Simple Healthy Substitutes

Shelby Gilley, Staff Writer

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As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.” It is increasingly becoming a part of American culture to lead unhealthy lives. The United States is even one of the world’s most obese countries. But how can this be avoided? Simple changes to a person’s daily meal and snack plan can ultimately help develop great habits that benefit long-term health.

In order to get fit, it is essential to realize what foods to decrease in one’s daily diet. Most Americans normally struggle with portion control, but this cannot be blamed on the citizens; instead, the food system is to blame. It is assumed that it is far more expensive to buy a healthier food option than a cheaper non-healthier food option. This, however, is a misconception. Taking the time to meal prep before going to the grocery store allows a person to find less expensive and healthier options. It just takes some simple planning beforehand.

Instead of eating three big meals a day, it’s recommended to eat small five meals a day in order to boost metabolism and keep going a little bit longer and a little faster. Rather than continually snacking on non-nutritious foods, nuts are an option to help boost metabolism and give it the healthy little extra kick it needs. They are also quite filling. Rather than turning to processed sugars, turn to organic, natural sugars such as fruit. Instead of eating a bowl of cereal after waking up in the morning, maybe try a bowl of oatmeal. Although oatmeal contains more calories, it is still far more nutritious for consumption. Rather than turning to a sugary juice, consider black coffee because it’s very low in calories. There are even replacements for higher carbohydrate foods! Switch foods heavy in carbohydrates like pasta to a healthy spaghetti squash recipe found online. Instead of a tortilla, maybe spice things up with a lettuce wrap. It’s the small changes!

One must not forget the importance of water, water, and water!! This cannot be stressed enough. Everyone needs to be drinking water. It is so good and it benefits skin and the body as a whole. It even boosts metabolism. When trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet, water is a must!

Alternatively to scrolling through Twitter or watching a daily dose of Netflix, consider simply doing a 10-minute yoga practice or finding an exercise course online. Even by just walking a mile a day, a person can begin to see and feel the difference happening in their body. Working out doesn’t require money; it just requires self-motivation. Working out is proven to decrease stress, depression, and anxiety. It’s not only good for physical health but mental health as well. It’s the little amount of exercise that’s going to make a huge impact in a healthy-self plan and feeling like one’s own personal best.

Always remember to not turn to starvation! A person’s body will turn off when in starvation mode and hold on to fatty acids and fat cells. It is the polar opposite of a healthy diet. It’s important to cleanse the system with water constantly and to eat in small portions to keep metabolism up and running.

Cheat meals occasionally are no big deal, but when it’s becoming a regular occurrence it is definitely a problem. It’s okay to reward one’s self! However, always reward within reason to not tarnish progress.

It’s apparent to Americans we need to change the ways of our society in order for our citizens to lead longer and healthier lives. It all starts with small changes to our daily routines, but the change starts with you. Commit to seeing a healthier you.

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