Healthy Eating Doesn’t Have to Be Hard – Here are 5 Surprisingly Easy Tips
Longer days and more sunlight are great indicators that summer is right around the corner. As a result, many of us are motivated to revisit our resolutions of healthier eating habits and more active lifestyles in advance of vacations and beach days. While it’s hard to maintain drastic changes, minor, manageable improvements in our food choices and daily routines provide regular and encouraging achievements, allowing us to work with our body’s biology to change from the inside out. Following are five surprisingly easy healthy eating tips to kick start your wellness this season!
Regulate Your Mealtimes
Every aspect of the digestive process, from cravings, hunger and satiety to digestion, assimilation and elimination, is influenced by hormones. So one key to managing appetite and consumption is to regulate your mealtimes. When your body can anticipate a nutrition boost, you’ll feel hungry at the appropriate times, easily avoid snacking and overeating and improve metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Have a crazy schedule? Pick one mealtime as a daily non-negotiable and build from there.
Eat What’s Easy to Digest
There’s no one dietary plan that will work for everyone. Still, opting for whole, unprocessed foods is a healthy eating tip that will universally improve wellness by providing essential nutrients and limiting consumption of refined or fried foods that can increase inflammation and joint pain. Because we all have different digestive capacities, another rule of thumb to consider is “to eat what’s easy to digest.” If raw foods irritate your stomach and increase bloating, cooking your veggies is the smarter option. If heavy, oily foods disrupt your digestion, lighten your intake for the season to keep your gut and waistline happy.
Chew, Chew, and Chew Again
From the first bite of a meal, it can take up to 20 minutes for the body to send indicators to the brain to release satiety hormones. This delay could mean that the faster we eat, the more likely we’ll consume more than we need. Chewing each bite longer breaks down food better to improve digestion while naturally limiting consumption. To make the change, become aware of your bite sizes and start counting to notice your unconscious chewing habits. Taking smaller bites and doubling chew-time can make a huge change for your waistline and reduce extra pounds that contribute to knee pain.
Lighten Your Evening Meal for a Healthier Body
Typical American diets include large dinner meals, but lightening your evening fare could improve overall health. In the first few hours of sleep, we experience the longest non-REM phase of rest, when the body builds bone and muscle and repairs and regenerates tissues. Heavy, late meals could disrupt this vital phase of sleep and borrow energy for digestion that would otherwise be used to replenish immune health and proper metabolism. So taking half of your dinner portion and saving it for tomorrow’s lunch is a great healthy eating tip that can have tremendous wellness benefits.
Manage your Microbiome
We all know that decreasing fat, salt, and sugar in our diets can improve health, but we are biologically programmed to crave these elements in our foods, and dietary habits can be hard to improve without the proper support. Adding natural fibers and a quality probiotic to your diet may do wonders to naturally kick cravings to the curb from the inside out; imbalances in the gut biome contribute to what our bodies want to consume, so a strong desire for rich foods might indicate an issue that needs support.
Count on MAPS to Support Your Wellness Goals
Along with improvements to dietary habits, managing pain conditions to increase activity levels is an essential aspect of a comprehensive health and wellness plan. MAPS Centers for Pain Control are the leaders in interventional pain management and offer minimally invasive solutions for several conditions, including neck and back pain, joint pain, headaches, migraines and nerve conditions. If pain is keeping you from moving forward with your health, don’t hesitate to learn more about how we can help. Call for your consultation today!