If you read this, then chances are you are not happy with the way you eat. Maybe you have gained a few extra pounds or maybe you have been feeling very lazy lately. If possible, look for long-term care and worry about staying healthy in old age. Whatever the motivation, having a positive relationship with food is possible for everyone.
While everyone’s body is unique, some changes will benefit almost everyone. Remember, however, that changing your diet should be done slowly to avoid symptoms such as nausea and bloating. Think about how you will feel in a few months and start gradually introducing some of the suggestions below.
Switch to whole grains
Most people on a Western diet lack fiber. One of the easiest ways to increase your intake is to switch to whole foods. So, rather than white bread, use wholemeal bread. If you cook a lot of rice, try switching to brown or black varieties, or if you’re a pasta lover, switch to wholemeal flour. Whole grain foods also take longer for your body to break down, keeping you full and helping to prevent overeating.
Get enough fruits and vegetables
Another area that most people miss is fruits and vegetables. The nutritional benefit of eating plant-based foods is undeniable, and the more variety you can include in your diet, the better. Start small, maybe a piece of fruit with breakfast and as a snack, and constantly increase the amount and variety of vegetables you eat to get maximum benefits. The minimum you should aim for is five servings a day, but if you work to get a balanced diet, you should find that you will end up eating much more than that.
Eat more legumes
Legumes are the edible seeds of legumes, including beans, dried peas, chickpeas and lentils. Apart from baked beans, people eat very few vegetables. It’s so easy, though, that once you add them to your diet, you’ll wonder why you’ve never done it before! Soaking dry beans is best if you have time, but for a short cut, throw away a box of chickpeas, black beans or whatever you want in most dishes to get extra protein and fiber. Easy!
Drink more water
The last piece of advice is to stay hydrated. If you have a headache, muscle aches or a dry mouth, chances are you are not getting enough water. It is best to drink small amounts regularly so that you have a bottle of water with you throughout the day to keep it full. The recommended amount is around two liters a day, but having more than this is unlikely to cause problems. Just make sure you don’t have more than a liter in an hour to avoid hyponatremia, where your body can’t process water fast enough.
Taking steps to improve your diet can only have positive results. However, it is unlikely that you will treat everything as a quick fix, so the key is to think long term and make gradual changes. If you commit to this and follow these tips, you will soon begin to notice the difference between your energy levels, your appearance, and your mood. It only takes time.