Eating on a smaller plate is a simple way to trick your brain into eating less. This can be useful if you think the portions you currently eat are too large.
3. Replace Refined Carbohydrates with Unprocessed Carbohydrates:
Refined carbohydrates are commonly known as simple carbohydrates or ” empty ” carbohydrates, since they do not provide nutritional benefits. Refined carbohydrates are rigorously processed and stripped of almost all of their nutrients and fiber they grant. This means that they add extra calories to your diet without some nutritional benefit. Some examples of refined carbohydrates are: white flour, white bread and white rice. In addition, eating a diet rich in refined carbohydrates may increase the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The choice of unrefined, unprocessed carbohydrates, such as whole wheat flour and brown rice, allows you to eat foods that you eat frequently but with added benefits, such as: fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Summary: Refined carbohydrates are sources of ” empty ” calories because they do not provide any nutritional benefit. Changing them for whole, unprocessed carbohydrates can increase your intake of nutrients and fiber.
4. Add Some Fruit to the Morning Oatmeal:
Fruits are a good way to add some color and flavor to oats in the morning. Fruits are loaded with large amounts of vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health. They also have a lot of fiber and water that can help you stay full longer. In addition, fruits are a great source of polyphenols (compounds that give fruits and vegetables shine). These compounds act as antioxidants in the body and can help fight inflammation and oxidative stress. In addition, studies have shown that polyphenols can help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and premature death. A study in 7,447 participants found that people who ate more polyphenols had a lower risk of premature death, compared to people who ate less polyphenols.
Summary: Although fruits may contain high levels of sugar, it also contains significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as is the case with polyphenols. Polyphenols can have great health benefits.
5. Eat Fatty Fish Frequently:
Fatty fish, such as salmon, are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids , a type of essential fat that can only be obtained from food. Despite its importance, very few people in Western countries ingest sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that people who constantly consume a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, less chronic inflammation and better mental health. Fatty fish are also a great source of group B vitamins. This group of vitamins helps the body produce energy, repair DNA and maintain optimal functioning of the brain and nervous system. Trying to eat at least two servings of fatty fish per week is a good start to enjoy good health. The best examples are salmon, mackerel and herring.
Summary: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. It is advisable to try to eat fatty fish at least twice a week.
6. Consider Taking Certain Supplements:
Eating unprocessed food is the most common way to meet our nutritional needs. Natural foods contain a wide variety of nutrients that, in combination, help provide the most nutritional benefits. Even so, it is difficult for many people to meet their daily nutritional needs only through food. It is there where supplements can play an important role, as they provide large doses of nutrients in a practical presentation. Two supplements that are especially useful are: soluble fiber and fish oil. Soluble fiber supplements, particularly glucomannan, can help you stay fuller for longer, promote regular evacuation, reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. Fish oil supplements, such as cod liver oil, provide you with a large dose of omega-3, just like fatty fish. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, less chronic inflammation and better mental health.
Summary: Although unprocessed foods are paramount, supplements may be helpful if you find it difficult to acquire nutrients from food. Two great supplements are fish oil and soluble fiber, such as cod liver oil and glucomannan respectively.
7. Drink Green Tea:
Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can drink. It is low in calories and contains a wide variety of nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants can help your body fight free radicals, molecules that are related to increased disease risk and are also responsible for premature aging. Studies have also shown that people who drink more green tea tend to live longer, have a lower risk of heart disease and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Green tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine. These compounds can help you burn fat by increasing metabolism.
Summary: Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can drink. It is low in calories, but rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It also has impressive health benefits.
8. Drink Black Coffee:
It is no secret that most people love coffee. In fact, one study found that more than 160 million Americans drink coffee regularly. However, approximately two-thirds of people add sugar, milk, cream or other additives to coffee. Unfortunately, that means you may be adding extra calories to your diet. For example, a large Starbucks latte contains 204 calories and 14.4 grams of sugar. Compared to a cup of homemade coffee that contains less than 15 calories. Simply switching to black coffee can reduce the extra calories in your diet without eliminating caffeine intake.
