It is easy to get confused and overwhelmed when trying to figure out which nutrition-related pieces of advice to follow, as there is so much information on the topic, a lot of which is not scientifically proven. And while some things – like staying hydrated – are already quite evident, there are many other healthy eating habits that are also worth your efforts to acquire.
Lucas James, a nationally known celebrity nutrition expert, says that a thoughtful approach to correcting your eating habits will enable you to curb even the toughest late-night cravings without feeling deprived. And I agree! So, don’t you think it’s worth trying?!
Here are several nutrition tips that will help you to move towards a healthier lifestyle and qualitatively improve your overall well-being:
1) Eat Your Veggies
Eating vegetables is a common piece of advice given to people who want to improve their health and lose weight, but why exactly is it so important?
According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of the bestseller book Eat to Live, eating ten servings of vegetables per day will significantly improve your overall health and help you lose a considerable amount of weight.
The following vegetables are especially good for your body:
- brussels sprouts
- green beans
2) Drink More Water
Sometimes we tend to misidentify our hunger by simply being thirsty. So, why not try to drink a glass of water to see if it helps tame your cravings? However, never try to overcome your actual hunger by drinking more water – it will only worsen your well-being.
Also, as you will read in my How to Decrease Bloating workbook, don’t drink too much water at once, as it can lead to bloating. Instead, try to drink several small glasses throughout the day. A good rule is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day.
3) Eat Protein-Rich Foods
Proteins are a must for good nutrition. For instance, they help our bodies to repair muscles, while also helping to keep us satiated for longer periods of time.
Proteins come in both animal and plant-based foods and include everything from fish, chicken, eggs, and milk, to beans, quinoa, and nuts. To get all the necessary proteins from these foods, you will need to eat them in various meals throughout your day. However, if you’re working on being a better vegan, remember that you can still get all the protein you need from plant sources!
4) Reduce Sugar Intake
Sugar is a source of energy that you can find in many different foods including bread, fruits, and sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup. Unfortunately, lots of processed foods, which are not meant to be sweet, are also made with added sugar, including sauces, dairy products, and canned goods.
For that reason, it is crucial to be mindful of the amount of sugar you regularly consume, especially considering that it can lead to health problems such as obesity and diabetes. To fight these health issues, you should cut back on sugar and sugary foods. Try to substitute them with healthier alternatives such as nuts and seeds, whole grains, and even dark chocolate and fruit!
5) Drink Coffee and Eat Dark Chocolate
Coffee and dark chocolate, with moderated intake, are proven to positively affect the heart and blood vessels due to their antioxidants (most notably caffeine and flavanols). As a result, drinking coffee and eating dark chocolate will not only give your body an extra boost of energy but will also promote your well-being.
It is worth noting that coffee has a dehydration effect, and it is recommended that you drink two glasses of water to reduce the impact of one cup of coffee or you can drink decaf coffee as it has less caffeine. Being mindful of this will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
6) Eat Spicy Food
According to research, capsaicin – the main ingredient in spicy peppers – may help you lose weight. Moreover, the study suggests that capsaicin may decrease your appetite and encourage you to eat less. Thus, you will feel full more quickly and avoid overeating later.
7) Make Eating a Mindful Process
When we eat without paying attention to what we are actually eating – for example, when sitting down in front of our computers while having our lunch – we tend to consume more calories than what we would normally eat when we concentrate on our food preparation and eating process itself.
Thus, try to pay attention to your food intake so that you do not overeat accidentally. This advice is crucial if you want to lose weight or maintain your current weight level!
8) Don’t Eat Before Bed
Many nutrition experts recommend avoiding eating later than 4 hours before going to bed. Doing so may result in gaining extra weight over time since it increases your insulin levels while decreasing your fat-burning hormones (such as leptin). As a result, consuming food [approximately] after 8 p.m. may cause inflammation in your body, leading to health problems such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes, in the long run. This is why it’s advised to resist your late-night cravings if you want to take care of your overall health.
With that said, I personally can’t sleep on an empty stomach so, if you are hungry in the later hours, eat something like fruit and some nuts, making sure to keep the calorie count around 150 or so.
Our eating habits significantly impact the way we feel and look. For that reason, it is crucial to ensure that your diet is perfectly balanced and the foods on your plate are full of nutrients. However, eating healthy and staying hydrated is only a start.
It is equally important to change your attitude to the eating process itself, too. Make sure to always allocate enough time to cook for yourself and eat in peace. This will allow you to nourish not only your body but also your soul – which we all could use more of!