There are thousands of diets and nutrition tips, so when navigating the world of healthy eating habits, it’s best if you consult your doctor. But there are certain rules that all experts would agree on, and here’s the list of basic nutrition steps to follow!
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#1. Whole foods rock. The closer to their natural form, the better. So try choosing fresh and whole products over bagged, pre-packaged or boxed ones, like turkey meat instead of frozen meatballs, or raw apples instead of apple-flavoured candy. Also, this way, you will consume less calories, less salt, added sugars, and unhealthy fats, so that’s a bonus.
#2. Introduce more whole grains to your diet. It has been scientifically proven that those who consume more of whole grains are less likely to suffer from heart diseases, diabetes, or colon cancer. So say no to white bread, pasta, or rice - these products lose nutrients during the manufacturing process. Choose whole wheat bread and pasta, brown or wild rice, oatmeal, popcorn, barley, or bulgur.
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#3. Eat more vegetables and fruits. Frozen or fresh, just make sure there are no extra sugar or salt. Depending on your level of physical activity and the amount of calories you need, get 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Also, go easy on juices: they have more sugar and less fiber.
#4. Avoid added sugar and salt. The key here is to read the labels on your food to cut down on salt and sugar, and remind yourself to check on the amount of those you add to your beverages and food.
#5. Avoid artificial components. Remember this rule: anything artificial, like colours, preservatives, sweeteners, as well as other man-made ingredients, are a no-no for clean eaters. Again, read food labels.
#6. Yes, we’ll say this again: Hydration is the key. Water and/or herbal tea over sugary drinks and/or juices. Water and tea are low-calorie drinks that will help you curb your hunger and energize you. Add some lemon slices or mint to your water if you crave more flavour.
#7. Measure your caffeine and alcohol consumption. Whether you’re a clean eater or not, the healthy dose of caffeine is 3-5 8-ounce cups of coffee per day (400 mg), and one serving of alcohol for women/two for men. Try not adding sugar to your tea or coffee, and opt for alcoholic beverages without sweet mixers.
#8. Will you go organic? This one’s up to you, just know that organic farmers grow their produce with the help of natural pesticides (as opposed to man-made pesticides). The two tips here are: ask around at your local farmers market about what kinds of pesticides the vendors use, and also choose veggies like onions, avocados, and corn that have skins we don’t eat.
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#9. Know where your dairy and meat products come from. Want to always be safe? Get your protein from legumes, beans, and nuts. To make sure the meat you consume is hormone and antibiotics, and the animals are raised humanely, learn more about your meat at your local farmer’s market. As for seafood, check the labels/ask at the counter: look for products low in mercury and procured through sustainable fishing.
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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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