With over 650 million obese individuals throughout the planet, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. Unhealthy dietary choices and the lack of physical activity are both contributing to this preventable epidemic.
The number of greasy fast-food restaurants that have popped up over the years hasn’t helped.
Learning how to change your diet can help you and your family avoid obesity. The health consequences of being overweight include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Some cancers
As you gain more weight, the risk for these noncommunicable diseases increases.
Don’t leave your family at risk. Instead, keep reading to learn how to change your diet. Live healthier and happier with these tips.
1. Cut Out the Bad
The first step toward making healthier choices is to evaluate the current state of your pantry and refrigerator. Cut out foods that are labeled “fat-free, “low-fat,” “fat-reduced,” or “low-calorie.” These foods usually compensate for the missing fat by adding more sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
Toss out starchy foods such as chips and fries as well.
Start reading nutritional labels to limit:
- Added sugars
- Trans fat
- Saturated fat
Make sure to avoid the “Salty Six” as well. They include:
- Bread and rolls
- Cold cuts and cured meats
These foods can add a lot of unnecessary sodium to your diet, especially for children ages 6 to 18.
About 90% of kids consume too much sodium, which can lead to heart problems in life. By cutting these foods out early on, you can help your children make smarter choices as they grow older.
Check out this post for a list of the top 10 bad foods to avoid.
By cutting these foods out of your diet, you’re already making one small change to a healthier lifestyle.
2. Choose Whole-Grain
As you learn how to change your diet, it’s also important to choose whole-grain options over refined grains.
Eating whole grains offers a number of health benefits, including the ability to reduce your risk of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
Whole grains can also add essential vitamins and minerals to your diet, such as:
- B vitamins
Plus, many whole-grain breads taste even better than the traditional refined options.
3. Start Making a List
In order to learn how to change your diet and stick to your dietary changes, make a grocery list. Add all of your favorite healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, proteins, and healthy fats. Keep sugary, processed foods off the list.
The next time you go shopping, make a commitment to stick to the list.
Making a list ahead of time can help you avoid impulse buys. In addition to helping you make healthier choices, making a list will ensure you stick to a food budget, too!
4. Increase Your Protein Intake
While you’re making that list of healthy foods, don’t forget to add eggs. Eggs offer a high-quality source of protein. Plus, they’re full of essential nutrients!
Eating eggs in the morning (instead of cereal or a muffin) can help you feel full longer.
You should also increase your protein throughout the day. According to studies, increasing protein intake from 15 to 30% of your daily calories can help you eat 441 fewer calories a day.
Without proper protein intact, you might lose muscle mass.
Good sources of protein include eggs, beans, lean meats, peanut butter, nuts, and dairy products.
5. Stay Hydrated
Increasing your water intake is also an essential step when changing your diet. Drinking water can help increase the number of calories you burn each day. As a result, water helps benefit weight loss and maintenance efforts.
In fact, drinking water can also help you feel full.
That way, you can avoid snacking throughout the day as you learn how to change your diet.
Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day.
6. Change How You Cook
How you prepare your food matters as well.
Consider switching from frying or deep-frying to grilling and broiling. Frying can cause toxic compounds to form as you cook. These toxic compounds are connected to several diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
Other cooking options include slow-cooking, broiling, baking, pressure cooking, and stewing.
7. Take Your Supplements
Vitamin D is essential for bone health and immunity. You can find this vitamin in fatty seafood, such as salmon.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in fatty fish. Omegas can promote brain function, keep your heart strong, and reduce inflammation in the body.
Make sure to add these supplements to your diet.
If you can’t add them through fatty seafood, you can also take them as a supplement.
8. Find a New Favorite Restaurant
If you’re serious about learning how to change your diet, look at where you’re eating.
Turn down trips to fast-food restaurants that offer greasy items. Instead, look for healthy restaurants or fusion kitchens as a healthy alternative.
9. Change Up the Recipe
In order to make changing your diet fun and interesting, try a new, healthy recipe each week. Try exploring new foods as a family.
You can also find healthier versions of your favorite recipes.
For example, try replacing starchy noodles with zucchini noodles. This tip is a great way to ensure kids eat meals they already love with healthier ingredients.
Cooking at home more often will also help you control what you’re eating.
10. Replace Sugar-Packed Beverages
If your family doesn’t drink a lot of water, at least make sure you’re not drinking sugar-packed beverages. Consuming liquid sugar can lead to obesity, heart issues, and type 2 diabetes.
Instead, replace soda with water.
You can also add sugar-free flavored packets to your water to make sure the kids drink up!
11. Eat From Smaller Plates
Another way to keep making healthier choices is to eat from smaller plates.
Filling a small plate will trick your mind into believing you’re eating bigger portions. That way, you can turn down the chance for seconds and feel full faster.
How to Change Your Diet: 11 Tips for Making Healthier Choices
Ready to start making healthier choices? With these 11 tips, you can discover how to change your diet for the better.
Start making healthier choices. Explore the Well Being section of our blog today!