A balanced diet is a must for a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating not only boosts your health, but ensures your body stays strong as you get older. Making an effort to eat better can provide you with many benefits and help you avoid serious health problems. Want to lead a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to start? These healthy eating tips will help you improve your nutrition and wellness.

1. Prep your food for better nutrition and wellness

The effort of preparing and cooking food is enough to make many people reach for the takeaway menu, but if your food was already prepped and waiting for you – wouldn’t you eat that instead? Meal prep isn’t just for fitness fanatics – it can benefit anyone who wants to save time and eat well. Read some basic meal prepping tips to help you get started on a healthier eating regime.

2. Don’t skip breakfast

‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ is a classic saying, but it really is true. Breakfast gives you the opportunity to include many nutritious foods you might otherwise be lacking in your diet, helping you increase your daily fibre and protein intake for a stronger, healthier body. Instead of living off cereal or toast everyday, look at some alternative healthy breakfast ideas that will help keep you fuller for longer for better nutrition and wellness.

3. Drink more water

Another classic nutrition tip, but one that many people ignore. Water is vital for helping your body to function, but it can also help you feel fuller. By keeping a bottle by your side at meal times, you’ll be less likely to go for second helpings and might even lay off the snacking. Aim to drink two litres a day and download a water reminder app to keep you on track.

4. Track your calories

If you’re worried about your weight, nutrition and wellness, and want to have a better idea of portion size – then tracking your calories could be the answer. Top tracking websites and apps like MyFitnessPal make it easy to monitor your eating, with barcode scanning and recipe input to track everything that passes your lips. Whether you want to lose weight, eat healthier or stay on top of your macros – this is an excellent way to practice good nutrition.

5. Read the packets

Do you check the labels before you put something in your shopping basket? Chances are you have no idea what’s in your food. Many convenience foods are packed with salt and sugar that could be affecting your health and your waistline. Get to know what your eating – it might make you think twice.

6. Cook from scratch

Speaking of hidden salt and sugar, why not try cooking more from scratch? There’s a big sense of achievement that comes from making a delicious home-cooked meal, and when you make it yourself, you’ll know exactly what’s gone into it. You don’t have to whip up an extravagant feast – even some simple 15 minute meals can be a great way to hone your cooking skills and improve your nutrition and wellness.

7. Add some healthy sides

Do you tend to gorge on chips and garlic bread with your main meal? Try swapping them out for some healthy side dishes instead. Sweet potato makes a great alternative to white potato, while putting a salad on the table to help bulk up your plate will leave you feeling satisfied, without any bloatedness.

8. Try ‘Meat-free Mondays’…

Many people are concerned about the effect that meat consumption is having on the environment, and you don’t have to become a full-time vegetarian to do your part. Try meat-free Mondays as a way to be greener and to try some healthy, veggie-packed dishes.

9. …And ‘Fish Fridays’

Fish can be a very healthy part of your diet, helping you to get your omega 3 intake as well as other vitamins and minerals. Fish is lean, packed with protein and is low in calories, so why not turn the end of the week into ‘Fish Fridays’ to help you boost your intake?

10. Bulk up your foods

Did you know that there are some very simple ways to make your favourite dishes more nutritious and filling? Adding more vegetables, grains and pulses to your dishes can help bulk them out so that you get more of what you need. Try adding more to curries, stews and pastas to help you enjoy a more nutritious diet.

11. Say no to sugar

Cutting down on sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health. It’ll help improve your energy, stop your cravings and help your waistline. There are some easy ways to cut back on sugar without even noticing, including giving up fizzy drinks. Start making small swaps like giving up sugar in your tea to help you cut your intake for a healthier diet.

12. Make your own ready meals

A ready meal can be a welcome treat after a long day at work. However, they’re not necessarily the best thing for you. They are often filled with sugar, salt and fat and might not offer much nutritional value. However, you can make your own ready meals at home by batch cooking foods and freezing them in containers so that there’s always something there for those times you’re feeling a bit lazy. Whip up a big lasagne, cook some tasty curries and dish up some casserole to help you create your own kind of ready meal.

Whatever your health goals are, taking care of your nutrition and wellness is an important step to feeling great inside and out. A better diet is a key part of self-care, helping you prevent health problems as you get older. For more nutrition and wellness lifestyle tips, take a look at the rest of the articles on our blog.