This article is sponsored by Planet Fitness.
It can feel so daunting to want to improve your diet and include more healthy foods. The programs and plans that say they’ll help you with a balanced, healthy diet are complicated and can costs hundreds of dollars a week for ingredients. But you don’t have to go for broke and make giant changes all at once — that will make it harder to stick to a healthy diet and you’ll end up losing motivation and reverting back to your old eating habits.
But not all changes have to be huge to eventually have a great effect. Try some of these 10 easy ways to improve your diet without having to try too hard to do it!
1. Drink more water.
Lots of times people will think they’re hungry and eat more when they’re really just dehydrated. Try to drink six to eight glasses of water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and reduce cravings.
2. Swap out mayonnaise for mustard.
Mayonnaise is full of fats and can be a big chunk of your calories for the day if you’re not careful about serving sizes. Mustard, on the other hand, is low in calories and full of flavor.
3. Add your own sweeteners to your tea or coffee.
Getting the big, sugary drink from Starbucks or the sweet tea from the diner sounds tasty, but it can quickly add up the calories and sugar towards your daily total. If you have to add your own, you’ll be much more likely to add less than the barista does, because are you really going to add five sugar packets if you’re thinking about being healthy? You’ll immediately reduce the amount of sugar you’re taking in at one time.
4. Switch to 100 percent whole grain breads instead of white bread.
The fiber in whole grain foods can help aid digestion and make you feel better without making a large change to your daily sandwich at lunch.
5. Eat more slowly.
When you’re rushing to get through a meal, sometimes you rush ahead of the signals between your stomach and brain and end up eating more than you needed to. If you eat slowly, you’ll keep in pace with your body’s needs.
6. Don’t skip meals.
The hunger that comes from skipping a meal will often overpower your will at the next meal and you’ll end up eating more than two meals’ worth of food.
7. Eat off a smaller plate.
You can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten more than you have by loading up a smaller plate over a larger one.
8. Swap out the iceberg lettuce in a salad for spinach leaves.
They’re packed with nutrients and provide more vitamins and minerals than the same amount of iceberg lettuce does.
9. Get more fiber by switching to brown rice from white rice.
Whenever you’re eating a rice dish, try brown rice for added vitamins.
10. Choose the healthier side.
Want to reduce the number of calories and fats you’re taking in at lunch? Choose the fruit or veggie option as your side with your burger or sandwich instead of the french fries. One serving of fries can be 300 calories or more, while an apple is only about 80 calories. You’ll still be able to enjoy the main course as you always have, but won’t have to worry about the extra calories.
This article was written by Gillian Kruse of Examiner.com on behalf of CBS Local.