4 Simple Ways To Clean Up Your Diet
Written by: Reya Siby
Did you know that maintaining a healthy diet decreases your probability of getting many diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, and more? Not only that but maintaining a balanced diet has shown evidence of improving your brain health (memory and cognition) and your mood (feeling less tired). So for this stressful exam season, what you eat is very important, as it can actually help you study better. Keeping this in mind, here are some tips to help get you on the right track with your diet:
1. Have scheduled meals
Having breakfast, lunch, and dinner at similar times every day is found to be more beneficial for your body. I am definitely guilty of occasionally snacking multiple times throughout the day, especially when I’m stressed. I know it’s hard to resist snacks but try eating three structured meals per day and see what changes you experience. Snacks are often unhealthy, and you are more likely to find nutritious foods when you sit down to eat a balanced meal. Also, having three full meals makes you feel more satiated whereas snacking will leave you wanting more food. Some additional benefits to a balanced meal schedule are controlled appetite, more energy, and less bloating.
2. Increase your protein intake
Protein is the most filling macronutrient, so it will help you feel fuller for longer and make you less likely to overeat. Not only that, but protein is critical to fuel your energy, helps retain muscle mass, and makes you stronger. Stress, increased salt intake, and lack of physical activity can all cause higher blood pressure, however, a higher protein intake is shown to actually lower your blood pressure. Some delicious examples of protein rich meals include: steak, roast chicken, and egg salad.
3. Drink lots of water!
I know you probably hear this often, but there’s a reason! Water supports your health and promotes hydration without adding any calories. Sugary drinks like soft drinks, energy drinks, or fruit drinks have little to no nutritional value. Also, water helps maintain a lot of the functions of your body like digestion, circulation, and body temperature. Plus, water helps energize your cells, because without water, cells shrivel and cause muscle fatigue.
4. Choose whole foods instead of processed
Making 10-minute noodles or microwaving your frozen pizza is very easy and might make the most sense for you especially when you don’t have time to make a whole meal. But try to substitute these processed foods for fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These types of foods are full of nutrients like protein, fibre, vitamins, and healthy fats—all the good stuff your body wants! If you’re having trouble finding time to prepare your meals, make a meal plan for the week in advance or start preparing early.
Try out these tips and see what changes your body experiences. Especially during stressful times, like exam season, it’s really essential that you take care of your health. Once you get in the habit of eating healthy, you won’t be able to go back and you’ll feel better than ever!