Being mindful of what you’re putting into your body is a key aspect of wellness. Here are 3 healthy habits you can implement in order to maximize your nutrition.
Eat Balanced Snacks
If you want to maximize your nutrition, start with your snacks. So many of us grab a cheese stick or munch on an apple and call it a snack, but the best snacks include lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and some healthy fat. Here are some well-balanced snack ideas:
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Celery sticks with hummus
- Pineapple chunks with cottage cheese
- Orange slices with mixed nuts
- Pear slices with string cheese
- Mixed berries with greek yogurt
- Avocado with tomato and low-fat mozzarella cheese
- Hard-boiled egg with zucchini sticks
- Healthy beef jerky with apple slices
- Canned salmon with edamame
- Whole grain toast topped with turkey breast and avocado
- Red bell pepper with guacamole
- Dark chocolate and almonds
- Natural peanut butter with celery sticks
- Sugar snap peas with ricotta cheese
- Dried fruit with sunflower seeds
- Sugar-free beef jerky with cheddar cheese slices
Find Healthy Replacements for Foods You Crave
Making simple swaps can really maximize your nutrition. You want to make the most of the calories you’re consuming! A big part of that is eating foods that fuel and satisfy you instead of causing blood sugar crashes and unwanted weight gain. Craving a candy bar? Opt for a protein bar that is low in sugar. Reaching for a bag of chips? Eat some popcorn or chickpea chips instead! Making a sandwich for work? Use whole grain bread instead of white bread. It might not seem like a big change, but over time, those choices can really pay off.
Lower Your Stress Levels
What does stress have to do with nutrition? Plenty! Studies have shown that stress can lead to binge eating unhealthy foods and, in turn, cause weight gain. Web MD says:
“Do you tend to feel much better after having sweets or carbs? There’s a reason: These foods tell your brain to release a chemical called serotonin, which boosts your mood. That’s why cakes, cookies, and French fries are often called “comfort foods” — but the comforting feelings don’t last long. Soon after you eat these treats, your blood sugar will drop (or “crash”), and you’ll be tired and shaky.”
When you take active steps to lower your stress levels, you are able to develop healthy eating habits as well. Exercising mental self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, either! Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night, lowering your caffeine intake, or going on a 10-minute walk outdoors daily are all great ways to lower your stress levels and avoid unhealthy binge eating.
If you want to maximize your nutrition, start small. Making too many big changes all at once makes it more difficult to stick to those healthy habits long term. So pick something simple that you know you can keep up with. You might be surprised how quickly you see a difference!