There are many reasons to change your diet. Perhaps you don’t feel your meals are as healthy as they should be or you want to lose weight. Maybe you feel lethargic and hope for a boost in energy. To bring the expected results, a change in your eating habits must be an informed decision.
Any imbalance in your daily nutrition can have health consequences, so the better you equip yourself with expert knowledge, the more favourable the outcome. We’ve put together a list of top tips to consider when planning a change in diet, so you don’t neglect any important aspect.
Establish Your Goals
Before going to the grocery store and preparing lists of recipes, make sure it’s clear to you what you want to achieve because this will determine the strategy that you should follow. If you want to lose weight, you need to get informed about what this entails and adapt your plan to involve tested strategies.
Your weight loss research can start from a general resource like Cutting Calories, where you can find tips that work for your situation specifically. Similarly, if you want to gain weight or muscle mass, your diet should reflect this specific goal. Thus, you will need to learn about proteins, healthy fats, carbs and the right amounts you should consume.
Identify Your Nutritional Deficiencies
A good diet, appropriate for your body weight, age and level of energy consumption, will have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. This requires choosing foods that contain the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally.
If you get the opportunity, consult a healthcare professional and do some tests to see if you suffer from a vitamin deficiency or other nutrition-related health issue. This will help you identify foods that you should include more often in your diet. If your goal is to gain weight or muscle, you should follow the same strategy and make relevant food lists.
Make Sure You’re Doing It for the Right Reasons
Every article on healthy diets and proper nutrition will recommend you to load up on fruits and veggies, replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats and cut soda and junk food. This advice will stand any scrutiny, but changing your diet takes a lot of discipline. This means that to keep with your healthy eating habits, you need some intrinsic motivation.
Before enforcing some drastic changes, you need to do some introspection and make sure your new resolution comes from a healthy place too. Are you inspired to change your diet because you want better health and more energy? Or do you have issues with your body image? Many people associate the word “diet” with weight loss and negative body image. Change your diet because you want to be healthy and happy, not to conform to some social standards regarding body weight or shape.
Eating healthy food should be a universal goal of all of us, but food should also bring us joy. When planning for a change in diet, remember to keep things varied and flexible and don’t start from the assumption that you will have to struggle to respect self-imposed restrictions. With good planning, your meals will remain as delicious as ever.