In today’s society, being healthy can be more difficult than it seems. People are always busy trying to balance time for work, family, and other responsibilities. As a result, the goals of meal plans are often not achieved.
However, staying healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Here I show you 22 easy ways to get healthier with minimal effort.
1. Fill half the plate with non-starchy vegetables
Vegetables can be basically classified as starchy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables generally have more carbohydrates and calories than non-starchy vegetables.
Examples of starchy vegetables include: potatoes, corn, and beans. Non-starchy vegetables include spinach and other dark, leafy greens, such as carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
By replacing some of the starchy vegetables and protein with non-starchy vegetables in your meals, you can eat the same amount of food while consuming fewer calories.
Plus, this simple strategy also saves you the hassle of worrying about serving sizes.
Summary: Filling half your plate with non-starchy vegetables is an easy way to eat healthier. Non-starchy vegetables are low in calories but high in fiber and nutrients.
2. Eat off smaller plates.
Believe it or not, the size of your plate can affect the amount of food you eat.
In one study, scientists found that people who ate from large plates ate 56% (142 calories) more than people who ate from small plates.
In an analysis of 72 studies, the scientists consistently found that people ate more when offered larger portions and plates.
The simple illusion of eating off a smaller plate could help you feel fuller on less food.
Summary: Eating off a smaller plate is a simple way to trick your brain into eating less. This can be helpful if you feel that the portions you are currently eating are too large.
3. Substitute refined carbs for raw carbs
Refined carbohydrates are commonly known as simple carbohydrates or “ empty ” carbohydrates, since they do not provide nutritional benefits.
Refined carbohydrates are rigorously processed and stripped of almost all of their nutrients and fiber. This means that they add extra calories to your diet without any nutritional benefit.
Some examples of refined carbohydrates are: white flour, white bread, and white rice.
Also, eating a diet rich in refined carbohydrates can increase your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Choosing unrefined, unprocessed carbohydrates, such as whole wheat flour and brown rice, allows you to eat foods you eat frequently but with added benefits, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Summary: Refined carbohydrates are sources of “ empty ” calories as they do not provide any nutritional benefit. Swapping them for whole, unprocessed carbs can increase your nutrient and fiber intake.
A diet low in processed carbohydrates is very healthy, which is why I invite you to read this interesting article All about the low carbohydrate diet .
4. Add some fruit to your morning oatmeal.
Fruits are a great way to add some color and flavor to your morning oatmeal.
Fruits are loaded with large amounts of vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health. They are also high in fiber and water which can help you stay full longer.
In addition, fruits are a great source of polyphenols (compounds that give fruits and vegetables their shine). These compounds act as antioxidants in the body and can help fight inflammation and oxidative stress. Additionally, studies have shown that polyphenols may help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and premature death.
One study in 7,447 participants found that people who ate more polyphenols had a lower risk of premature death, compared to people who ate less polyphenols.
Summary: Although fruits may contain high levels of sugar, they also contain significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as polyphenols. Polyphenols can have great health benefits.
Don’t miss these 11 Reasons Why Polyphenols Are Good For Your Health .
5. Eat fatty fish frequently
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 can only be obtained from food. Despite its importance, very few people in Western countries eat sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Research has shown that people who consistently get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, less chronic inflammation, and better mental health.
Fatty fish are also a great source of B vitamins. This group of vitamins helps the body produce energy, repair DNA, and maintain optimal brain and nervous system function.
Trying to eat at least two servings of oily fish per week is a good start to good health. The best examples are salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Summary: Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. Try to eat oily fish at least twice per week.
Eating fish gives you many more of the benefits mentioned above. Discover these other 11 Evidence-Based Healthy Benefits of Eating Fish .
6. Consider taking certain supplements
Eating unprocessed foods is the most common way to meet our dietary needs.
Natural foods contain a wide variety of nutrients that, in combination, help provide most of the nutritional benefits.
Even so, for many people it is difficult to meet their daily nutritional needs through food alone. This is where supplements can play an important role, as they provide large doses of nutrients in a convenient presentation.
Two supplements that are especially helpful are: soluble fiber and fish oil.
Soluble fiber supplements, particularly glucomannan , can help keep you fuller longer, promote regular bowel movements, lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
Fish oil supplements, such as cod liver oil, provide you with a large dose of omega-3s, as do fatty fish.
Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, less chronic inflammation, and better mental health.
Summary: Although unprocessed foods are essential, supplements can be helpful if you have difficulty getting nutrients from food. Two great supplements are fish oil and soluble fiber, such as cod liver oil and glucomannan respectively.
7. Drink green tea
Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can drink.
