Every day, from one source or another, you are inundated with different health advice.
As soon as new evidence comes out about what’s healthiest for you, there’s another study that contradicts it. Figuring out what’s truly best for your body can get extremely confusing.
Here are a few sure-fire tips that almost every nutritionist agrees will improve your health and quality of life.
1. Don't Cut Out Food Groups1 of 21
Unless it's a medical necessity, you don't need to cut out entire groups of food for the sake of your health or weight loss. Be flexible with your foods and give yourself some variety.
2. Eat Real Food and Read Labels2 of 21
If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it. Just about every nutritionist will tell you to stay away from processed foods. Plus, fresh meat, veggies, nuts and other snacks taste far more flavorful than the corn syrup and preservatives in any shelved items.
3. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate.3 of 21
Water truly is the best thing to drink, and while many fruit juices or smoothies claim to offer health benefits, nothing can do what water can. Plus, because most Americans consume too much sugar, it's best to stick with nature's best.
4. Leafy Greens Are a Go4 of 21
It's easy to include some of your favorite greens, like lettuce, spinach or kale, into one meal each day. It keeps your skin glowing, and the vitamins, minerals and fiber are hard to replicate elsewhere in your diet.
5. Listen to Your Stomach5 of 21
Hunger is not to be ignored, even if you're trying to diet. Starving yourself can actually make your body hang onto the fat you're trying to get rid of. Just be sure to fill your belly with foods high on the glycemic index for a more satisfying meal.
6. Up Your Omega-3s6 of 21
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for a high functioning brain and your body's overall health, yet so many people are lacking Omega-3s in their diets. Try out different types of fish or a fish oil supplement, eggs or almonds to get your fill of Omega-3s.
7. Eat Lots of Vegetables7 of 21
It may sound obvious, but you can't go wrong with whole, natural vegetables. Veggies are some of the most perfect foods out there—rich in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Get creative and try to include them in each meal.
8. Breakfast Is Crucial8 of 21
It's hard to argue that breakfast is indeed the best way to start your day. Where it gets complicated is deciding what to eat, but in general, most nutritionists recommend a good mix of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates to kick start your metabolism.
9. Drink in Moderation9 of 21
Wine can be excellent for heart health, and red wine has less than a gram of sugar per five fluid ounces. A low-sugar alcoholic beverage with nutrients and antioxidants? Yes, please! Just be sure to limit your consumption, because there is definitely such a thing as too much.
10. Dump the Drive-thru10 of 21
Fast food may have tried to step up their game, offering somewhat healthy options on menus, but don't be fooled. Too much fast food will leave your body starving for nutrients just a few hours later. Plus, there's nothing nutritious about their cooking and manufacturing processes.
11. Supplements Won't Help You Lose Weight11 of 21
Supplements can be a great way to get your gut health in check or give your body the nutrients its lacking, but it is just that—a supplement. It will likely make no difference in weight loss. Always remember there is no true substitute for consistently eating whole, natural foods.
12. Keep Snacking12 of 21
Snacking may get a bad reputation for encouraging overeating, but it is super beneficial in terms of stabilizing blood sugar and boosting metabolism. To master snacking, keep pre-packaged items like almonds, nut butter and dried fruit in your desk at work, in your backpack and in your car for when a snack attack hits. It's so much better than hitting up the nearest gas station while ravenous.
13. Drink Your Coffee13 of 21
Go ahead and have your favorite cup of Joe, just as long as it isn't a dessert. Coffee has tons of benefits, such as decreasing risk for several diseases and easing pain from exercise. Many of these benefits come from black coffee, so skip the cream and sugar if you can.
14. Focus on Simple Meals14 of 21
Don't get too caught up in the details. Not every meal needs to be the best thing you've ever eaten, and it certainly doesn't need to be gourmet quality. If you've got a fast-paced lifestyle, it's OK to eat the boring leftovers or have a simple grilled chicken with your favorite veggie for dinner. It's whatever works for you.
15. Avoid "Fake" Sugar15 of 21
Sugar can be a wonderful way to sweeten up your meals, but try to keep it all-natural. Honey, agave and fruits are delicious ways to enjoy a little sweetness without the nasty side effects that processed sugars produce. Just remember the golden rule: everything in moderation.
16. Stop the Starve and Binge Cycle16 of 21
If you're in the middle of your weight loss journey, it may be tempting to skip meals or reduce your calories even more, but that can be a dangerous game. Because your body has strong survival instincts, avoiding eating when hungry will cause your body to store fat and then crave foods that bring quick relief, such as simple carbs.
17. Pay Attention to Your Eating Environment17 of 21
If you've been known to eat over the sink in the morning, grab a quick lunch at your desk or veg out in front of the TV, it could be more difficult for you to make good eating decisions since mindless eating makes you feel less satisfied with the amount and quality of your food. Try creating an inviting space at your dining room table, remove electronics from the area and budget more time for just eating. Your body will thank you.
18. Ignore the Fads18 of 21
The explosion in the last 50 years of different ways to "trick" your body into healthy eating has given way to some pretty unhealthy habits. If it sounds too good to be true or promises quick results, it probably isn't good for your body. Ignore the fad diets and trends, and focus on simple, whole foods that make you feel great and aren't created in a factory.
19. Carbs Aren't Bad19 of 21
Nutrition should be based in moderation, carbs included. Eliminating carbs altogether is cutting out an entire energy source necessary for your body's proper daily function. A good rule of thumb here is to focus on complex carbs such as whole grains, quinoa, beans and certain vegetables.
20. Exercise for Enjoyment20 of 21
Exercise should never be punishment or serve as a substitute for food choices made the day before. Make exercise a separate practice that is for your body's enjoyment only. You're far more likely to stick to it, and consistency is the key to seeing long-term results.