It can be overwhelming to figure out every detail of a new, healthy diet—from counting calories and monitoring fat intake to cutting out sugars or processed foods. It can be a lot! Fortunately, there are simple adjustments you can make that will have a considerable impact on improving your health without being too time-consuming or mentally taxing.
If you struggle to make healthy diet changes, we have a list of five simple diet adjustments you can start today that will positively impact your health without too much effort.
1. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Reducing or eliminating alcohol from your diet is one of the simplest ways to positively impact your health. Benefits include improved sleep, better digestion, increased energy levels, and weight loss. If you’re looking for an easy way to get started, try “Dry January” where you commit to abstaining from alcohol for the entire month of January.
2. Monitor Portion Sizes
Portion sizes can have a huge impact on your health, and it’s important to be aware of how much you’re eating. Try using smaller plates or measuring out food portions to ensure that you’re not overeating. Be mindful to the point of eating for satiety and not eating just because food tastes good or because there is more there to eat. Eating slower is also a great way to help with portion control because it gives your body time to register when it’s full.
3. Increase Veggies & Fruits
This is one of the best ways to improve overall health. By increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you eat, you increase your intake of essential vitamins, fiber, and minerals that your body needs for optimal functioning. Start by putting more veggies on your plate than meat or carbs, or swap out processed snacks for a serving of fresh veggies like carrots, broccoli, or zucchini with dip. By having larger portions of veggies and fruits and reducing your meat and carb intake, you will drastically improve your intake of essential vitamins and minerals and, as a result, feel your health improve.
4. Eat On Time
Studies have shown that eating at regular intervals throughout the day will help keep your body in rhythm and ward off cravings or binging episodes. When you eat irregularly or skip meals, your body can go into survival mode and start craving sugars, fats, and carbs. Your brain sends signals telling your body that it needs more fats and carbs to survive and get energy levels back to normal. Eating at regular intervals will keep your body out of survival mode, regulate your body’s natural rhythms, and will help keep weight off.
5. Get More Sleep
Sleep is just as important as nutrition when it comes to maintaining good health! Lack of sleep has been linked to increased stress levels in the body which can lead to overeating. This is because the two hormones leptin (suppresses appetite) and ghrelin (stimulates hunger) are affected during periods of sleep deprivation and cannot regulate your appetite properly. Aim to get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to keep your hunger hormones and stress levels regulated.
Making healthy changes to your diet doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a few simple adjustments, you can easily make progress toward improved health and well-being.