With more time spent at home comes more food temptation (hello quarantine snacks). It can also be a good time to make a conscious decision to work on health and fitness. And that means cleaning up more than just the house.
That’s right, I’m talking about diet!
You won’t reach your fitness goals without changing your eating habits. The two just go hand in hand. Luckily, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel either. Here are five simple, quick tips that you can follow to improve your diet today.
1. Eat More Plants
Not only is eating fruits and veggies a great way to ensure that you’re getting essential micronutrients, but it will also likely lower your overall calorie consumption. Produce has more volume and fewer calories, so it will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Something as simple as swapping crackers for carrot sticks with your hummus or cookies for apple slices and peanut butter can go a long way in reducing your overall calorie intake and helping keep you satiated after snack time. Grocery store low on fresh produce? Or maybe you just wanna stock up? Frozen fruits and veggies stay good longer and have the same nutritional value as fresh produce.
2. There’s Power in Protein
Something as simple as making sure you get enough protein with each meal will do wonders for your appetite and your metabolism. Protein is an essential, muscle-synthesizing macronutrient meaning that, without it, you wouldn’t survive. As a healthy, active adult, you should be getting at least .5g of protein per pound of bodyweight. The more active you are, the more muscle you have, the more protein your body will need. In other words, if you’re goal is to build muscle or lose fat while maintaining muscle, you will need more. Some great sources of protein are eggs, meats, beans, seeds and legumes, collagen or protein powders, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, dark greens, nuts and nut butters, and tofu.
3. Don’t Drink Your Calories
Skip the sodas and juices, reach for water instead. Wanting something more exciting? Try flavored sparkling water or add some citrus for a refreshing, hydrating swap that is much healthier.
4. Stick to the Schedule
There’s something to be said for routine. Having breakfast, a snack, lunch, and dinner during the same time frame each day can keep you consistent and help you avoid unnecessary snacking. Finding yourself hungry more often? You might be thirsty or you might not be eating enough during your previous meal. Have some fruit or veggies to hold you over until it’s time for the next meal.
5. Swap for Lighter Alternatives
When it comes to condiments and dressings, search for lower-calorie options made from wholesome ingredients or try a recipe to make it yourself. Homemade Italian dressing is usually lower-calorie and tastier than anything I’ve ever bought at the store anyways. You can also switch the sugar and milk in your coffee for sugar-free coffee flavor and almond milk. Little swaps like this may seem like nothing, but they add up over time.
We’re all in this together and if I have anything to say about it we’ll all come out of this thing quaran-toned!