Whether you want to do it for yourself or you’re supporting someone in your family who has health or food issues, eating healthy is important. It can also be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Many people panic when thinking about changing the way they eat because it feels impossible. It’s not, I promise. Here are 20 ridiculously easy tips for healthy eating that you can do today.
Use Smaller Plates
The Delbeouf illusion is a phenomenon that causes us to misjudge the size of identical circles when they are surrounded by larger circles of different sizes. The more white space we see, the smaller the darker object appears, basically. This holds true for our eating habits as well, according to Cornell University (@CUFood_BrandLab). You don’t necessarily need to cut your portions; just put them on a smaller plate.
Eat Seasonal Produce
Visit a Farmer’s Market
Shop your local farmer’s market for the freshest produce in your area. Azumio (@azumioinc) reminds us that by shopping at a farmer’s market, you’ll also get to meet the folks who grow your food and ask questions about the process.
Pack Your Lunch
It’s lunchtime and you find yourself faced with a dilemma: eat cafeteria food or run across the street and buy a burger? Cafeteria food is often unappealing and expensive. The cheap hamburger is greasy and full of empty nutrients. For a healthier (and often cheaper) option, Debbie the Dietician (@DebbietheRD) suggests packing your own lunch. Since you’re the one preparing it, you can make sure it includes your favorite dishes.
Keep Healthy Food in Larger Packages
Out of sight, out of mind totally applies, as James Clear (@james_clear) discusses here. When you store your food, put healthy items in large, clear containers. Put any unhealthy foods, like cookies, in smaller containers. You’re more likely to notice and go for the larger boxes and containers than, say, a sandwich bag shoved to the back of the cupboard with the dust bunnies.
Use the Half-Plate Rule
The first time I heard this, I thought it meant to use half your plate. In a way, it does, just not the way I thought. As Healthy-Diet-Habits.com (@LifeStyleSoIn) explains, it actually refers to how much of each food group should be on your plate. Your plate should be half filled with fruits and veggies. Allot 1/4 for grains and the other 1/4 for protein. With a glass of milk or a sprinkle of cheese, that’s all the nutrition you need.
Display Healthy Food Items
My mother has a beautiful three-tiered metal fruit basket sitting on a table by her front door. She always has oranges, bananas, and apples in it. Do you know the first thing that my kids do at Grandma’s house? They grab a piece of fruit to snack on. This article from Lifehacker (@lifehacker) explains that you’re more likely to grab the first thing you see and go, so the fruit basket near the front door was a pretty good trick!
Use Tall, Slender Glasses for Unhealthy Drinks
As with the plate trick we talked about earlier, this one relies on optical illusion. As BrickMarketDeli (@BrickMarketDeli) expands on here, we have a tendency to think something is bigger than it is based on vertical lines. So, if you drink soda out of a wine glass, your body will think you’ve had more than you really did. As a result, you’ll drink less of it.
Go Meatless at Least Once a Week
Eatright.org (@eatright) says cutting back on meat at least once a week can help improve your diet. They don’t just mean skip the meat; they mean add something in place of it, too. Make sure you add beans or lentils to maintain your protein intake.
Eat a Fruit and Veggie in Every Meal
Given the food pyramid we all learned in school, this one should seem like a no-brainer. However, many Americans don’t follow this teaching, says Everyday Health (@EverydayHealth). Fruits and vegetables offer a variety of nutrients that help boost and maintain our immune systems, so eat up! Remember, variety is the spice of life, and there is no shortage of variety here. Even better, choose produce with different colors.
Make DIY Versions of Your Favorite Treats
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite treats. There are many DIY versions of well-known and loved snacks, as LaughingLemonPie.com (@Blogspiration42) points out. They even offer their own DIY recipe for hohos right here to get you started!
Trade the Cereal for Oatmeal
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Therefore, we should pay close attention to what we eat first thing in the morning. Many Americans, myself included, grab a bowl of cereal in the morning and call it a day. Activebeat.com (@ActiveBeat) explains why taking an extra minute or two for a bowl of oatmeal is actually a healthier choice.
No matter your reasons for wanting to eat healthy, it doesn’t have to be hard. These easy to implement ideas will help get you started on the right path to a healthier lifestyle. Do you have any ideas you used that weren’t mentioned here? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family.