If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to adopt a cleaner, healthier diet, you should start with small changes. You don’t get to erase a lifetime worth of bad eating choices overnight so here are some tips that will make the transition smoother and will help you maintain a healthier, more balanced lifestyle from now on.
Make cooking a social activity
One of the main reasons why people cannot stick to a diet is because their closest friends or family members are not supportive enough. So, what better way to preach a cleaner diet if not by making cooking a social activity?
Host a cooking party every week and ask your friends to join the fun. Friday night or Saturday evening is perfect for trying out new recipes, playing with ingredients in the kitchen, and having fun with your besties. Replace the boring barbeques and fried chicken with grilled fish and veggies and swap beer for a fancy glass of wine.
Drink more water
As you age, you might not feel thirsty as often as you did before but this doesn’t mean you should forget drinking water. On the contrary, staying hydrated is the first step to eliminate toxins from your body and adopt a cleaner diet.
If you’re not exactly a fan of drinking those 17 fluid ounces of water daily, you can opt for other liquids. Light soups, unsweetened tea, and lemonade are also great choices that will quench your thirst and keep you hydrated at the same time, without having to worry about calories.
Plan your meals
Another easy trick to stick to your healthy diet choices is to go grocery shopping every week or every 4-5 days and plan your meals. Make a list of the dishes you want to prepare in the upcoming week and stick to the ingredients from your shopping list.
Lean meat like chicken, turkey, and fish (rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that are vital for your health) can be kept frozen for a longer time while fresh fruits and vegetables should be eaten 1-3 days after you bought them. Go to your nearest farmer’s market once a week and pick up fresh, organic ingredients instead of buying them from regular supermarkets. This way, you will support local agriculture and stick to your clean eating habits easier.
Make your own seasoning mixes
Part of a healthy diet means to watch your sodium intake, which means you should cut on the salt as much as you can. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to season your foods to taste delicious without adding salt.
Make your own fresh mix of herbs and spices by mixing Himalaya pink salt or sea salt (healthier choices than regular refined salt) with cayenne pepper, rosemary, basil, oregano, sage, and a few chili flakes.
Grill and stir fry instead of deep-fry
Whether you’re from the South or not, few people can resist deep-fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, deep-fried foods are less nutritious and rich in bad fats which will cause you a lot of health problems, including gaining weight in the long term.
Healthier options for cooking your food include stir-frying, grilling, and steaming. A slow cooker is a great choice for those committed to changing their diets while grilling is perfect for a weekend afternoon spent with your friends and family. No matter your choice, you should also consider healthy ingredients such as more veggies and lean meat instead of your regular beef and pork.
Watch your sweet tooth
Caving into your culinary temptations is only natural and you shouldn’t be worried about it if it just happens occasionally. You can treat yourself with a cheat day every two weeks but you have to watch your processed sugar intake.
Eating too much sugar will not only make you hyperactive but is also dangerous for your blood, arteries, skin, and teeth. So, unless you want to check some reviews of denture adhesives before term and avoid cavities, replace your usual sweets with raw-vegan recipes or a simple carrot cake.