Summary: Switching from coffee with milk or sweet to black coffee is a great way to reduce the intake of additional calories, while still enjoying the benefits of coffee.
9. Avoid Sugary Drinks:
If you want to be healthier, try to avoid sugary drinks. They contain no essential nutrients and basically consist of added sugar. For example, a can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams or 10 teaspoons of sugar. Research has shown that sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even certain types of cancer. In addition, acids in soda can damage teeth, especially when combined with sugar. If you drink large amounts of soda, you can opt for a healthier drink like unsweetened carbonated water with lemon or green tea.
Summary: Sugary sodas are bad for your health and are packed with added sugar. If you drink enough soda, it is recommended that you switch to a healthier drink like green tea.
10. Always Keep Healthy Snacks at Your Fingertips:
Cravings often hinder attempts to eat healthy. In fact, approximately 50% of people have cravings regularly. This makes unhealthy foods very attractive. Storing your pantry of healthy snacks can help fight cravings when they arise. It’s also a good idea to keep some healthy snacks in your bag, to help you fight cravings when you’re not at home. Some healthy snacks include: a handful of nuts, fruits or even some dark chocolate.
Summary: Cravings can hamper an attempt to eat healthier. To avoid cravings, make sure you have lots of healthy snacks in your pantry, or in your bag for when you’re not home.
11. Drink a Glass of Water with Each Meal:
Water is important for health. Drinking enough water can help you maintain healthy brain function, concentration and a positive mood. In addition, water can help you lose weight by keeping you full and increasing the amount of calories you burn. If you find it difficult to drink enough water, try drinking a glass with each meal. This ensures that you drink at least a few glasses of water daily.
Summary: Water is important for health. If it is difficult for you to drink enough water, try to drink a glass with each meal.
12. Make a List Before You Go Shopping:
A grocery list is a powerful tool that can help you eat healthier. It helps you remember what you have at home, and provides you with a healthier food plan beforehand, this way you will avoid compulsive shopping. Moreover, studies have shown that people who use shopping lists are more likely to eat healthier and weigh less.
Summary: A shopping list can help you make healthier decisions when buying and avoid compulsive purchases. Studies have also shown that lists can help you eat healthier.
13. Go Shopping on a Full Stomach:
Shopping on an empty stomach can be a terrible idea if you are trying to stay healthy. Several studies have shown that people tend to buy more high-calorie foods when shopping on an empty stomach. By shopping after eating, you will not only avoid unhealthy compulsive shopping, it will also save you some money. This strategy would work even better if you combine it with an already planned food list.
Summary: Shopping on an empty stomach makes you more susceptible to compulsive shopping. Try to buy after eating to avoid temptations in the supermarket.
14. Choose Unprocessed Foods Instead of Highly Processed Foods:
Lately, people in Western countries are eating processed foods very frequently. Although processed foods are more practical, they often lack nutrients and increase the risk of chronic diseases. Simply eating more unprocessed foods can help you be healthier with minimal effort, as they tend to have more fiber and many types of vitamins and minerals. Unprocessed foods are single ingredient foods, which have mostly not been processed and lack chemical additives.
Here are some examples of unprocessed foods:
- Integral rice
- Raw meats
- Whole eggs
Summary: In modern society, people consume many highly processed foods, which are low in nutrients. Simply choosing unprocessed foods can help you eat healthier since they have more nutrients and fiber.
15. Practice Eating Consciously:
Eating paying attention to your meals is a powerful tool that helps you eat healthier and with minimal effort. It is based on the concept of mindfulness, and it helps you pay attention to what you are eating, so you take into account the type of food you eat. In addition, many studies show that eating consciously can help you lose weight.
Here are some simple tips that can help you get more attention while you eat:
- Eat slowly
- Chew well.
- Focus on how you feel when you are eating. Are you really hungry?
- Turn off the TV and do not use the phone.
Summary: Eating with attention is a powerful tool that can help you eat healthier. It also helps you evaluate what you eat, why you eat and how fast you are eating.
