We all know that the word “diet” gets a pretty bad rap! After all, it usually means depriving ourselves of some food we like or going on a very strict meal plan, which is never all that much fun. Trying to lose weight often forces us to “diet” because our regular eating isn’t as healthy as we want. But what if I told you that you could eat healthy without dieting? Here are some simple guidelines to follow that will keep you healthy without the need to ever go on a diet:
Stock Up on Fruits and Veggies
The core of your diet should always be fruits and vegetables, as they are the foods that will both fill you up and help you to lose weight. Fruit does contain sugar, so make sure to stick with no more than two servings per day. Veggies, however, can be consumed as much as you’d like—in fact, the more you eat, the better! Try to make your plates at least 50% veggies, and you’ll find that you lose a lot of weight a lot more quickly.
Load Up on Fiber
Fruits and veggies are an amazing source of fiber, but you should try to get more from nuts, seeds, and whole grains—albeit in moderation. Nuts and seeds are high in fats and calories, and even whole grains contain more carbs than you might want in your diet. Stick with one or two servings of each high-fiber food per day, and your body will thank you!
Stick to Water
That’s right: if it’s not water, stop drinking it! Anything that has sugar—juice, soda, diet soda, flavored waters, and alcohol—all contain additional calories, many of which we fail to count because we drink them down without giving them a second thought. Worst of all, the calories in those liquids tend to have zero nutritional value but are typically turned into fat very quickly. You’re better off drinking just water—both regular and fruit-infused—because it contains no additional calories.
Get More Superfoods
Superfoods are any food that contains a higher quantity of valuable antioxidants or nutrient concentration than average. Avocadoes are superfoods, thanks to their high concentration of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries also fall onto this list, thanks to their high Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidant content. Fatty fish is an amazing source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and dark chocolate packs a phytochemical punch. Add walnuts, broccoli, and almonds into your diet for a well-rounded micronutrient profile.
Eat More Fats
Specifically healthy unsaturated fats! The more fats you get from plant-based foods—such as nuts, avocadoes, seeds, and coconuts—as well as the fat present in animal products—particularly the Omega-3-rich salmon and sardines—the healthier you will be. Your diet should include a healthy balance of fat along with protein and carbs, as it provides your body with slow-burning energy that will last you for hours to come.
Be Smart with Snacks
Snacking is the best way for you to prevent hunger pangs between meals, and a smart snack is one that satiates your appetite while providing you with valuable nutrients that your body needs. A piece of fruit makes a great snack, especially when paired with natural peanut butter. A bit of whole grain toast with cream cheese or cottage cheese can do wonders to shut down your appetite. A handful of nuts and seeds will also keep you from feeling hungry between meals. Make sure that your snacks are healthy, natural, and limited to no more than 300 calories to do it right!