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These days, it is undeniably difficult to maintain a healthy diet. When you’re at work all day long and barely have time to grab something in your way, dreams of a fit, healthy body can become more and more distant. Developing and sticking to a healthy lifestyle takes some effort. However, your health and well-being are not the right places to save money. If you need a little help on that front, here are ten tips to make it work.

Learn more about food

We all have knowledge about nutrition and what is good and bad for us, but it can certainly be a bit complex. Learning a little more about nutrition can be very helpful in maintaining a healthy diet. Not only will you be able to make more informed decisions about what foods to buy and how to keep your diet balanced, you’ll also have a better understanding of why you should.

Correct your snacking habits

Most of us are guilty of snacking. There’s nothing inherently wrong with taking a few bites here and there, but you should be careful with your snacking habits so that they don’t become a hindrance in your efforts to be healthier. Try to eliminate unhealthy snacks and replace them with healthy, filling alternatives that will keep you going until your meal. Have them on hand so you don’t hit that candy bar.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the backbone of a healthy diet. Make sure to include them in all your meals so that you get 5 servings per day, as recommended. They don’t have to be fresh. Even though you can’t buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the market every other day, canned and frozen products are quite good. Squeeze your fruits, make smoothies, add more veggies to your meals. Be creative and include them in everything.

Reduce your sodium, sugar and fat intake

You are probably already aware of the negative effects of too much sodium, sugar and fat on your health. Controlling how many of them you consume is therefore essential. Start looking at the labels and pay special attention to the sodium content in cans. Fast, processed food is another culprit, so try to cook your own meals whenever you can. Opt for lean meats instead of fatty parts and replace frying with cooking. When it comes to sugar, be careful about the added sugar in the foods you buy. If sugar is a particular concern for you, learn more about how to cut it down.

Watch what you drink

As we just mentioned, it’s best to avoid added sugars. Carbonated drinks are particularly high in these sugars and are also extremely bad for your teeth. Try swapping out these drinks for a better way to hydrate your body. There is hardly anything better than water, and the importance of this simple liquid in a healthy diet should not be underestimated. Keep your body hydrated so that it can perform at its best. To keep it interesting, add fruit slices or herbs to your water.

Focus on whole grains

Switching from refined grains to whole grains won’t take too much effort, but it does make a big difference in terms of your health. Whole grains are high in fiber and will keep you full and energetic for longer. Whole foods are also loaded with vitamins and minerals that will keep your gut health in check. Change the white rice to brown and discover whole wheat pasta.

Prepare meals in advance

One of the biggest obstacles to eating a healthy and balanced diet is simply a lack of time. Expecting you to cook your meals every day is just unrealistic. However, you can overcome this obstacle with a little planning and thought ahead. Meal planning is a gateway to healthy eating. Instead of rushing at the last minute, having your entire week planned will make buying ingredients easier. Along with knowing exactly what to cook, a little planning can also help you prepare what you can ahead of time and save a lot of time.

Add more plant-based foods to your diet

Diets that contain a lot of plant-based foods have long been proven to be a healthy choice. Plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants, which are important for protecting our cells from oxidative stress and therefore against a number of health problems. While you don’t have to completely eliminate meat and other animal products from your diet, it’s a good idea to give yourself a boost with vegetable protein solutions. It’s also a fantastic option for those looking to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Eat seasonal foods

Another good tactic that can help you maintain a healthy diet is to focus on foods that are in season. Eating these fruits and vegetables in season will not only mean that they are fresh and tasty, containing the highest amount of vitamins and antioxidants possible, but you will also save money because they are naturally cheaper. Eating in season is a good habit that will benefit you and the planet, so it’s a win-win.

Pay attention to the size of your portions

Many of us are guilty of overeating every now and then. If losing weight is one of your concerns, you shouldn’t exceed the recommended daily calorie count. To do this, it may be necessary to reduce the size of your current portions. However, this is not as drastic as it sounds. At home, use smaller plates and make sure you eat more slowly. Enjoy your food and give your body time. When going out, try to go for smaller portions, although larger ones would be better value. Portion size control will keep you enjoying your favorite foods, in moderation.

Changing your lifestyle is always difficult at first, but take it step by step and soon it will come naturally. The long term benefits of healthy eating are well worth it, so don’t give up!