Today’s post is written by Mianna Korben, a lifestyle blogger currently living in Europe. Here, she shares four game-changing tips to maintain healthy eating habits without drastic diet changes or calorie counting.
We all want to start eating better, get more energy, improve our moods, and just lead healthier lives. But, it seems like everybody is talking about difficult and complex diets that require insane timing, professional architect-level measurements, and ingredients that cost a fortune.
However, the truth is that you don’t really need to think about calories, or run a specific diet, to get healthier.
Healthy eating isn’t about the calories.
Calories are vital if you want to lose or gain weight – when we’re talking about numbers on the scale, the number of calories you ingest or burn off will be directly reflected on the scale.
Hard-core diets will help you change your body rather quickly, especially if you stick to them to the letter. The problem here, though, is that nobody is talking about health.
Losing weight quickly doesn’t guarantee that you are becoming healthier. Quite often, the exact opposite will be true. Losing weight too fast can sap you of vital nutrients, kill your energy levels, and even damage your metabolism.
Calorie counting counts just that – calories – with no mention of macronutrients, vitamins or minerals. Below you can find some tips for healthy eating that will help you improve your well being and help you stay fit all at the same time.
4 Essential Tips for Healthy Eating
1. Pace yourself
Perhaps the most important part of leading a healthier lifestyle is the actual choice of foods you eat. Namely, no type of calorie counting, crash diet, or intense exercise will help you if you fuel your body with junk food and toxins.
A diet of candy, sugar, soft drinks, trans fats, and simple carbs guarantees poor health and low energy. Sure, it is fuel. But imagine filling your car with grimy, low-level petrol.
Stick to a rhythm that you are comfortable with, but try not to let yourself off the hook. Furthermore, understand that the faster you make changes in how you eat, the quicker you will see results.
While the jury is out for sugar-free sodas, other low-calorie versions of foods most likely have lower fat levels, or are lighter and easier on your stomach and metabolism. Essentially, high protein, low fat, with lots of vitamins and minerals is the way to go.
2. Make smart choices
As far as what choices to make, you don’t need to completely revamp your dietary habits overnight. Instead, go slow. If you had sugary cereal for breakfast, you should switch to something a bit more substantial. If you’re still craving something sweet, try a piece of rye toast with homemade butter and honey.
A fruit salad can also go a long way. Instead of pork chops, get veal, or chicken thighs. Get some granola bars or dried fruit for dessert, instead of candy.
Try to cook as often as possible. Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Throw out high-fat and high-calorie condiments, like mayo, and go with their lighter options (or just don’t eat them at all). Try plant-based or low-fat cheeses, remove egg yolks when preparing omelettes…you can alter your meals in many ways.
3. Get (good) snacks
Whatever the reason might be, it is impossible to run without fuel the entire day. Unfortunately, it seems like everybody gets fast food, chips, or some kind of salty, processed snack to tide them over.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who completely starve themselves throughout the entire day, always running on empty. Both choices are not healthy. On one end you are ingesting low-quality fuel, on the other you are torturing yourself, burning muscle, and weakening your immune system.
Try things like peanuts, trail mix, walnuts, or dried fruit. Having a banana as a snack along with a couple of raisins will give you a nice boost of energy that will tide you over until lunch. Instead of getting a cheeseburger outside, or a slice of greasy pizza – why not buy grilled chicken breast, or salmon?
Another option that is an absolute lifesaver when you are in a hurry is contacting meal prep and delivery companies. Namely, more and more places like My Muscle Chef offer you healthy, ready-made or prepared meals. It’s definitely much better than gambling with a local restaurant or buying fast food.
4. Fluids matter
Finally, stay hydrated. The goal should be to drink nothing but water, (real) tea, and coffee with no sugar or creamer. It’s important to stay hydrated; getting 8 glasses of water every day is vital if you want to stay healthy.
Drinking more than 8 glass is a must if you are physically active, or just live in a very hot, humid climate. Minimizing soda and alcohol intake is essential if you want to stay healthy.
The sugar found in processed drinks is ruining your teeth, and can mess with your kidneys and even your liver if you drink too much for too long. A glass of wine or a beer from time to time is okay, however, having a couple every night before bed, for example, might diminish the quality of your sleep and pack on the calories after some time.
In sum, if you want to eat healthy without actually counting calories or going on a diet, know that there are many options available. Above all remember that making smart choices and replacing unhealthy foods with good ones will give you the best results.
However, you also have to be hydrated, avoid sugary drinks and alcohol, and really try to avoid skipping breakfast. Remember, a healthy lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle, not something you’re supposed to stick to for a couple of months. Slow and steady wins the race.
Mianna Korben is a passionate writer and lifestyle blogger currently living in Europe. She has a passion for anything that will help her improve her life, well-being and set her on a path to success. She is an avid reader, coffee drinker and fitness enthusiast. When she’s not wordsmithing, she also enjoys travel and staying active.
More healthy eating tips:
- Healthy Snack Ideas to Avoid Sugar Cravings
- What Happened When I Quit Sugar for 40 Days
- 11 Things Healthy People Do Every Day