10 Ways to Instantly Upgrade Your Diet (….With These Nutrition No-Brainers)

Here are ways you can slash the unhealthy saturated fat, added sugars, excess sodium and make your diet all-around healthier with these 10 simple steps.

1. Fill your salt shaker with pepper and your pepper shaker with salt. Since salt shakers have more holes the switcheroo will help to slash your sodium intake.

2. If you taste-test while cooking, you can add hundreds of mindless calories to your diet. To break this bad habit, chew gum while cooking or place a piece of masking tape over your mouth (really, it works!).

3. Eat whole nuts in lieu of nut butters to trim calories. Research shows that when eating whole almonds or pistachios, some of the fat in the nuts is not absorbed by the body, making the available calories less that what’s on the label. Almonds are 25% lower in available calories and pistachios are 6% lower than labels state.

4. If you watch TV, use your recorder to tape no more than two hour’s worth of programming per day and watch it later so you can fast-forward through all the food or beverage advertising. You’ll avoid the stimuli that triggers areas of the brain that make us want high-calorie foods.

5. When making pasta dishes or casseroles for dinner, add additional vegetables to the dish. Pumping up the volume while keeping calories low is a way to trick your tummy full while cutting around 150 calories from your meal.

6. Use a light, 100-calorie, fiber-rich wrap (i.e., Flat-Out) instead of two slices of bread when making sandwiches. You’ll save about 60 calories while getting more filling fiber and protein. Or, go a step further, and use leaf lettuce in place of bread and shave about 150 calories from your sandwich.

7. Eat your meals off smaller plates and bowls and you’ll serve yourself about 10 percent less, which can add up to hundreds of calories less every day. Strive for bowls that hold no more than 1 ½ cups and plates that are less than 9” in diameter.

8. When whipping up whole gains, opt for quinoa. It has more filling protein than any other whole grain (4 grams per ½ cup serving).

9. Opt for the more deeply-colored foods for more antioxidant benefits. Examples: Choose pink grapefruit instead of white; red grapes in lieu of green grapes; and vibrant green and red salad greens instead of the pale iceberg.

10. Drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water every day to help elevate your metabolic rate (metabolism). So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water every day.

***Article written and shared by:
Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., CSSD, Appetite for Health
Co-Author, 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions (Penguin, 2013)

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