It is low in calories and contains a wide variety of nutrients and antioxidants.
Antioxidants can help your body fight free radicals, molecules that are linked to increased risk of disease and are also responsible for premature aging.
Studies have also shown that people who drink more 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 can help you burn fat by increasing metabolism.
Summary: Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. It is low in calories, but rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It also has impressive health benefits.
Find out about the impressive 10 properties of green tea that your body will appreciate .
8. Drink black coffee
It’s no secret that most people love coffee.
In fact, one study found that more than 160 million Americans drink coffee regularly. However, about two-thirds of people add sugar, milk, cream, or other additives to their coffee.
Unfortunately, that means you may be adding extra calories to your diet.
For example, a large Starbucks latte contains 204 calories and 14.4 grams of sugar. Compared to a cup of homemade coffee that contains less than 15 calories.
Simply switching to a black coffee can cut extra calories from your diet without eliminating caffeine.
Summary: Switching from lattes or sweets to black coffee is a great way to reduce your extra calorie intake, while still enjoying the benefits of coffee.
Drinking coffee has its advantages and disadvantages, don’t be left wondering, I invite you to read our interesting article Is it healthy to drink coffee?
9. Avoid sugary drinks
If you want to be healthier, try to avoid sugary drinks.
They contain no essential nutrients and are basically made up of added sugar. For example, a can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams or 10 teaspoons of sugar.
Research has shown that sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer.
Also, the acids in soft drinks can damage teeth, especially when combined with sugar.
If you drink large amounts of soda, you can opt for a healthier drink like unsweetened carbonated water with lemon or green tea.
Summary: Sugary sodas are bad for your health and are loaded with added sugar. If you drink a lot of soda, you may want to switch to a healthier drink like green tea.
Avoiding added sugar is a great way to stay healthy by avoiding these 4 Ways Sugar Makes You Fat .
10. Always keep healthy snacks within reach.
Cravings often get in the way of attempts to eat healthy.
In fact, about 50% of people have cravings on a regular basis. This makes unhealthy foods very attractive.
Stocking your pantry with healthy snacks can help combat cravings when they arise.
It’s also a good idea to keep some healthy snacks in your bag, to help you fight cravings when you’re not home.
Some healthy snacks include: a handful of nuts, fruit, or even some dark chocolate.
Summary: Cravings can get in the way of an attempt to eat healthier. To prevent cravings, make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks in your pantry, or in your bag for when you’re on the go.
Do you have difficulty controlling cravings? Don’t worry, I bring you this interesting article that gives you 4 weapons to combat cravings .
11. Drink a glass of water with each meal
Water is important for health. Drinking enough water can help you maintain healthy brain function, focus, and a positive mood.
Additionally, water can help you lose weight by keeping you full and increasing the number of calories you burn.
If you find it difficult to drink enough water, try to drink a glass with each meal. This ensures that you drink at least a few glasses of water daily.
Summary: Water is important for good health. If it is difficult for you to drink enough water, try to drink a glass with each meal.
Water is a vitally important liquid, besides it gives you many benefits of drinking water . Discover them!
12. Make a list before you go shopping
A grocery list is a powerful tool that can help you eat healthier.
It helps you remember what you have at home, and provides you with a healthier meal plan in advance, so you’ll avoid impulse shopping.
What’s more, studies have shown that people who use shopping lists are more likely to eat healthier and weigh less.
Summary: A shopping list can help you make healthier shopping decisions and avoid impulse buying. Studies have also shown that lists can help you eat healthier.
13. Go shopping on a full stomach
Shopping on an empty stomach can be a terrible idea if you’re trying to stay healthy.
Several studies have shown that people tend to buy more high-calorie foods when they shop on an empty stomach.
By shopping after you eat, you’ll not only avoid unhealthy impulse purchases, you’ll also save some money.
This strategy would work even better if you combine it with an already planned food list.
Summary: Shopping on an empty stomach makes you more susceptible to compulsive shopping. Try to shop after eating to avoid temptations at the supermarket.
14. Choose unprocessed foods over highly processed foods.
Lately, people in western countries are eating processed foods very frequently.
Although processed foods are more convenient, they are often lacking in nutrients and increase the risk of chronic disease.
Simply eating more unprocessed foods can help you be healthier with minimal effort, since they tend to be higher in fiber and many types of vitamins and minerals.
Unprocessed foods are single-ingredient foods that are mostly unprocessed and free of chemical additives.
Here are some examples of unprocessed foods:
- Integral rice
- raw meats
- whole eggs
Summary: In modern society, people consume a lot of highly processed foods, which are low in nutrients. Simply choosing unprocessed foods can help you eat healthier as they are higher in nutrients and fiber.
