Modern society has made getting healthy harder than ever.
People are busy trying to equate work, family and other responsibilities. As a result, their health goals are often placed on hold.
That said, being healthy does not have to be difficult.
Below are 22 simple ways to get healthier with minimal effort.. Fill Half of Your Plate With Non-Starchy Vegetables
Vegetables can be loosely seen as starchy and non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables generally have more carbs and calories than their non-starchy counterparts.
Examples of starchy vegetables are inclusive of potatoes, corn and navy beans. Non-starchy vegetables like spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.
Filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables is a simple means to make your diet healthier. They are low in calories but packed with nutrients, fiber and water.
By changing some of the starch and protein of your meal with non-starchy vegetables, you can still eat a similar amount of food — but with fewer calories.
This simple strategy also saves you the stress of worrying about serving sizes and calories.
SUMMARY:Filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables is an easy way to eat healthier. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients.
2. Eat From a Smaller Plate and Bowl
Take it or leave it, the size of your plate can affect how much you eat.
In one study, scientists discovered that people who ate from large serving bowls ate 56% (142 calories) more food than people who ate from smaller bowls.
In an analysis of 72 studies, scientists discovered that people consistently ate more food when offered larger portions and plates.
The simple illusion of eating from a smaller plate could help you feel satisfied with less food.
SUMMARY:Eating from a smaller bowl is a simple way to trick your brain into eating less. This can be useful if you feel the portions you eat are too big.
3. Swap Refined Carbs for Whole, Unprocessed Carbs
Refined carbs are commonly refered to as simple carbs or “empty” carbs.
They are rigorously processed and stripped of nearly all their nutrients and fiber. This means they add extra calories to your diet with no nutritional benefit.
Examples of refined carbs are white flour, white bread and white rice.
Not to mention, eating a diet rich in refined carbs may increase your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Choosing whole, unprocessed carbs like whole wheat flour and brown rice lets you eat the foods you normally eat with the added benefits of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
SUMMARY:Refined carbs are sources of “empty” calories and give no nutritional benefit. Swapping them for whole, unprocessed carbs can increase your nutrient and fiber intake.
4. Add Some Fruit to Your Morning Oats
Fruit is a great way to add some color and flavor to your morning oats.
Fruit is packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health. It also has plenty of fiber and water that can help you stay fuller for longer.
In addition, fruit is a good source of polyphenols — compounds that give fruits and vegetables their bright color.
These compounds work as antioxidants in the body and can help it fight inflammation. Additionally, studies have indicated polyphenols may help reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and an early death.
A study with 7,447 participants showed that people who ate the most polyphenols had a lower risk of an early death than people who ate the least polyphenols.
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SUMMARY:Although fruit can be high in sugar, it is also packed with plenty of vitamins, minerals and compounds, such as polyphenols. Polyphenols may have enomous health benefits.
5. Eat Fatty Fish Often
Fatty fish like salmon are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids — a type of essential fat that you can only get from the diet. Despite their relevance, very few people in Western countries eat enough omega-3 fatty acids.
Research has indicated that people who consistently eat the most omega-3 fatty acids tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, less chronic inflammation and better mental health.
In addition, fatty fish are a great source of B vitamins. This group of vitamins helps the body make energy, repair DNA and maintain healthy brain and nerve function.
Target to eat at least two servings of fatty fish per week. Great examples are salmon, mackerel and herring.
SUMMARY:Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and herring are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. Determine to eat fatty fish at least twice a week.
6. Consider Certain Supplements
Whole foods are typically the preferred way to meet your nutritional needs.
They contain a variety of nutrients that have synergy together, helping deliver most of their nutritional benefits.
That said, many people struggle to meet their daily nutritional requirements through foods alone. That’s where supplements can come in handy because they offer you with a great dose of nutrients in a convenient package.
Two supplements that are especially useful are soluble fiber and fish oil.
Soluble fiber supplements like glucomannan can help you stay fuller for longer, keep you regular, lower your blood sugar and lower your blood cholesterol.
Fish oil supplements provides you with a great dose of omega-3, just like fatty fish. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids are linked with a lower risk of heart disease, less chronic inflammation and better mental health.