16. Eat Sitting:
In today’s accelerated society, people are always eating anywhere. However, research has shown that eating on the go can affect the ability to process hunger signals. For example, a study with 60 women found that people consume more food and calories in general if they eat while they walk. Sitting is also a way of eating consciously. Combine it with some tips mentioned above so you can eat healthier and with less effort.
Summary: Eating sitting can help you process hunger signals better and eat less food.
17. Exercise Regularly:
Finding time to exercise is a common problem for many people around the world, especially for work. However, exercising regularly is important for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, there is much evidence to show that lack of exercise is related to poor health both mentally and physically. That said, there are many ways to include some exercise in your day, even if you have a busy schedule. For example, walking during lunchtime can greatly improve your health and well-being. In one study, 56 people walked thirty minutes three times a week during their lunch hour. This improved his enthusiasm and relaxation at work, while reducing nervousness.
Summary: Walking during breaks is a great way to get some exercise on a busy schedule. Try to walk with some colleagues to help make it a habit.
18. Use the Stairs Instead of the Elevator:
Using the stairs is a simple way to add exercise to your daily routine. It is also ideal for your long-term health. Research has shown that people who climb at least eight flights of stairs daily have a 33% lower risk of death than people who spend most of their time sitting. What’s more, using the stairs can actually be faster than taking the elevator. One study found that, on average, taking the stairs was 23.5 seconds faster for each floor. This includes the average waiting time for an elevator. If you constantly move between the floors of your workplace, taking the stairs could help improve your fitness and productivity while you exercise.
Summary: Taking the stairs is a great way to adapt the exercise to your routine. Surprisingly, it also seems to be faster than taking an elevator.
19. Try Using a Standing Desk:
People are usually sitting for a long time. In fact, research shows that the average office worker spends up to 15 hours sitting. In comparison, with an agricultural worker who sits around 3 hours a day. Unfortunately, research has shown that people who spend more time sitting have a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and death. A standing desk could help you stand longer while still being productive. Moreover, several investigations carried out over a period of six months have shown that even people in the same job who use standing desks are 53% more productive.
Summary: A standing desk can help you stand for longer while you work. You are likely to have a lower risk of chronic diseases.
20. Disconnect from Technology One Hour Before Going to Bed:
Quality sleep is absolutely essential for optimal health. However, between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from poor sleep. It seems that technology and other sources of artificial light are an important reason that prevents quality sleep. These devices emit blue light, a type of light wave that is common during the day. However, this means that devices can fool your brain and make you think it is day. Several investigations have shown that the use of artificial light before bedtime is related to an increased risk of breast cancer, mood disorders and depression. Avoiding technology an hour before going to bed can help improve sleep quality.
Summary: If you suffer from a bad dream, try to avoid technology an hour before bedtime. Certain devices such as the phone and the computer emit blue light, which can keep you awake for longer.
21. Sleep at the Same Time Each Night:
In addition to poor sleep quality, many people have difficulty falling asleep. Not being able to sleep can leave you exhausted, make you feel less active and even increase the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. One of the most important reasons is not having a regular sleep schedule. On the contrary, having a set time to sleep helps train your body’s internal clock to fall asleep faster at a given time. In addition, a joint sleep program can also improve concentration and memory.
Summary: Having a fixed sleep schedule, even on weekends, can help you sleep faster, since this way your internal clock trains so you fall asleep at a set time.
22. Try to Practice Meditation Regularly:
Tension and stress can have an important impact on your state of health and mood. Research has shown that meditation is an effective way to relieve stress and improve overall health. For example, an analysis of 47 studies with more than 3,500 people found that conscious meditation helped reduce anxiety, depression and stress.
Summary: Meditation is a great way to relieve stress. Try to incorporate it into your routine a couple of times a week.
Being and staying healthy is easier than you think. In fact, there are many ways in which you can stay healthy only with minimal effort. These include having a glass of water with each meal, eating fatty fish, having a regular sleep schedule and choosing more unprocessed foods. In addition, shopping on a full stomach can help reduce cravings in supermarkets and avoid compulsive shopping, while conscious eating can help you take control of your eating habits. Adding only some of these strategies in your daily routine can lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle.