3 Nutrition Hacks for Those Starting to Eat Healthily

healthy eating

Change can be tough in almost any capacity. Changes to the way you eat? Well, we all know how challenging this can be!
If you’re planning on starting a healthier eating habit in 2018, set yourself up for success by avoiding the temptation to go “all in” right from the get-go. To help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, try one (or all) of these helpful tips instead.

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3 Healthily Nutrition Hacks to Start The New Year

nutrition hacks

1. Change just one meal first

Make a healthy change to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner for one week, and keep the rest of your meals the same. By practicing consistency around one meal, you’ll be building confidence and making it easier to stick with your healthy changes.
Focusing on one meal at a time also helps you avoid “decision fatigue” (progressively poorer decision making due to the tendency to make too many choices instead of a few good ones), which will free up some mental energy for work, the gym, and day-to-day life.

2. Cut out bread

After years of being told how bad dietary fat is for you (an ill-fated and wildly inaccurate statement), we are now finally seeing the mainstream health world recognize that it’s actually sugar, primarily in the form of refined carbohydrates, which is largely contributing to everything from diabetes to obesity to heart disease.
But going completely cold-turkey on sugar can be really difficult (because, let’s admit it: processed carbs taste great, are easy to over-eat, and even stimulate the same pleasure-activating centers in the brain as certain drugs!). Instead of putting a strict moratorium on processed carbs, try cutting out just bread first.
Bread. Just bread. That’s it. If you’re not a huge bread eater but you love your pasta or crackers or candy, then cut that out instead. The point is to cut out a major source of sugar in your diet for one month and just see what happens.
‘Cuz reality check: whatever food you seem least willing to give up (even just temporarily) is probably the one you should give up the most!

3. Make water a priority

We’re of the opinion that most of us are walking around slightly dehydrated (pro tip: if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!). But drinking water is essential for everything from weight loss to good skin to improved mood! Plus, a lot of what we feel as hunger is really just a sign of thirst instead.
So, add more water to your diet (yes: improving your nutrition is not just about taking things away). Aim for around 8 glasses per day, or about one third to one half your body weight in fluid ounces.

We’re curious: What’s been your experience with nutritional changes? Got any favorite beginner tips of your own?
Let us know about it in the comments below!

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Sara M. is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and freelance writer living and working near Boston, MA. As a former CrossFit gym owner and current fitness lover, Sara has a lot of personal and professional experience inside and outside the gym. She loves to write about various topics related to health, wellness, nutrition, human behavior, and self-mastery.