SUMMARY:Although whole foods are preferable, supplements can be helpful if you struggle to eat enough nutrients from diet alone. Two great supplements are fish oil and soluble fiber.
7. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink.
It is has low calories and packed with plenty of nutrients and antioxidants. These antioxidants can help your body fight free radicals — molecules that have been shown to increase disease risk and speed aging.
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Studies have also discovered that people who drink the most green tea tend to live longer, have a lower risk of heart disease and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Green tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine. These compounds may help you burn fat by boosting your metabolism.
SUMMARY:Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. It is low in calories, yet rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It also has impressive health benefits.
8. Have Your Coffee Black
It is no news that Americans love their coffee.
In fact, one study found that over 160 million Americans drink coffee regularly. However, roughly two-thirds of people included sugar, milk, cream or other additives.
Unfortunately, that means your coffee may be sneaking extra calories into your diet.
Simply switching to a black coffee can cut extra calories from your diet without sacrificing your caffeine hit.
SUMMARY:Switching from milky and sugary coffee to black coffee is a great way to cut your calorie intake while still enjoying coffee’s benefits.
9. Avoid Sugary Soda
If you want to be healthier, try as much to avoid sugary drinks.
They contain no essential nutrients and are loaded with added sugar. For instance, a can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams or 10 teaspoons of sugar (30).
If you drink a lot of soda, go for a healthier beverage like unsweetened sparkling water with lemon.
SUMMARY:Sugary sodas are bad for your health and parcked with added sugar. If you drink a lot of soda, opt for a healthier beverage like green tea.
10. Always Keep Healthy Snacks in Reach
Cravings often derail attempts at eating healthy.
In fact, roughly 50% of people have food cravings on a regular basis. This can make unhealthy foods quite appealing (37).
Stocking your pantry with healthy snacks can help you fight cravings when they arise.
It’s also a great idea to keep some healthy snacks in your bag or purse to help fight cravings when you’re on the go.
Some great healthy snacks include a handful of nuts, fruit or even a little bit of dark chocolate. You can find more healthy snacks here.
SUMMARY:Cravings can often derail an attempt to eat healthier. To stave off cravings, make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks are available in your pantry and with you while you’re on the go.
11. Drink a Glass of Water With Every Meal
Water is vital for your health. Drinking enough water can help maintain healthy brain function, concentration and a positive mood (38).
If you find it hard to drink enough water, try having a glass with each meal. This ensures you drink at least a few glasses of water each day.
SUMMARY:Water is vital for optimal health and performance. If you struggle to drink enough water, try to have a glass with each meal.
12. Make a Grocery List Before You Shop
A grocery list is a powerful tool that can help you eat healthier.
It helps you remember what you have at home, plan for healthier food in advance and avoid impulse buys.
What’s more, studies have also shown that people who use grocery lists are more likely to eat healthier and carry less weight (40).
SUMMARY:A grocery list can assist you make healthier decisions when shopping and prevent impulse buys. Studies have also indicated that lists can help you eat healthier.
13. Shop on a Full Stomach
Shopping on an empty stomach can be a disaster if you’re trying to get healthy.
In fact, studies have shown that people tend to buy more high-calorie foods when they shop on an empty stomach (41).
By shopping after a meal, not only are you more likely to avoid unhealthy impulse purchases, but you will probably save some money, too.
This strategy would work even better when added with a grocery list.
SUMMARY:Shopping on an empty stomach can make you more likely to make impulse buys. Try shopping after a meal to prevent temptations in the supermarket.
14. Choose Real Foods Over Highly Processed Foods
Simply eating more real foods can assist you get healthier with minimal effort. Real foods tend to have more fiber and are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Real foods are single-ingredient foods that are mostly unmodified and lack any chemical additives.
Here are a few examples of real foods:
- Brown rice
- Unprocessed meats
- Whole eggs
SUMMARY:In modern society, people are eating more highly processed foods than ever, which are low in nutrients. Simply choosing real foods can assist you eat healthier as they have more nutrients and fiber.
15. Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a powerful tool that assist you eat healthier with minimal effort.
