Knowing where to start is usually the number one battle people face when looking to get healthier. I get it – it’s overwhelming, and you can pretty much Google anything and get answers as to why something is either good or bad for you. So here are some really simple, easy changes you can make that will pay dividends in your diet.
1. Eat regularly. Don’t skip meals, ever! You need to fuel your body often, and with food that either comes from the ground or has a mother. Where is the Cheeto farm? What is the mother of a Cheeto? … If it comes in a bag or a box, put it down.
2. Frozen is just as good as fresh. A lot of people don’t have the budget to buy fresh produce, but frozen or canned vegetables (without additives of course — just the good stuff!) are better than none at all. You can still get your four servings of vegetables a day on a budget. Get creative by adding spinach or kale to a smoothie, add a side salad to lunch, have a snack of raw veggies and hummus, or a vegetable of choice with dinner.
3. Sleep is your friend. It’s amazing how much better life can get when you get a solid seven to eight hours of sleep. You’ll have more energy, sure, but you also won’t find yourself eating or drinking to try to stay awake when 3 p.m. rolls around at the office and your eyes start to glaze over. A lot of people mistake being hungry for actually being tired, thinking that they’ll just feel better if they just eat. It does work as a temporary pick-me-up, but getting enough sleep to begin with won’t add to your waistline.
4. Grocery shopping is a science. If you find yourself feeling defeated at the store, here are a few tips:
- Spend most of your time shopping the perimeter of the store.
- Stick to your list and never, ever shop hungry. Come up with a non-food reward for sticking to your list, like a pedicure or a new book/magazine.
- There is no shame in using a service like PeaPod – either ordering online and going to Stop and Shop to pick up your groceries. It will keep you on track and save time.
5. There is no such thing as “bad fitness.” If you’re moving, you’re doing something great for yourself. Just find 30 minutes a day and intentionally move. Cut down on the Facebook newsfeed scrolling, skimp on the Netflix, DVR your favorite show and watch it after you exercise. It can wait; your health is a priority.