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How to Eat Healthier in 2021 (5 Simple Steps)

Somi Igbene PhD ANutrMay 9, 2021

In today’s post, you will learn how to eat healthier in 2021 and beyond. I will share five simple steps you can start implementing to improve your eating habits.

Every day you make thousands of choices, many related to food. Some may seem trivial, but others are important. A few may even set the course of your life.

A food choice may seem trivial, but if you do it over and over again, it will have a significant impact on your health outcomes.

Choosing to eat and live a healthy lifestyle has so many benefits. Including:

  • Plenty of energy
  • More productivity
  • Stamina
  • A positive outlook to handle mental challenges, stress and the emotional ups and downs of daily life
  • Lower risk of many health problems like heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes
  • Improved physical strength and endurance and of course
  • The opportunity to look and feel your best.

If your current diet is sub-optimal and these benefits sound like goals you’ll like to achieve, I’m going to share five steps you can start implementing to healthify your diet.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

1 | LEARN THE FOOD GROUPS

There are five food groups, including

  • Grains
  • Proteins
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Fats

It is crucial to learn which foods fall into each category, the nutrients and benefits they provide and the best options for your health.

Now, not everyone will be able to eat from each food group, which could be due to food intolerances, allergies or preferences.

You can still achieve excellent health even if that’s the case once you understand which foods fall into each of the five categories and the nutrients and benefits they provide.

You will find that foods in other categories contain the nutrients in the category you can’t eat. For example, a person with celiac disease may be unable to eat wheat and grain products, which are rich in B vitamins and risk deficiency.

But this can be compensated for by eating more b-vitamin-rich vegetables and animal proteins.

2 | LEARN HOW MUCH FOOD YOU NEED

Knowing how much food you need is vital to ensure you get adequate amounts of nutrients and energy.

Without the correct quantities of food and nutrients, you risk developing:

  • Poor immunity
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Brain fog
  • Lethargy
  • Poor wound healing and
  • Chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, lupus, cancer etc

The exact quantities of food you need depend on your age, gender, weight, height, lifestyle, food preferences and unique needs.

And will undoubtedly differ from person to person.

Regardless of what you hear, no two people will thrive off the exact same diet, and that’s why diet must always be personalised.

Once you learn how much you need, you can start eating in a way that fuels your body, provides the nutrients you need and leaves you feeling energised and nourished. And if you need to lose excess fat, this will come off naturally without restrictive eating.

how to eat healthier

3 | VARY YOUR FOOD CHOICES

Eating an appropriate mix of foods from the food groups is important to promote health.

No one food or food group supplies all the nutrients, fibre, and other components needed for energy, health, repair and growth (in kids). Variety also makes mealtime more flavourful, interesting and pleasurable.

Besides, the more varied your food choices, the better the diversity of your gut flora. The more diverse they are, the better your immune system and overall health.

If you eat only a handful of foods, challenge yourself on your next shop to choose one or two different foods to add more variety to your diet.

4 | TAKE BABY STEPS

The number one mistake people make when trying to improve their eating habits is to change everything in one go.

Some people can do this and succeed, but most people can’t.

Start by swapping one food for another, so you eat healthier one food at a time. You could perhaps start by eating the whole fruit instead of drinking juice or fizzy drinks. Or changing breakfast from a bowl of high-sugar cereal like frosties to oats topped with fruits, nuts and yoghurt or wholegrain toast with eggs and mushrooms.

You can also choose to do ten squats every morning once you wake up instead of trying to go for a 20-minute run especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time.

Once you get comfortable implementing small changes, build on them until your whole diet and lifestyle are overhauled.

5 | TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

Self-monitoring can be a fantastic way to track your progress, especially when starting a new diet and lifestyle approach.

It helps you stay accountable and allows you to clearly see the things you’re doing well and those that need improvement.

You can track with an app or write in a book.

There’s something about writing things down that makes creating and sticking with goals easier for me. If you’re like me check out my wellness journal. It allows you to track your food, drinks, sleep, mood, and exercise.

It also has a section for affirmations, and at the end of every week, you can assess your progress and make notes on things you’ve done well and areas you can improve.

So, to summarise, the five simple steps you can implement immediately to improve your eating habits are:

  1. Know the food groups
  2. Know how much food you need
  3. Vary your food choices
  4. Take small steps
  5. Track your progress

I hope you’ve found this post useful.

If you would like to learn how to eat a healthy balanced diet that’s personalised to your unique needs and food preferences and helps you achieve your health goals, please schedule a 15-minute discovery call via the link on the bottom right of the screen, and it would be my JOY to help you.

Until my next post,

Eat whole, move your body and surround yourself with people and things that matter.

Be blessed!

-SOMI-

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