Our bodies are in a constant state of change, but our eating habits are slow to evolve. It’s time to rethink the way we feed ourselves. Here are 6 nutritionist-approved healthy eating hacks that can help you get started! These are not nutritional secrets, just recognised eating patterns for good health and long life.
Is it possible that the secret to living a long and happy life is really quite simple? Yes, Live long and happy! The good news is that you don’t have to eat tofu, drink green smoothies, or do yoga in order to live a healthy lifestyle. I have spent my life studying nutrition and have found that eating plenty of delicious food in appropriate portions is the most important factor in leading a healthy life. After all, life is too short to live it in misery.
Before heading to the gym or even heading to the refrigerator to grab a protein shake, consume 10–20 minutes of mindfulness or meditation. These practices have been shown to boost productivity, reduce stress, boost your immune system, and even increase testosterone levels.
Messing up can directly lead to feeling lousy, more fatigued, and ultimately make you pick up your phone even more, leading to an increased craving for unhealthy fast food meals.Janette Sherman, RDN
Don’t wear your phone.
When you know you’re going to the gym and don’t feel like grabbing a coffee (or a smoothie), keep it simple and hide your phone. You may even want to pack a headband for an extra edge.
Avoid using your phone while exercising and proactively request others not use their phones.Edgar Figueroa, a certified strength and conditioning coach and the creator on Strength Mondays.
When you notice that you are tempted to look at your phone, quickly put it away and ask for no more attention the way a friend might do.Edgar Figueroa
Figueroa also recommends steering clear of social media when working out. “As soon as you start scrolling and feeling the need to check Instagram or Facebook, you are literally just procrastinating from doing exercise. If you need a break from social media, try a walk, doing stretches or sleeping.”
Gear Up for your Next Workout
If you’re looking to lose weight and really take control of your health, get ready to sweat. Buy sweat clothes you’ll actually wear, and bring a few snacks in case you forget and literally end up ravenous or injured. “Bring snacks like almonds, celery, strawberry, hummus and a protein bar with you to the workout so you can get nutrients and calories without having to feel bad about food,” suggests Kelsey Terrio, a NYC-based sports dietitian. Consider bringing travel bags to keep your gym bag for snacks and other essentials.
Sneak protein in after Work
Ah, post-workout protein shakes. We all know they’re delicious and loaded with calories, but you can also reap the benefits of protein from a healthy snack like nuts, fruit, milk, yogurt or Greek yogurt. “Both protein and fat help to stabilize blood glucose and energy levels post-workout, relieving stress, helping to reduce muscle soreness and providing the body with needed amino acids,” explains Sherman.
Think of beans as a great way to get out of the house.
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Eat Healthy Prior to Beginning
Learning to adopt healthy food habits at the beginning of a healthy lifestyle is one of the nutritional secrets that are important for establishing a new eating style, says Joyce Faraj, RDN. For example, you might avoid heavy dinners until your diet is in control, she explains. Ask yourself: How do you feel after eating heavy meals? If you agree you don’t feel great, eat less of those foods.
Take up, Fruit, Veggies or Fish
Your favourite foods won’t seem as exciting when you’re cutting out the saturated fat and sodium. In fact, it may help to think of foods you enjoy from a physiological standpoint (i.e., the fruit helps your body absorb vitamins A and C, reveals Rachel Fine, MS, RDN), rather than from a taste standpoint (choosing salty chips over watermelon might make you feel better about eating them). Consider adding at least one quality food or two each week to help fill you up.
Plan Breakfast with Nutritional Secrets
If you’re waking up on an empty stomach, take the opportunity to grab something to eat first. For some, this is an easy habit to create by simply planning breakfast with nutritional secrets a few hours ahead of time. Faraj recommends oatmeal with your favourite berries. She says pairing complex carbohydrates like oats with wholesome foods like berries makes the work go a lot easier.
The Nutritional Secrets of Shopping
When grocery shopping, test grocery store displays at random. What does the nutrition highlight say? What about portion sizes? How about the nutrition information themselves? What price ranges are there, and what are the similarities and differences? Note these things down and study them to gain a better grasp on nutritional categories. For example, you can compare fat content with the “fat grams” and “calories per gram” marker.
Create your own Gluten-Free Zone
Subscribe to a diet like the Paleo diet and you’ll eat fewer carb-rich foods, like pasta and bread, but you need the right balance of knowledge to adhere to that strict eating style. Check out this guide to gluten-free living and develop a “good” relationship with gluten, advises AnnabelArmstrong, RD, founder and director of Nutrition for LIVES. This way, you can avoid foods that might upset your stomach and get that “bloated” feeling in your belly or lie to your doctor about your increased appetite. Then, even go as far as eliminating entire food groups like wheat, oats and barley, she says.
Figure out how to Move Differently
Knowledge is power, and when you’re cooking or preparing nutritious meals, it’s easy to forget or feel misunderstood by the rest of the family.
“Eating slowly forces your senses to adapt to the foods you’re eating,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD in a press release. “That’s helpful when you’re trying to lose weight or get in better shape.”Making slow, composed meals is one more way to ease into new eating habits. “We have a hard time chewing and processing strong flavors without sensory overload,” explains Crystal Cascio, RDN. “Eating slowly promotes a more pleasurable experience, which is helpful for getting over those cravings and sticking with healthy habits. “To take your eating to a slow and steady place, consider these smart changes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Carrots Monterey Jack’s Chewy Purefoni with Sweet Potato Hash with Peanut Butter Frosting “Breakfast doesn’t have to be stuffed with creamy versions of cereal or egg whites,” Cascio says.
Instead, try this savoury breakfast bowl high in vegetables and protein. “Start with carrots and serve over a bed of greens with sliced tomato, cucumbers, onions and a tablespoon of tahini. Top with sliced nuts, yoghurt and peanut butter; keep the smoky fire up for a nice spreadable texture.
Crunchy, dark, vegan cookies, just begging to be eaten by hungry kids with small appetites. Monterey Jack’s Chewy Purefoni is also vegan (without eggs) and contains 8 grams of protein and 101 calories.
“Unfortunately, not all varieties of vegan cookies can be easily consumed by the average kid due to the high fibre content,” Goodson points out.
But these gluten-free, swirled peanut butter cookies are jam-packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. Each serving contains just 64 calories, 3.5 grams of fibre and 11 grams of protein. Note: Stick to the small cookie portion size to enjoy healthy portions.
Lunch is a great opportunity to round out breakfast with some lunchtime favourites. “Eating between meals can reduce cravings and keep things from getting repetitive and boring,” Goodson says. “Focus on nutrient-dense options and aim to include vegetables at every meal.” Pro tip: Try topping your soup and sandwich with quinoa slaw. “Rich in fiber and protein, quinoa can support weight loss while also supplying amino acids which support brain function,” says Goodson. You can also try Greek yogurt with your lunch or make a salad for dinner.
Ever find yourself wishing your dinner was a bit more substantial? Our bodies often get a break from all the food we’re shovelling down at one time. This is where a balanced three-course meal can help you take control of your intake. “Eating small amounts throughout the day can help, especially if the meal includes healthy fats to slow digestion, Goodson says.