Diet can play a huge role in your overall health and fitness. If you are looking to improve the way you fuel your body, check out these seven tips.
Cut Out Processed Foods
One of the best ways to improve your diet is by eliminating processed foods from your diet. Often laced with chemical additives, excess salt, and unhealthy preservatives, processed foods can take a serious toll on your body’s health and ability to function. You may find, when you cut down on processed foods, that you have more energy throughout the day, that your cognitive functioning improves, and that your body performs better in the gym. If you are looking to improve your diet, you may want to start here.
Focus on Whole Foods
Instead of trying to stick to a strict fad diet, simplify your approach to food by focusing on only eating whole foods. A whole food is any item that you can look at and immediately know all of its ingredients (hint: there’s usually only one). For example, the only ingredient in an apple is an apple. The only ingredient in eggs is eggs. This can help streamline your eating plan and make decisions about what to get at the grocery store a lot easier. Whole foods are a great way to get your body all the nutrients it needs without worrying about added ingredients. They are also great pre-workout fuel. Working out on an empty stomach is never a good idea; eating a pre-workout meal of whole foods can help you get the most out of each trip to the gym.
Humans evolved to eat hundreds of different herbs and minerals through a diet that varied with the seasons. Learn about the types of food that are native to your area or print out a schedule that lists which foods are in season during which times of the year. Mixing up what you eat can ensure that your body gets the right balance of nutrients and stays in top condition.
Make a Plan
It can be much easier to stick to a new healthy-eating initiative when you have a plan! Making a game plan for what you will and will not eat at restaurants or on trips, what you buy at the grocery store, or what you will avoid at the next company barbeque can empower you to stick to your new diet even in the face of temptation.
Count Your Sugars
From fruit drinks to nut butters to salad dressings, excess sugar can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Even packaged meats like sausages and bacon can contain added sugar! All of this sugar can wreak havoc on your body and contribute to a less-than-ideal bill of health down the line. Sugar, especially processed, artificial sugar, can be linked to some of the most common causes of death in North America, so if you are looking for a good place to start on your road to better health, start by cutting out sugar!
One way to make better eating a more attainable goal is to do it with a buddy! Having an accountability partner who is working toward the same goals as you can boost your morale and keep you second-guessing those moments when you feel like cheating on your diet.
Drink Less Alcohol
Another easy way to improve your diet is by cutting back on alcohol. Your body breaks down alcohol into simple sugars, which are then converted into fat. This can put extra strain on your organs, particularly your heart and liver. Alcohol impairs decisions and can cause damage to your brain as well. It can make you sluggish, which may even have adverse effects on your workout progress.
You can improve your diet easily by making small changes. Just remember, new habits take time to stick. Trying out some or all of these seven tips may help you on your way to better eating!