Switching from high calorie junk food to a healthy diet is never easy. Follow these are 12 simple steps to start creating a healthier diet and a healthier you:
1. Make a healthy sandwich. Whole grain breads are best teamed up with lean meats. Add in lots of vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, avocado, onions, and cucumber. Try a low-fat mayo or just go easy on the regular mayo.
2. For dessert substitute ice cream with a one-portion-size low-fat yogurt. Yogurt is a good source of calcium, and your portion size will be just right.
3. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach just makes junk food more appealing. Do your shopping after your meal rather than before.
4. Hard-boil some eggs. Make a batch of healthy bran muffins. It’s easy to grab an egg and a muffin before you rush off to work. This quick and easy step won’t leave you tempted to pick up a donut or sugary Danish at the coffee drive-through.
5. For all those nine-to-fivers who go out for lunch five days each week, pack your own lunch at least two days per week. Give yourself a healthy break from the fast food restaurants.
6. If a fast food restaurant can’t be avoided, substitute French fries with a salad, and choose grilled chicken or fish on whole grain bread.
7. When it’s snack time and the only food source around is a vending machine, choose sunflower seeds, raisins or mixed nuts instead of a chocolate bar.
8. Pop (soda), energy drinks, and soft drinks are loaded with sugar. Your drink of choice should be pure, fresh water or a healthy beverage like skim milk, or 100% vegetable or fruit juice.
9. When it comes to snack foods, choose baked over fried. No processed snack foods should be the goal, but a baked potato chip is better than a fried chip, and best is something made with whole grains. Go even better yet and substitute your regular chip dip with a homemade one from fresh, raw vegetables.
10. Make extra soup for dinner and use an insulated container to take some soup to work the next day. Complete the meal with a few carrot or celery sticks for a healthy lunch.
11. Max out on your fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables need very little prep time. It should be a snap to get in the daily requirement of five servings.
12. Choose more foods with omega-3 essential fatty acids. Substitute fish instead of meat at least two times per week or use flax-seed oil on salads and vegetables.
Bonus Tip: Drink one-half your body weight in ounces of water each day ( a 150 pound person will drink 75 ounces of water)