15. Practice mindful eating
Eating with attention to your meals is a powerful tool that helps you eat healthier with minimal effort.
It is based on the concept of mindfulness, and helps you pay attention to what you are eating, in this way, you take into account the type of diet you are eating.
Plus, many studies show that mindful eating can help you lose weight.
Here are some simple tips that can help you pay more attention while you eat:
- Like slowly.
- Chew well.
- Focus on how you feel when you are eating. Are you really hungry?
- Turn off the TV and don’t use the phone.
Summary: Mindful eating is a powerful tool that can help you eat healthier. It also helps you assess what you eat, why you eat, and how fast you are eating.
16. Eat sitting down
In today’s fast-paced society, people are always eating anywhere.
However, research has shown that eating on the go can affect your ability to process hunger signals.
For example, a study of 60 women found that people consume more food and calories overall if they eat while walking.
Sitting is also a way to eat mindfully. Combine it with some tips above so you can eat healthier with less effort.
Summary: Eating sitting down can help you better process hunger cues and eat less food.
17. Exercise regularly
Finding time to exercise is a common problem for many people around the world, especially for work.
However, exercising regularly is important for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, there is plenty of evidence showing that a lack of exercise is linked to poor health both mentally and physically.
That being said, there are plenty of ways to fit a little exercise into your day, even if you have a busy schedule. For example, taking a walk during your lunch break can greatly improve your health and well-being.
In one study, 56 people walked thirty minutes three times a week during their lunch hour. This improved their enthusiasm and relaxation at work, while reducing nervousness.
Summary: Walking during breaks is a great way to get some exercise in a busy schedule. Try walking with a few colleagues to help make it a habit.
Exercising is synonymous with well-being, discover the 10 best benefits of regular exercise .
18. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Taking the stairs is an easy way to add exercise to your daily routine.
It is also great for your long-term health. Research has shown 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.
What’s more, taking the stairs can actually be faster than taking the elevator.
One study found that, on average, taking the stairs was 23.5 seconds faster for each floor. This includes the average waiting time for an elevator.
If you constantly move between floors in your workplace, taking the stairs could help improve your fitness and productivity while you exercise.
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 usually sitting for a long time.
In fact, research shows that the average office worker spends up to 15 hours sitting down. Compared to a farm worker who sits around 3 hours a day.
Unfortunately, research has shown that people who spend more time sitting have a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and death.
A standing desk could help you stay on your feet longer while still being productive.
What’s more, research conducted over a six-month period has shown that even people at the same job who use standing desks are 53% more productive.
Summary: A standing desk can help you stand longer while you work. You are likely to have a lower risk of chronic diseases.
20. Disconnect from technology an hour before going to bed
Quality sleep is absolutely essential for optimal health. However, 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from poor sleep.
It seems that technology and other artificial light sources are a major reason preventing quality sleep.
These devices emit blue light, a type of light wave that is common during the day. However, this means that devices can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime.
Several investigations have shown that the use of artificial light before bedtime is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, mood disorders, and depression.
Avoiding technology an hour before going to bed can help improve sleep quality.
Summary: If you suffer from poor sleep, try to avoid technology an hour before bed. Certain devices like your phone and computer emit blue light, which can keep you awake longer.
21. Sleep at the same time every night
In addition to poor sleep quality, many people have difficulty falling asleep.
Not being able to sleep can leave you exhausted, make you feel less active, and even increase your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
One of the most important reasons is not having a regular sleep schedule. Otherwise, having a set bedtime helps train your body’s internal clock to fall asleep faster at a certain time.
In addition, a joint sleep program can also improve concentration and memory.
Summary: Having a fixed bedtime, even on weekends, can help you fall asleep faster, since this way your internal clock is trained to fall asleep at an hour established.
22. Try to practice meditation regularly
Tension and stress can have a significant impact on your state of health and mood.
Research has shown that meditation is an effective way to relieve stress and improve overall health.
For example, an analysis of 47 studies involving more than 3,500 people found that mindfulness meditation helped reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.
Summary: Meditation is a great way to relieve stress. Try to incorporate it into your routine a couple of times a week.
You won’t believe the benefits of meditation until you read our interesting article on the 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation .
Getting and staying healthy is easier than you think. In fact, there are many ways you can stay healthy with just minimal effort.
These include drinking a glass of water with each meal, eating oily fish, having a regular sleep schedule, and choosing more unprocessed foods.
Plus, shopping on a full stomach can help curb grocery cravings and prevent compulsive shopping, 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.