|A few small changes over the course of the day really can make a huge difference in the overall quality of your diet. Think about your typical diet – the foods you eat day in and day out – and target just one change. Just ditching fizzy drinks in favour of water at one meal, for example, can cut at least 150 calories and about 10 teaspoons of sugar out of your day|
Change is hard – it’s been estimated that it takes at least six weeks or so for new habits to start to replace the old ones. And if your diet is filled with fast food and no fruits and vegetables, or is a patchwork of unplanned quick meals or snacks, it can be overwhelming to make all the changes you know you should – especially all at once.
So here are five simple things you can do – today– to vastly improve your diet.
•Have a piece of fruit for dessert. Lose the cakes and cookies at the end of a meal and reach for a piece of fresh fruit instead. Nutrition Boost: Fruits provide plenty of vitamins and minerals – like vitamin C which contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system and potassium for the normal muscle function – along with providing fibre, saving you hundreds of calories at the same time.
•Switch to 100% whole grain bread. Replace white bread with whole grain bread for sandwiches or toast. It’s easy to do at home, and many restaurants now offer whole grain bread as an option. Nutrition Boost: An extra dose of much-needed fibre.
•Double up your vegetables at dinner. Fill at least half your plate with veggies and salads. When you’re out, reduce the proportion of starch and double up on the veggies, or have extras added to a sandwich. Nutrition Boost: Nutrient dense – you’ll be getting plenty of nutrients such as: vitamins, minerals in exchange for a low calorie cost. Many soy milks, cheeses and yogurts are calcium-fortified. Nutrition Boost: A good dose of bone-building calcium and high quality protein.
•Try some seafood, canned tuna can be mixed with mashed avocado for a healthy sandwich spread, or tasted over some prewashed salad greens for a quick meal. If you tend to go towards red meat or chicken at meals, try a lean version and alternate with a serving of grilled fish or shellfish. Nutrition Boost: Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to the normal function of the heart. They tend to be high in protein but delivering a few calories.
Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.