7 Easy Health Hacks to Help You Eat Better in 2023
The new year is looming and you might feel the need to set new years resolutions. But let's be honest, we are all exhausted and don't need any more pressure to establish new habits or completely change our lifestyle. We don't need to set lofty goals and ambitious resolutions, but there are small actions we can incorporate into our daily lives to make a positive impact.
If one of your goals is to eat healthier, pick one of our suggestions below every month and see if you can incorporate them.
Try one new vegetable every week.
Let's start small - when you do your groceries, just pick a vegetable you've never tried before and search for a recipe online to incorporate this vegetable into. This will get you to try new dishes and potentially discover new healthy foods you didn't know before.
Eat a savory breakfast instead of a sweet one.
If you start your day with a savory meal (ideally starting with fiber & protein), your blood sugar will be much more balanced for the rest of the day, compared to if your first meal is sweet. Balanced blood sugar levels will keep you full and energized for longer and make you less likely to get hangry. This breakfast could be avocado toast, scrambled tofu (as egg alternative) with beans and vegetables, or even a vegetable soup.
Start meals with vegetables.
When having a meal, try to eat some vegetables first, then the protein, and keep the carbs last. This will also contribute to a more balanced blood sugar, since the fiber of the vegetables will slow down the nutrient absorption in the gut. If you're going for pizza for instance, just order a side salad and have that one first, and then eat the pizza. It won't always be possible to separate the components of your meal, but try it whenever possible.
Fast between dinner & breakfast.
Try to leave 12 hours between dinner and breakfast to give your body enough time to digest and rest. You don't have to fast for longer, 12 hours is enough time for your body to recover. Intermittent fasting has proven health benefits, but an extended fasting window might not be the healthiest for people who menstruate because of its influence on hormones.
Eat more beans.
This might sound weird, but beans are not only a great source of plant protein, they also support the natural detox functions of your body. Ideally, you should have a small handful of beans with every meal. If you feel like beans can make you bloated, start with very small amounts and slowly get your body used to them. It's best to use any type of canned beans, since they contain the maximum amount of insoluble fiber.
Wean your brain off sugar.
If you want to reduce your sugar intake, you don't have to cut it out completely. Just take stock of where you consume the most sugar, and try to opt for less and less. For instance, if you take 2 spoons of sugar in your coffee, try to reduce it to 1.5 spoons, and once you adjusted to the taste, reduce it to 1 spoon. If you eat a chocolate bar every afternoon, try to opt for dark chocolate or a healthier version of a chocolate bar, and try different ones until you've found one you like. Slow and gradual reduction will make it easier to change because you will hardly notice a difference in taste.
Replace coffee with healthier alternatives.
I'm not saying you need to give up coffee. If you love it and are happy drinking it, then please continue! But if you do want to stop drinking coffee, there are healthy and delicious alternatives you can try until you find a worthy replacement. If you go to stores like dm (in Germany) or Holland & Barret, you can find caffeinated hot chocolate, lupine coffee or non-caffeinated roasted chicory powder.
Which health 'hacks' have you incorporated into your life and found beneficial? Let us know in the comments!
I am not an expert, I just researched this topic from a place of personal interest. If I used incorrect terminology or expressed something incorrectly, please feel free to let me know.