5 Simple Nutrition Fixes

Fruits & VegetablesImage courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Developing good nutrition habits is essential to attaining a healthy body composition and operating at peak physical and mental performance. Here are five simple things you can do to take control of your diet.

1. Buy ingredients, not products

The more food you prepare for yourself, the more nutritious and healthful your diet is likely to be. Buy your food in as close to its natural state as you can, like choosing fresh produce and meats instead of pre-packaged meals or other processed foods. A general tip to help with this is to shop only the perimeter of the grocery store, where the produce, meat, and dairy sections are.

2. Cut out added sugars

Many processed foods rely on sugar for texture and palatability. If you must purchase pre-packaged foods, look for products without adundefinedded sugar or opt for more natural alternatives. When you reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, you'll begin to notice and appreciate the subtle natural sweetness that many foods have.

3. Eat more veggies

Stock up in the produce section and make vegetables a significant portion of every meal. Experiment with vegetables that are new to you and with new preparation methods. Eating more vegetables will dramatically boost your nutrient intake and increase satiety while contributing relatively few calories to your diet.

4. Reduce or eliminate sources of starch

Grains, cereals, flours, pasta, potatoes, and other starchy foods have relatively low nutritional value. Not only are they basically empty calories, but chronically high insulin levels as a result of eating these foods frequently may be inhibiting your fat loss and harming your long-term health. Look for ways to cut out these foods or replace them with more nutritionally dense options.

5. Eat with a purpose

Make mealtime a more mindful experience. Pay attention to your food; savor it. Build an awareness of the portion sizes that are right for you and your body. Try not to eat in front of the television or while focused on something else, as this often leads to mindless overeating.

 

If you are looking to make dietary improvements, you don't have to completely change your food habits all at once. Start slow, maybe implementing just one of these ideas at a time as you get used to building new habits. As you discover how much better you feel eating whole, wholesome, healthful foods, I hope you'll be motivated to continue making changes for the better!