7 simple ways to eat healthier without extra effort - we'd all love this secret right. But first...
Go on – admit it.
You have a bag of quinoa past expiry stuck in the back of your cupboard, right? Everyone does.
Most of us strive to eat healthy on a regular basis. We talk about it constantly on our lunch break with our colleagues. Seems like we save and pin every healthy recipe with the best of intentions. We listen attentively when someone knowledgeable passed on nuggets of health information. Hell, we even go buy the bag of quinoa or the supplement they’re promising will make our hair look like Kate Middleton’s.
Some days we do great. Other days not so great. And sometimes the bag of quinoa just sits in the cupboard year after year.
Motivation deserts us, tiredness clouds our judgement or willpower departs the building when a colleague dumps a plate of doughnuts on the coffee table.
The advantages of good nutrition are well documented – you feel healthier, better about yourself, you have more energy, a stronger immune system and you flourish in all areas of your life.
Alas, it’s one of life’s greatest contradictions – we want to eat healthier and the benefits are immense – so why do so many of us struggle to stay on track?
Why We Struggle With Consistency
There are quite a few factors contributing to the lack of consistency:
- Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations. It is not a diet. Often times, people cut out all their favourite foods but this will leads to failure.
- There is a lot of conflicting advice on nutrition. And it can be overwhelming. For every expert who tells you a certain food is good, you’ll find another saying the complete opposite.
- Time or rather lack of time can lead to unhealthy food choices. It’s never been easier to grab food on the go – local shops and garages, corner cafes, restaurants, delivery – we are inundated. And at the end of a long day, your willpower is as exhausted as you.
- Cost – junk food is cheap, therefore easy.
Don’t do nothing because you can’t change everything
Improving your diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing deal. You don’t have to be flawless. You don’t have to completely exclude foods you love. And you certainly don’t have to change everything day one. In fact, if you try to change everything all at once, you will fail.
7 Simple Ways to Eat Healthier Without Extra Effort
These zero effort changes will have a massive impact on your waistline, your health and your positivity:
1. Switch to Whole Grains
Whole grains include whole grain wheat, whole oats, barley and bulgar. Whole grains are higher in vitamins and minerals than refined grains. Opt for brown pasta, rice, bread and crackers instead of white. Add barley, lentils or brown rice to soups. Swap white flour in part or entirely for whole wheat flour when baking.
2. Drink 2 Litres of Water Per Day
Our bodies depend on water to survive. Every organ, cell and tissue in your body needs water to function properly. Your body uses water to regulate body temperature, remove waste and transport nutrition throughout the cells in your body. Often we mistake thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated helps you make healthier food selections.
3. Opt for Healthier Fats
Fats get a bad rap but not all fats are created equal. Unhealthy, saturated fats are linked to heart disease and should be limited. Replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats to reduce the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. Unsaturated fats come from foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
4. Meatless Monday
Going meatless once a week can help reduce a host of nasty diseases such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer. It also helps our planet by saving on finite resources like freshwater and fossil fuels. It’s never been easier to cut meat - there are loads of great alternatives. Try a veggie crammed whole wheat pasta, marinated tempeh stir-fry or
5. Swaps and Switches
Small changes can have a big impact, without sacrificing taste, flavour or the foods you love. Try quinoa or lentils as an alternative to rice – both have more fibre and protein, keeping you fuller for longer. Swap white potatoes for its sweet cousin. Switch deep-fried for oven-baked. Swap regular bread crumbs for whole wheat, quinoa or ground almond crumb. Small changes but big impact.
6. Eat a Rainbow
Instead of focusing on calories and how much weight you’ve lost or need to lose, literally eat a rainbow. The more colour, variety and freshness you have in your diet, the more your body will thank you. Load up on fresh vegetables and fruit. Incorporate colour into every meal. Avoid bland, colourless packaged and processed foods.
7. Prep Like A Pro
Planning and organisation are key. Follow our Pepper Hustle C.O.M.M.I.T plan and you’ll be taking charge of what you eat while also enjoy home-cooked meals. You’ll avoid chemical additives, added sugars (which are hidden everywhere in processed foods) and unhealthy fats.
So what one change are you going to make today? Just pick one and make it a habit. And then pick another until it’s a habit. And so on.
Make a start. Take that first step. Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything.
Co-Founder, Pepper Hustle
P.S. Do you think you could make one of these effortless changes – pop a comment below and let us know which one you'll start with!