When you think about being healthier, what life changes pop into your mind? To some, maybe it means getting an extra hour of sleep instead of watching “just one more episode.” To others, perhaps a jog around the block sounds like a good idea (or maybe just...an idea). If you’ve been struggling with improving your health and aren’t sure where to start, then why not begin with the basics? An easy way to improve your overall health is by being more conscious about the fuel you put into your body. Here are a few ways to stretch your culinary muscles to eat healthier:
1. Pace yourself.
Did you know that it takes the brain 20 minutes to catch up with your stomach? When your stomach is full, there’s a delay in delivering that information to your brain, so it’s fairly common for people to continue eating for a few minutes after they’re stuffed. One easy way to stretch your culinary muscles is simply by slowing them down. By pacing your eating, you give your brain more time to acknowledge that you’re full, and you consume less calories per meal. This makes it easier to lose weight, understand your limits, and enjoy your food.
2. Become a baker.
Well, sort-of. Instead of grilling or frying some of your favorite foods, try switching things up a bit. Baking your fish and meats in lieu of other cooking methods reduces your consumption of toxic compounds and decreases your risk of several health conditions. This way, you can still enjoy your favorite dishes while also benefiting from healthier meals.
3. Expand the menu.
If you find yourself going out to eat several times a week, maybe it’s time to rustle around your kitchen and see what dishes you can prepare. Although you might have a craving for your favorite fast food joint, your culinary muscles are itching for something different. If you already cook at home, it’s still a good rule of thumb to try implementing at least one healthy dish into the rotation a week. Swapping out processed and fast foods for healthier, homemade options will expand your palate and help improve your health. There are endless recipes available to try online. If you find yourself still needing to go out for a bite, look into local health-conscious restaurants and try something new.