Trying to change your nutrition can be a daunting task. When you’ve been eating one way for most of your life, even if you know how you should be eating and have the resources to do so, it’s still quite an adjustment. For some clients, going cold-turkey is the best way. These clients find that a gradual process or allowing themselves “cheats” just results in back-sliding and overindulging. For others, however, making the change in one big jump can prove too much and instead, they make no changes at all. In the nutrition game, some change for the better is always better than none. With that in mind, here are 3 changes you can make to your diet, today, that will have a huge impact on your health.
1) Add Vegetables
At least 3 servings a day. So, if you make sure each meal has a vegetable, you’ve already met your goal. Smoothies are great for breakfast veggies, as are omelets. Salads and stir fries are good go-to choices for lunch and dinner. Vegetables offer fiber, a plethora of nutrients, and have been shown to improve overall health outcomes when compared to those who eat fewer veggies.
2) Cut Soda
There’s unlikely to be any other one item that provides as little nutritional benefit and serious nutritional harm all in one fell swoop. Regular soda is nothing more than extreme sugar in liquid form. It packs a huge calorie punch and your calories should really never come in liquid form. And if you’re thinking, “oh, I drink DIET soda!”, well, you’re not doing much better. I wrote a post on the dangerous of artificial sweeteners and diet soda, but suffice to say here that studies show diet soda is about a poor for your health (maybe even more so) than the full sugar version. So, do yourself, your health, your waistline a favor and cut soda.
3) Drink Water
Not sure what to drink instead of those sodas? Try water. In an earlier post, I talked about the many benefits of water to your health and weight loss. Your body is over 60% water; it needs daily help replenishing. Aim to drink at least 8 8-oz glasses. Keeping up with your fluid intake can help keep you from eating when you’re not actually hungry, prevent headaches, and keep your body running smoothly.
So, if making major dietary changes seems too overwhelming and you don’t know how to start, try just taking these 3 steps and see how easy change can be.
Aubrey Phelps MS RDN LDN