Why Is Healthy Eating Important?
You’ve probably heard the term “healthy eating” thousands of times over your life. Everything from lifestyle magazines to commercials for sugar-free candies promises a healthier eating experience—but what does that even mean?
Before we begin, let’s take a look at the word “healthy.” Mirriam-Webster defines it as “beneficial to the health of body or mind.” However, many people automatically associate the word healthy with fat and body weight. This is a shame, because there is much more to healthy eating than staying thin or losing weight.
When we use the term “healthy eating,” we are referring to feeding the body nourishing foods that will energize a person, help them build strength, and protect them from disease or physical difficulty. In fact, food is a crucial element of post-workout recovery and muscle-building!
Today, we will discuss how to develop healthy eating habits and how they can improve your life.
How To Start Eating Healthy
As with making any substantial (yet positive) change in life, the early steps to healthy eating can sometimes feel like a challenge. After all, a truly healthy lifestyle does require work, organization, and motivation. This is why people often fall into less nutritious eating habits in the first place: they’re easier, and therefore can feel more appealing. We’ve all been there! Ordering delivery or grabbing a ready-made meal from the supermarket saves lots of time and energy in the short-term. However, making choices that feed the body well will improve your quality of life in the long run. Once you get in the habit of preparing and choosing more nutritious meals and foods, these decisions begin to feel more natural and enjoyable.
When embarking on the healthy eating road, most people find that some changes are easier to instill right away than others. That makes sense—habits formed over a lifetime can be hard to break. However, by beginning with a few simpler switches and changes, the bigger ones will be less difficult to ease into.
Here are some healthy diet tips you can follow from day one:
Find Out Where Your Food Is From
One of the most important elements of healthy eating is quality. The truth is, food is a massive industry that can sometimes be corrupt and more focused on making money than keeping people healthy. Lots of food manufacturers use hormones, pesticides, chemicals, or additives to produce high quantities of product.
By buying organic or ethically-raised meals and ingredients, you are feeding your body something produced with care that fits into the way humans ate before mass production existed.
Add Fresh Produce to Your Meals
It never hurts to add some fruit and veggies! If you’re craving pizza tonight, you can still have it—but maybe put vegetables on top and make a huge salad for the side. Throw in some fresh fruit for dessert and you have a dinner that satisfies your pizza craving but still offers loads of nourishment and fiber.
Check Labels Before Buying
Some manufacturers sneak shocking amounts of salt and sugar into their foods. If you’re cutting down on either of the two—and we certainly recommend doing that with sugar—it’s essential to read labels. Often, you’ll find that one option has fewer added nasties than the rest. Might we recommend the organic aisle?
Choose Fresh Over Processed
Unexpected items like bread, pasta sauce, or salad dressings are often loaded with sugar. Our tip? Make your own! (Did someone say “Meal Prep Sunday?!”)
Ease Up on the Added Sugar
Life can be pretty sweet without added sugar, but it’s a tough habit to kick. Start with small changes, like opting for espresso over a sugary iced latte in the morning.
Be the Designated Driver
It may be fun to partake in the occasional Big Night Out, but reducing your alcohol intake is a great way to feel healthy. Though studies have shown that moderate amounts of red wine can be great for the heart, excessive booze consumption can lead to liver problems and problems with digestion. Also, if you’re engaging in healthy eating for weight loss…they call it a “beer belly” for a reason! Alcohol is often packed with sugar, carbs, and other items that can impact your weight loss efforts.
Snack on Whole Foods
Though some healthy prepackaged snacks do exist, many are filled with hidden additives, loaded with salt and sugar, or devoid of any nourishing ingredients. Next time you’re feeling snacky, try skipping the prepackaged stuff. Reach for whole foods like baby carrots and homemade hummus, hard-boiled eggs, or some delicious fruit salad instead. A smoothie also makes a great snack!
Sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks might be thirst-quenching, but they’re generally loaded with sugar, chemicals, and additives. Set yourself a challenge—can you go a week drinking only water and not juice or soda? Your body will thank you in so many ways.
Healthy Eating And Exercise: Which Is Better?
There should never be a competition between healthy eating and exercise. Rather, folks on a journey toward better health should look at the two as one overall concept: treating the body right.
Engaging in regular movement and feeding the body nutritious food are acts that are most effective when performed together. The right diet plays a critical role in exercise; for example, it is essential for athletes to consume protein following an intensive workout. This aids muscle recovery.
If you’re just beginning your journey to prime health, it might be a good idea to work with a personal trainer or fitness coach. Working with a professional in a gym setting can help you improve your health in a way that suits your circumstances. We all have different strengths, and a good coach will be able to help you utilize yours to reach more goals and see further improvements.
Healthy Eating For Weight Loss
For some, one of the biggest benefits of eating healthy is the fact that it can promote weight loss. However, many people struggle to find the right balance when going on a “diet.” After all, everybody is different, what works for someone might not work for their neighbor. This can feel especially challenging today, when the internet is filled with beautiful people touting various weight-loss plans. This is why we recommend that folks hoping to lose weight through healthy eating work with a nutritional counselor. This allows them to find a healthy eating plan that works for their unique circumstances and anatomy rather than what worked for some influencer they’ve never met.
Explore Healthy Eating And Lifestyle Changes With Our Team
Psst—if you’re looking to dive into healthy eating, you’re in the right place. Our team has plenty of healthy diet tips to share with you; we even run our own nutritional counseling program! Whether you’re hoping to improve your eating habits, build your physical fitness skills, or meet like-minded athletes in a friendly classroom environment, Jack City Fitness is the place for you. We love to support the athletes of Boise, and we hope to add you to our happy roster of partners!
Get in touch with our passionate team today for a FREE fitness consultation and tour of our facility. If you like what you see, you can sign up immediately, and have instant 24/7 access to our gorgeous gym, coaches, and classes!
We can’t wait to help you meet your goals!