Being healthy isn’t hard! Give these tips a try and see for yourself.
These top 10 swaps are easy ways to kickstart a healthier lifestyle without completely changing your life!
Big Bites on a Little Budget shared 8 of these amazing tips on their post titled “8 Simple Swaps for a Healthy Living.” Follow this blog along with Live Well to find even more resources related to healthy living!
1. Swap Refined Grains for Whole Grains
• MyPlate recommends making 1/2 of our grains whole. Why not try and make all of your grains whole grains? Whole grains are less processed and provide more fiber and vitamins/minerals than their refined friends.
• Get creative and try new whole grains like quinoa, bulgur, faro, or barley.
2. Cook at Home Rather Than Eat Out
• This one is pretty simple, but can easily trip us up.
• Restaurant entrees tend to be higher in salt, sugar, and fat. We also tend to overeat when we go out because of the large portions. Make an effort to meal plan each week and cook at home most days.
• Dinner can be as simple as fried eggs over sautéed veggies or leftover whole-wheat pasta with tomato sauce and canned chicken.
3. Stay Away From Sneaky Sauces
• We love sauces at our house because they make leftovers so tasty! Some sauces can be high in sugar and sodium, so I try to look for healthier versions and stick to things like low-sugar BBQ sauce, mustard, and low-sodium soy sauce.
• Stay away from creamy salad dressing, look for “light” versions of your favorites, or try making a healthy oil-based dressing at home.
4. Bake with Healthier Ingredients
• Treats can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, although baking for 1 or 2 people is sometimes difficult. Rather than my husband and I polishing off an entire pan of brownies, I try to find healthier ways to bake our treats or make a treat with just a couple of servings. Here are my tricks:
• Replace butter/oil with applesauce or mashed bananas.
• Replace some of the flour with whole-wheat flour or pureed beans.
• Reduce the amount of sugar in baked goods by 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Most baked goods are sweet enough without the extra sugar.
• Immediately freeze half of the treats for later so you aren’t tempted to polish off the batch.
• Share with friends, neighbors, or co-workers.
• Try a mug cake! These individual desserts are the perfect cure for any sweet tooth.
5. Start with Soup or Salad Rather Than Bread
• This is a good rule of thumb to follow, especially when you are eating out. Fill up on a broth-based soup or light salad before grabbing that second piece of bread.
• You can use this rule at home as well. Start off by eating your vegetable sides first and then move on to the rest of the meal. If you are listening to your fullness cues, you might end up eating less of the unhealthy stuff.
6. Trade High Sugar Drinks for Healthier Options
• You knew I had to include this one! Soda and fruit juice are incredibly high in sugar. We might be drinking 100’s of calories each day and not even realize it because our bodies do not register the calories we drink in the same way as the food we eat.
• 100% fruit juice is better than some options, but is missing the fiber that whole fruit contains. Choose whole fruit whenever possible!
• Try adding fruit slices to water, drink unsweetened tea, or reach for a glass of protein-packed low-fat milk.
7. Look for Ways to Be More Active
• So simple, but being more active throughout the day really adds up. It is recommended that adults get in 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. This can be broken up throughout the day, so find ways to move and just do it!
8. Chew Slowly Instead of Speed Eating
• I am so guilty of chowing down and sprinting on to the next thing! This isn’t the best thing for our bodies and can lead to overeating. Instead, be more mindful throughout meals. Take time to savor your meal without distractions like TV and work and allow yourself at least 20 minutes to register fullness before getting second helpings.
9. Swap Junk Foods With Healthier Snacks
• Instead of ice cream, try yogurt topped with fruit and nuts
• Instead of potato chips try roasted nuts
• Instead of white or milk chocolate try dark chocolate
• Instead of French fries, try edamame beans
• Instead of candy try fresh fruit
10. Swap Salt with Fresh or Dried Herbs and Spices
• When you want to enhance the taste of your food, you can use fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt. Some flavorful herbs and spices are cinnamon, ginger, garlic, clove, parsley, sage, cilantro, nutmeg, basil, coriander, cumin, and cardamom.