Intro: HUMANS NATURALLY STRIVE TO DO BETTER. WE ALL WANT TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. GETTING THERE JUST REQUIRES A LITTLE WORK. IF YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER STUDENT, EMPLOYEE, MOTHER, DAUGHTER OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER YOU CAN BE, AND HOPEFULLY I CAN HELP. WHILE I’M NO EXPERT, I AM PRETTY GOOD AT FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERTS AND GETTING THEIR ADVICE. THAT’S WHAT I HOPE TO DO OVER THE NEXT NINE WEEKS, WITH A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS ALL ON THE SUBJECT OF “HOW TO BE BETTER.”

There’s no one answer to what makes up a healthy diet. It looks different for every person, but there are a few basic rules of nutrition everyone should follow.

1. Stick to fresh foods when it comes to snacking

Convenient go-to snacks don’t have to be laced with sugar and chemicals. Skip the fruit snacks, instead try grabbing a handful of nuts, homemade trail mix, fruit and nut bars, apples, bananas, clementines, single-serve nut butters, dried edamame, air-popped popcorn or any other fresh option. If you have refrigeration, stock up on Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs for protein-packed snacks.

2. Avoid grazing

Some of us have done away with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in favor of the six small meals many experts tout as the key to staving off hunger and losing weight. But this strategy can easily backfire if small meals creep into traditional-size ones or turn into all-day snacking. The trouble is, when you’re nibbling a little bit here and there, it’s hard to keep track of how much you’re putting away. Instead of picking at food all day, shoot for three meals and two snacks or five mini meals.

3. Trust your stomach

Eat when you are hungry, and then stop eating when you feel content. Hunger is simply a request for fuel; your body is telling you it burned off what you gave it and needs a refill. To disregard hunger is abusive. Just as you would not withhold food from a hungry infant, you should not withhold food from your hungry body.

4. Cooking is always better

Making food at home means you have full control over the contents of your meal. Many of the packaged foods we buy today are aimed at convenience and involve the minimum of preparation time on our part – but they’re not that healthy.

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