Five Non-Drastic Ways to a Better Diet

 Many people fail at committing to a healthier diet because their plan is usually too drastic or too vague. Here are five easy steps to a healthier you.

Cut out (or limit) extracted oils: Cutting out or limiting your use of extracted oils can assist with cutting calories. Although some oils (like olive) have some great benefits, all oils are about 120 calories per tablespoon. If you’re like me, you love the flavor of a quality olive oil, however you can avoid oil in cooking and still preserve the flavor. I suggest switching out your extracted oils with whole fats such as avacodo or flaxseed.

More examples of replacing extracted oils:

Baking: use applesauce or puréed squash and sweet potatoes when baking instead of oils or butter.

Sautéing vegetables: fill your pan just enough to cover the bottom with water or broth (chicken, veggie, etc.) and sauté as usual. The broth will add that flavor factor you may miss from your normal oil.

Roasting vegetables: fill a baking dish (instead of a roasting pan) with just enough water to cover the bottom and roast as usual. You will need to stir about half way through the cooking process and allow a longer roasting time. 

Switch to whole grain: Whole grains are better for you because they are less processed and still contain beneficial nutrients (bran and germ). Also, whole grains are associated with better weight management.

Stop skipping breakfast: Skipping breakfast may increase your risk of obesity because you are more likely to overeat throughout the rest of the day. Also, your body is technically fasting while you are sleeping and skipping  breakfast extends that period and may disrupt your blood sugar balance. You also want to be sure to eat breakfast because calories equals energy. If you are not eating before leaving home to start your day, it may leave you feeling lathargic.

Portion control: Practicing portion control is learning to be satisfied while eating less food. There is is difference between a serving and a portion. The serving size is what is on the label of the item, the portion is the amount you eat. Eating smaller portions more often will regulate your glucose and insulin levels (therefore keeping your brain from tricking you into thinking you’re hungry when you’re really not) and curb cravings, thus decreasing your caloric intake. 

Drink more water: Choose water over soda or fruit juices. Water keeps you and your skin healthy and your body hydrated. Water can also curb you desire to snack. I know the idea of water only can be boring, so add fresh fruit (cucumber,lemon, and lime are my favorites) or herbs like mint for flavor. 

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