Cleaning up your diet in order to become healthier does not mean completely overhauling what you currently eat. Making small changes in increments will help you adjust your way of eating in a manageable way so that the changes become habit. The positive outcomes that include looking and feeling better will be well worth the small changes needed to clean up your diet.
Curb Sugar Intake
Sugar is high in calories, so any food that has a high sugar content also has unnecessary calories, which can cause weight gain. Eating sugary foods can actually lead to eating more throughout the day because the sugary foods don’t keep you feeling full for as long as healthier foods that are high in nutrients and fiber. Reducing your sugar intake has benefits other than weight loss, such as increased energy, brighter-looking skin, and a healthier heart through lower cholesterol levels. Make sure to read the label and check the sugar content of everything you eat in order to get a sense of how much sugar the product contains, keeping in mind that four grams of sugar is equivalent to one teaspoon of granulated sugar. The World Health Organization recommends that women consume no more than the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar per day (not including sugars that naturally occur in fruits). An easy way to make a change is to replace one to two packaged items per day with a snack made up of fruit or assorted raw veggies dipped in hummus.
Only Drink Water
Drinking only water means avoiding the chemicals and extra sugar and calories that can be found in in soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, or alcohol. Water helps to regulate body temperature, aide in digestion, and drinking water before a meal can result in eating less food throughout the meal. Water hydrates all parts of the body and flushes out toxins, which means that as a result, your skin will be clearer. The body’s muscles, liver, and kidneys perform better when hydrated. In order to make this healthy change, start your day with eight ounces of water before or with breakfast. In addition, substitute one high-sugar drink per day with eight ounces of water, and drink eight ounces about a half hour before each meal, which has been known to help the urge to overeat.
Eat More Veggies
Vegetables are high in nutrients, vitamins, and fiber, but low in fat. Another benefit is that vegetables may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases. Because veggies have lots of fiber, they make the stomach feel fuller and keep the digestive system working properly without the extra calories found in other foods. The high water content in vegetables helps to hydrate the body, much like drinking water. Upping your veggie intake is easy if you think of your dinner plate as being divided into quarters or halves. At lunch and dinner, fill a quarter of your plate with three to four ounces of lean protein, a quarter of the plate with a healthy carbohydrate like half of a sweet potato, and the other half of the plate with veggies.