The body is a well-oiled machine if taken care of properly. Continuously filling it with inadequate nutrients can lead to weight gain and chronic disease. Unfortunately, the general population is busy and health gets put on the backburner. In contrast, weight loss is yearned by many yet shortcuts are sought out for. Although quick fixes are typically restrictive and lead to the regaining of the weight lost, there are foods for energy and weight loss. Give your diet an energy overhaul with these seven ways to boost nutrition.
7 Ways to Boost Your Nutrition
1. Eat Breakfast
Whether loved or skipped, eating breakfast can kick start not only a busy morning, but pave the way for nutritious choices the rest of the day. Choose breakfast foods rich in protein, as a sugary bowl of cereal or donut can leave you feeling hungry within a short amount of time. Protein paired with a fiber source can keep you feeling full until a midday snack or lunchtime. Breakfast ideas include Greek yogurt and berries, a power burrito filled with eggs and peppers, or cottage cheese and fresh fruit.
2. Snack Attack
Feeding off the concept of breakfast, a protein-rich snack can keep you feeling satisfied until the next meal. Avoiding hunger can ultimately lead to bingeing at mealtimes. When hungry, it is more likely to grab for whatever is insight to fill that void whether or it is nutritious or not. Keep snacks on hand to avoid the ever so convenient vending machines. Apple slices and peanut butter, carrots and hummus, and low-sugar protein bars are a few tasty snack ideas to stop that midmorning or afternoon hunger.
3. Stay Prepared
After busy workdays and other responsibilities, going home to cook a nutritious meal is far less than desirable. It's important to not let life's duties stand in the way between you and your nutritional goals, though. Meal preparation for the weekdays can conquer the barrier between "busy" and "health." Choose one day each week to tackle meal prep for lunches and dinners. Cook chicken and peppers for fajita night, utilize the Crockpot for a vegetarian chili, or chop veggies for salads. Learn to have fun and be creative with food!
4. Lose the Booze
Yes, alcohol can fit into a well-balanced diet and yes, going out on social outings makes for a good time. Unfortunately, the intake of alcohol can compromise energy levels vastly and lead to headaches and fatigue. Reducing alcohol not only saves on calories, but contributes to heightened levels of energy. If you are to indulge in alcohol, it is recommended men stick to no more than two drinks per day while women stick to just one. (That also does not mean drinks can be collected over the week span and used all at once on the weekend…)
5. Fill Up on Nutrients
In today's busy society, "energy-dense" foods often take the front seat related to their convenience. "Energy-dense" foods are generally loaded with calories from fats and sugars and typically known as "empty calories" – think chips, candy, and cookies. Choose "nutrient-dense" foods such as veggies and fruits and seeds and nuts, as they are packed with nutrients for a relatively low calorie cost.
6. Anti-Energy? Go for Antioxidants
Filling your plate with colorful foods is one of the best ways to reassure healthy choices. Vibrant fruits and veggies are not only rich in vitamins and minerals, but powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help to fight against cellular damage that occurs in the body. The protection of the body's cells is said to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Berries, grapes, oranges, carrots, broccoli, and spinach are just a few produce items packed with antioxidants.
7. Get Familiar With Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Choosing foods rich in omega-3s is an excellent way to boost nutrition. Omega-3 fatty acids are known "good" fats, with the ability to improve memory and mood, combat inflammation and reduce heart disease. Take a bite out of these natural or fortified omega-3 foods: halibut, tuna, eggs, yogurt, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, walnuts, kale, spinach, soy milk and soybean oil, and canola oil.