I know we’ve all seen the videos and articles about these simple ways to improve your nutrition and how to eat better and meal prep. We watch this 2-minute clip of people busting out recipes for those after school snacks that require baking fruit for 4 hours and then rolling into a strip. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to make a gourmet meal that takes the entire day to cook for an after-school snack.
I’ve got 5 very simple tricks to help you lead a healthier, more nutritious life, that don’t require any major effort.
1. Switch your boxed pasta.
If you look below, a simple switch from even a ‘healthier’ option of Barilla Plus, to a Red Lentil based pasta will give you more nutrients, less sodium, less fat, and slightly more protein. If you take that a step farther and go with an Edamame Pasta, you will significantly change what you’re getting. Even more protein, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, and the same number of calories with the same size serving.
2. Do not go food shopping when you’re hungry!
Your judgment and impulse control against cravings will be significantly impaired. You will also be more inclined to make better decisions and not rush through the produce aisle and get to the chips or cereal to munch on while you shop.
3. Skip the serving dishes.
Keep food on the stove or counter in whatever it was cooked in. Make yourself (and others if necessary) a plate, and go sit down. The simple act of getting up from the table will often be enough to stop you from that extra helping or be able to gauge how much of ‘seconds’ you really want. Plus, there will be fewer dishes to do, so even more winning! *Now this doesn’t mean you get to stack extra food on to that first plate, which brings us to…..
4. Don’t let your food touch.
When setting up your plate, the easiest thing to do is just a simple portion change. By not letting the food on your plate touch (even if you mush it together after you sit down to eat) you’re automatically going to have to put less on the plate at a time – unless you’re a really good food stacker – which means smaller portion to start. Most people grew up thinking that if it is on your plate, you must eat it until its all gone. So visually, you’re not ‘full’ unless the plate is empty. So here is where we get to trick ourselves a little bit. Bring out that inner picky child, and set your plate up without your food touching and see how that goes.
5. Be the last one done eating.
Studies show that it takes 20 minutes for your brain and body to signal your level of fullness. If you take your time eating, you will recognize this slow change in hunger, and leave the table before you get that sick, overstuffed, post-thanksgiving dinner feeling. Ways to slow down can include, resting your fork, knife, or spoon down between bites, eating with your opposite hand (the bonus here is you will be laughing and helping your brain and nervous system develop too), drinking water between bites, or really enjoying a conversation with whomever you’re eating with.
So there you have it. 5 super easy ways to change your nutrition habits without overhauling your life.
If you want more daily habits, and tips, I’ve got what you need. Just send me a message and ask about ProCoach. Daily lessons and habits that help you learn how to eat and form good nutrition skills and confidence without tremendous sacrifice.