5 Tips for Making Healthier Changes to Your Diet

I have struggled with my weight my entire life, which has lead to insecurities about my body. Becoming aware of foods and their contents has changed my mindset on food as a whole. These tips not only make me feel better about myself, but have helped me analyze what I’m putting into my body.

Here are five tips that have helped me improve my diet: 

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1. Meal Prepping

Meal prepping is super helpful if you have a busy college schedule. When I have time to cook, I always make more than what I intend to eat. I portion my food and then save the rest for different days. This is extremely helpful for me when I’m hungry and tired after a long day of classes or work. Since I already have a prepared meal, I won’t go for the quick junk food meal.

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2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

This may be a more obvious tip, but it’s something I used to struggle with. If I’m not eating raw vegetables, I love to roast them. My personal favorites are roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. I love to add a drizzle of olive oil with garlic, pepper, and a pinch of salt. 

Drinking smoothies is a great way to add additional fruits and vegetables into your diet. I usually use frozen produce for my smoothies. Buying canned or frozen produce can be cheaper options, and they also last longer than fresh produce. Be sure to look out for frozen and canned fruits and vegetables with added sugar and sodium.

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3. Portion control 

Using MyPlate is incredibly helpful to use as a guideline for cooking and eating balanced meals. This method recommends that half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, ¼ of your plate animal-based or plant-based protein, and the last ¼ as a carbohydrate source, such as rice, pasta, or bread. Another important tip is to read nutrition labels and be aware of what serving sizes are. Placing a serving size in a separate dish, rather than eating out of the bag or container, is a helpful way to avoid overindulging. 

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4. Drink Tons of Water

Drinking a lot of water is something I have struggled with in the past. A tip that I have is to bring a water bottle everywhere you go and drink water with every meal. Being hydrated is necessary for our bodies to function. 

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5. Swap Food and Drinks for Healthier Alternatives

Limiting empty calories as much as possible makes a huge difference in terms of health. For example, soda tends to be calorie heavy, but contains little nutritional value. Instead of drinking soda, I drink seltzer, which still satisfies me greatly. In addition, snacking on unhealthy foods, like potato chips, is a quick way to eat a lot of calories with zero benefits. An alternative option is roasted chickpeas. Pinterest is a great source to find a variety of recipes with different flavors. Although the best things to snack on are fruit and vegetables, that is not realistic for everyone all of the time. Finally, something I try to stick to 100% of the time is to eat natural food with real ingredients. 

 

I hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me. And remember, always be kind to yourself! 

 

Sincerely, 

Carlie Mashia

Edited by Sam Lacey