It is based on the concept of mindfulness and helps you pay attention to what you are eating, why you are eating and how fast you are eating.
Here are a few simple tips that can assist you become a more mindful eater.
- Eat food slowly.
- Chew thoroughly.
- Focus on how you feel when you’re eating — are you really hungry?
- Turn off the TV and put your phone away.
You can find more helpful tips on mindful eating here.
SUMMARY:Mindful eating is a powerful tool to assist you eat healthier. It helps you pay attention to what, why and how fast you are eating.
16. Eat Sitting Down
In today’s fast-paced society, people are always eating on the go.
However, research has indicated that eating on the go can affect your ability to process hunger signals.
For instance, a study with 60 women shown that people consumed more food and overall calories if they ate while walking (48).
Sitting down is also a form of mindful eating. Combine it with a few other tips above to eat healthier with less effort.
SUMMARY:Sitting down while you eat can help you process hunger signals better and eat less overall food.
17. Go for a Walk During Your Breaks
Finding time to exercise is a real issue for many people around the world, especially with work.
That said, there are many ways to fit exercise into your day — even with a busy schedule. For instance, walking during your lunch break can greatly improve your health and well-being.
In one study, 56 people walked for thirty minutes three times a week during their lunch break. This improved their enthusiasm and relaxation at work, while also lessening nervousness (51).
SUMMARY:Walking during your breaks is a great way to fit exercise into a busy schedule. Try walking with a few colleagues to assist make it a habit.
18. Take the Stairs Instead of the Elevator
Taking the stairs is a simple way to add exercise to your daily routine.
It is also great for your long-term health. Research has indicated that people who climb at least eight flights of stairs daily have a 33% lower risk of death than people who spend most of their time sitting (52).
What’s more, taking the stairs may actually be faster than taking an elevator.
One study showed that, on average, taking the stairs was 23.5 seconds faster per flight of stairs. This includes the average waiting time for an elevator (53).
If you are constantly moving between levels in your office, taking the stairs could aid in improving your fitness and productivity.
SUMMARY:Taking the stairs is a great way to fit exercise into your routine. Surprisingly, it also seems to be faster than taking an elevator.
19. Try Using a Standing Desk
People are sitting for longer than ever before.
Unfortunately, research has revealed that people who sit the most have a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and death (56).
A standing desk could assist you be on your feet for longer while still being productive.
Not to mention, research has even indicated that people in the same job who use standing desks were 53% more productive over six months (57).
SUMMARY:A standing desk could assist you stay on your feet longer while working. Studies show that people who sit for longer have a higher risk of chronic diseases.
20. Unplug From Technology an Hour Before Bed
Quality sleep is absolutely importance for optimal health. However, roughly 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from poor sleep (58).
These devices send out blue light, a type of light wave that is common during the day. However, this means your devices may tricking your brain to think it is daytime (61).
Avoiding technology an hour before bed may help improve your quality of sleep.
SUMMARY:If you suffer from poor sleep, try avoiding technology an hour before bed. Devices like your phone and computer send out blue light, which can keep you up for longer.
21. Sleep at the Same Time Every Night
Apart from poor sleep quality; a lot of people struggle to fall asleep.
One of the biggest culprits is not having a regular sleep schedule. Having a set bedtime aids train your body’s internal clock to fall asleep faster at a certain time (67).
SUMMARY:Having a set sleep time, even on weekends, can assist you get to sleep faster. It helps train your internal clock to fall asleep at a set time.
22. Try Regular Meditation
Stress can have a major toll on your overall health.
For instance, an analysis of 47 studies with over 3,500 people showed that mindful meditation helped reduce anxiety, depression and stress (71).
SUMMARY:Meditation is a great way to relieve stress. Try adding it into your routine a couple times per week.
Being healthy is easier than you think. In fact, there are many ways that you can get healthy with reduced effort.
These include having a glass of water with each meal, eating fatty fish, having a regular sleep schedule and choosing more real foods.
Additionally, shopping on a full stomach can help curb supermarket cravings and stopped impulse buys, while mindful eating can help you take control of your eating habits.
Adding just a few of these strategies into your daily routine can lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle.