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5 Simple Ways to Eat Healthier

Prepping for that beach body? It's time to get healthy, my friend, with these 5 fabulous tips!

As spring approaches, it gives way to warmer weather, flowers blooming, and thoughts about summer. After a long winter, it is always refreshing when spring comes, it offers hope for the future and warmth! Maybe you're thinking about summer plans, trying to get ready for that "beach body.” Recently, I've had some triathletes and runners that I coach ask how they can eat better. One of them specifically wanted to know how he could eat healthy without increasing his food budget, so that he could reach his high goals. Eating healthy shouldn’t be so hard, especially when it’s so important. Food choices shouldn't be an obstacle, but a lifestyle.

There are many benefits to eating healthy such as it helps give you more energy, less doctor visits, less chances of becoming sick or ill. It maintains your weight, makes you look and feel better, and enhances your mood. I like to compare the body to a car. If you want your car to be efficient, you have to put the right kind of fuel in it. This is just as simple as it sounds. What would happen if you put water or oil in your gas tank instead of gas? What if you put just a little bit of gas with mostly water into it? It won't run right? I'm sure putting oil into your gas tank would also create even more problems for your car. Well, your body is just like a car, if you want it to run properly and efficiently, then you have to put the right kind of fuel into it. You can't expect to perform well or work hard all day if you don't put the right kind of fuel into your body. Your body will thank you!

Here it is: 5 simple ways to eat healthier:

Create a food plan.

You can eat healthy without increasing your food budget. This is possible through planning, making a list of what to get at the store, and sticking to it. If you just go to the store, and buy whatever looks good, you'll run into trouble. Make a list beforehand, check to see what fruits & veggies are on sale that week, doing this will help you save money.

Spend more time on the outer aisles of the grocery store

The outer aisles contain produce. The inside aisles are full of processed and junk food. You’ll eat whatever you stock in your pantry and fridge, so stock good things. Of course, if your pantry is full of chips and candy then when those hunger pangs hit, that'll be the first thing you reach for. However, if there are no chips or candy in your pantry, then you won't be tempted. Instead fill your house with good, healthy foods like apples, carrots, bananas, celery, berries, etc. Stick to your grocery list!

Consider the real costs

If one of your excuses of eating healthy is that it is too expensive, it doesn't have to be. If your go-to-snack-of-the-day is a huge bag of chips, then you can substitute that for carrots instead. Most times, carrots are actually cheaper than chips! Try to focus your daily intake of food to be unprocessed as much as possible, such as fruits, veggies, etc.

Eat smaller meals

Instead of the traditionally 3 big meals per day, try breaking it into 4–6 meals per day. A lot of times, people will eat a big breakfast, then eat a hearty lunch, and then a huge dinner. In this situation, you basically stuff yourself with food and then "starve" yourself until the next meal, where you become ravenous hungry. I like to stick to this schedule: breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, dinner, after dinner snack (if hungry). This schedule involves smaller meals like apples and peanut butter or carrots and hummus. This format allows you to eat small snacks or meals when you're hungry.

Hydrate throughout the day

Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go, it will help you stay hydrated. A lot of times when you get that sudden urge of hunger, it’s usually because you’re thirsty. Don't wait until you’re thirsty to drink water, because at that point, you're already dehydrated. A simple, effective hydration test is checking your urine color. You are well hydrated if your urine is a light yellow color. If it is a dark yellow, you need to drink more. However, if it is completely clear, that means you are over hydrated and have depleted your electrolyte stores. When your water intake does not equal your output, you become dehydrated. Water helps energize muscles, leading to more energy and overall health.

These are simple ways you can start eating healthier. Start with one way at a time if needed. Make eating healthy a lifestyle, not a chore!

Try this fabulous Lentil Dal!

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