Why is it hard to stay healthy and let go of unhealthy food? This age-old question has been asked countless times yet it’s still difficult to come up with a concrete answer. This might be the reason why people tend to easily fall for fad diets and weight loss supplements. These methods have proven to be unsustainable and can be harmful to our health.
Maintaining healthy habits requires discipline and consistency. Studies have even shown that nutrition and healthy eating plays a bigger role in weight loss than exercise. This means those tiring high intensity workout routines can go to waste if our eating habits are out of bounds.
Proper nutrition starts in the kitchen. The food items in our pantry and refrigerator can determine the kind of lifestyle we have. Much like being in a relationship, eating healthy and following an eating plan requires commitment and hard work.
We have come up with these five simple and healthy food hacks to help jumpstart our journey to wellness and good health.
5. Replace butter with olive oil
We’re here to confirm some controversies surrounding butter. Yes, the only kind of butter that is good for us is the BTS hit single, and no, butter is not a carb. This sinful treat is a dairy product that high in calories and rich in both saturated and trans fats, which can cause a rise in bad cholesterol levels if consumed excessively.
Cooking with loads of butter definitely makes a dish more flavorful but its harmful effects to our hearts and overall health are not worth it. A healthy alternative to substitute butter with is olive oil. Loaded with antioxidants and is great for the heart. It also does not alter the taste of food and goes perfectly with dishes like salads, pasta and steaks.
Using non-stick cookware is a great way to consume less oil, as its coated surface allows for food to stick less to the pan.
4. Cut back on sugary drinks
The rule of thumb is that pre-packed food items are usually not good for us. Additives and preservatives from these types of food are just empty calories. The same applies to drinks that come in boxes and cans. Fruit juice and soda companies lure you with eye-catching billboards and colorful advertisements.
These added sugar with artificial sweeteners that can increase blood sugar and the risk of metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Whenever the craving for sugar arises, go with 100% freshly squeezed fruit juices using your trusty juicer and the fruits inside your refrigerator. We can also spice things up by trying out all-natural smoothie combinations. This is a fun activity to bond with our family members, and also an exciting way to test our creativity.
3. Switch to healthy alternatives
Eating junk food while binge-watching our favorite series is one of the simple joys in life. It’s a guilty pleasure that is hard to totally give up. Consuming a whole bag of chips can easily go unnoticed when we turn off our internal junk food radar. It’s okay to indulge once in a while as long as we’re aware of our limits.
Truth be told, it’s hard to replace the greasy and savory goodness of junk food but it’s not entirely impossible. Whenever we feel like we’ve gone overboard our junk food allocation for the week, we can substitute this with healthy alternatives, such as sliced apples dipped in peanut butter, air-fried sweet potato fries, granola mixed in yogurt and oven-baked Kale chips.
2. Get used to a healthy portion control
Research has shown that eating large quantities of food can increase our appetite extensively. Practicing proper portion control can help us shed some weight and keep the excess pounds off. Being mindful of our food portions does not mean that we have to starve ourselves. It’s more of consuming larger quantities of food that are rich in nutrients, like protein and fiber, and cutting back on food that are heavy on fat and bad carbohydrates to keep ourselves healthy.
1. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet
There are many interesting ways to incorporate fruits and veggies into our healthy diet. Adding chopped carrots into spaghetti sauce is an effective way to consume more veggies. Trying out different kinds of toppings on salads is a fun way to increase our daily veggie intake and slicing fruits into different shapes and designs can also make fruit platters more appetizing. The options are endless and it’s up to us to decide which method works for us best.
Our efforts will be worth it when the number on our weighing scales start to go down and when we see our clothes finally fit in all the right places. Apart from the physical health changes, leading a healthy lifestyle also gives us more energy, makes us feel good, and benefits our mental health. It’s a life-long process that will definitely pay-off mentally and socially.
Eating healthy should not be considered as a chore but instead a way of life, which our bodies will thank us for in the future.