Prioritizing nutrition can lead to various benefits for overall health and well-being. For starters, it can help maintain a healthy weight, support the immune system, and limits the risk of diabetes and certain cancers. Proper nutrition can also improve energy levels, mental clarity, and mood, aiding recovery and muscle growth. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet may help maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails and promote healthy digestion. Here are some practical ways to prioritize your nutrition.
- Set specific and measurable goals
Start by setting goals for your nutrition. This could include increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, reducing your intake of added sugars, or hitting a certain macronutrient ratio. As a tip, ensure they’re specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Examples may include “I will eat at least 6 servings of vegetables and fruits per day” or “I will limit my added sugar intake to no more than 10 grams per day.” You also want to plan how you will achieve these goals. This might involve meal planning, grocery shopping, and prepping meals in advance, so keep this in mind. Likewise, use a food diary or a nutrition tracking app to record what you eat and drink. This will help you identify patterns and areas where you need to make changes.
- Incorporate more healthy food options into your diet
Whole foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, fruit, and lean proteins, are nutrient-dense and provide various health benefits. Therefore, including them in your meals is essential. While at it, reduce your intake of processed foods. Processed foods have excess added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats and can contribute to various health problems. Healthy fats in nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, and fatty fish are important for overall health and can help you feel full and satisfied, so keep this in mind.
- Try out new meals
Healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same meals. Repeating the same food can lead to boredom or cause you to stray from your nutrition goals. Therefore, include a variety of different foods in your diet. This way, you can get a wide range of nutrients while enjoying every mealtime. Instead of jumping into a completely unfamiliar cuisine, try a dish similar to something you already know and like. For instance, if you enjoy turkey sandwiches, you can make a Cuban sandwich if you haven’t tried it before. Also, don’t go into a meal with preconceived notions of what it will taste like. Be willing to try new things.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water is important for overall health and can help you feel full and satisfied, preventing overeating. Aim for at least eight 8 glasses of water daily, and more if you are active or live in a hot climate. Other fluids, such as fruit juice, milk, and herbal tea, can also contribute to your daily water intake. Avoid sugary drinks, as well as alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you. Additionally, eat fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as watermelon and cucumber.