1) Include 50 % of vegetables in every meal
Make sure you include vegetables in all your meals – also your breakfast! Vegetables are full of vitamins and antioxidants which are highly beneficial for your body. They are nutritious and contain a high level of fibers which makes you feel full for a longer amount of time.
In addition, because vegetables only contain very few calories per portion you can eat a lot of them without worrying about your waistline.
2) Add protein to build a healthy meal
Proteins are essential for your body and help to build and grow your overall muscle mass. However, protein is also a key factor if you want to avoid feeling hunger. So make sure you include foods with a high level of protein in every meal.
Examples of high protein food can be everything from seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, greek yogurt, lentils, tofu, chickpeas, etc.
Furthermore, as an extra bonus, protein even helps to boost your metabolism, so this is really key when you want to build a healthy meal.
3) Prep your meat
When you cook red meat make sure to trim the fat off before you cook it. The same goes for poultry where you can remove the skin before you start the cooking process.
Furthermore, it is also a good idea to bake, grill, or roast your meat instead of frying it. That will save you from a lot of fat and calories in the fish.
4) Reduce the amount of salt
Many recipes tell you to add salt to the dishes you are cooking. However, a good tip is to replace the salt with some alternative spices like for example herbs, lemon, vinegar, mustard, pepper, etc.
When the food is served, people can always add extra salt if needed. But as a default, try to add less salt in all your meals and thereby reduce the overall amount you consume each day.
5) Include plant-based fat to build a healthy meal
Just because you want to eat healthily, does not mean you have to avoid fat altogether. In fact, it is highly recommended that you include fat in every meal as it provides great satiation.
Some of the best sources of healthier fat are nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and olive oil.
Yet, if you are frying some of your food, I highly recommend you to use a good non-stick pan and try and dry fry some of your foods. This could help decrease the overall calorie level of your meals.
Instead, this will leave room for some nuts or avocados as a source of fat. In that way, you actually get to taste and chew the food and the calories you are eating.
6) Don’t eliminate carbs altogether
Many things have been said about carbohydrates and some diet plans even tell you to avoid them all. Yet, when advising you on how to build a healthy meal, I do believe in a balanced diet where there is also room for carbs.
Just be sure that the carbohydrates you include in your meals are rich in fibers and from wholefood sources.
Some good examples could be whole grain oats, rice, bread, quinoa, etc.
Furthermore, you need to take into consideration your level of activity throughout the day. If you are very active and you burn a lot of energy, it is good to add some extra carbohydrates to your diet to maintain energy. Yet, if you are sitting down most of the day you won’t need as many carbs.
7) Increase fiber in your meals
And talking about carbs… Try to think about adding more fiber to everything you eat. Whenever you eat rice, bread, pasta, etc choose the brown, wholefood option rather than refined grains.
This will help you stay full for longer and also increases the digestive process in your body.
8) Include dairy products
It is always good for you to add some dairy to your diet in order to get enough calcium and other essential nutrients.
You can, for example, add a glass of low-fat milk to one of your meals. Alternatively, you can use some nice, strongly flavored cheeses to bring more taste to your savory meals. This could be cheesed such as blue cheese or mature cheddar cheese.
9) Take control of your food
Learn about the different kinds of foods and how to read the nutrition information on the backside of each package. This is really helpful when deciding what to buy and not.
Make sure you choose food that has a low level of calories, sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
At the same time, you should not be afraid to try new food, which you have not tried before. Be curious, and interested in new types of food – you never know when you find your next favorite. Have fun and experiment with it.
You can also get tips from friends and family members. Just always try to broaden your horizons in terms of food.
10) Cook your own meal
When you cook your own meal rather than eating out, you are 100% sure what the meal includes. It gives you total control of what you want to include in your dish and thereby also what you want to put in your body.
Of course, you can also find really good, healthy alternatives when eating out. Just be sure what to look for. If in doubt, you can always ask the kitchen about the ingredients in the food they are serving.
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