Tuesday, May 7, 2019

5 Easy Ways to Eat Healthier

At times it can seem near impossible to eat healthily and not just due to lack of willpower. Although healthier food options are becoming more available, fast food remains more prevalent and a lot cheaper! 

Despite healthier options costing a lot more, like a $12 salad compared to a $5 burger combo, I truly believe that eating healthy saves you money in the long-term and your health is worth investing in. Instead of taking shortcuts today that cost you in the long-run, spending the time and money maintaining your health will serve you well.

With an obesity epidemic on the rise in Australia, it is becoming more critical than ever to focus on what we're putting in our mouths. Making conscious decisions now could save you from a future of diabetes, high blood pressure or diseases of the heart, liver and lungs.

So I have compiled a simple yet effective list of easy ways to eat healthier that help me on a day to day basis.

1. Preperation is Key 
Spend the time each week to write out a meal plan and meal prep some healthy snacks, that way you are set up for success with healthy eating. You ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients for a particular recipe so that you are always able to whip up a healthy meal and never get caught having to order in Uber Eats. Meal prepping healthy snacks like protein balls or even just having things on hand like yoghurt, apples and nut butter or almonds with dark chocolate will make snack time much healthier.

Follow my Tips For Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget to ensure you buy the right foods and save money on your weekly shop at the same time.

2. Not all Calories are Equal
300 calories in a chocolate bar do not equate to the same as 300 calories of roast vegetables. Calories don't necessarily equal nutrition, and no one food is comparable to another. That's why it is vital to understand the nutritional value of what you are eating and focus less on calories but more or levels of protein, carbohydrates and fats.

3. Swap Don't Stop
You don't have to change the way you eat to be healthy radically! Still, eat rice but swap white for brown, or better yet quinoa. Brown rice is a much better alternative to white because it is a complex carb so has a slower release of energy which will maintain your glucose levels for longer and as such, keep you feeling satisfied for longer than white rice would. Not only that but brown rice is far less processed, and most of the nutritional value in rice comes from the husk. Therefore brown rice has higher levels of fibre, vitamins and minerals within it.

The story with quinoa is that it is actually a seed, rather than a grain, and one of the only sources of whole protein within a vegetable source. Again, they digest at a slower rate due to the low glycemic index meaning that blood sugar levels are regulated and cholesterol is better controlled. Within just these two alternatives for white rice, you can see the massive impact that swapping rather than stopping can have. So just imagine how many small changes you can make when grocery shopping that will result in significant differences.

4. Eat Regularly
The mentality can be that eating constantly is what is causing weight-gain and that cutting down meal times is the solution. The science tells us otherwise, with evidence that our metabolism benefits from small but consistent snacking throughout the day to keep your system turned 'on' and constantly processing food. However, there is also evidence to show that intermittent fasting gives the digestive system a break and sends the body into fat burning ketosis. I like to believe both of these to be true and therefore follow a 12 hour fast most days, followed by a series of small and consistent meals. This way my body has time to go into ketosis but once I start eating again, I keep my system turned on all day to heighten my metabolism.

5. Drink Water
This has been said to death but - just promise me you'll do it. I have made it a huge goal of mine this year to make sure I'm drinking at least 5 glasses of water during my work day. I know this sounds like such a small and insignificant amount but forcing myself to keep track of my water intake means I ACTUALLY drink some. Otherwise, I could easily go a whole day just drinking coffee and tea without ever stopping for a glass of water. I more often than not end up drinking more than 5 glasses during my work day and of course, am drinking water at home, but having this small goal set in place acts as a strong base for ensuring I get enough water.

With health issues becoming more prevalent, it has never been more important to watch our weight and be more health conscious. The best way to do this is to consider what we're eating and how much of it. With these small yet achievable changes, you will notice significant differences! It's all about little bite-sized (pun intended) steps that make up the bigger picture. The decisions you make today are directly influencing your future health so be conscious of what you're choosing to fuel your body.


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