We’re all familiar with the saying ‘less is more’ yet, we feel the need to make drastic changes to achieve our goals. Why is this?! Think about it. You want to lose weight, so you go on a restrictive diet. You want to get fit, so you exercise seven days a week (for extended periods of time). You want to reduce stress, so you commit to long-duration meditations without any experience. Sound about right? Well, how well has this worked out for you in the past? Were these habits sustainable (or even healthy)? Probably not. But, despite not being realistic or sustainable, you probably felt down when you were unable to maintain them, right? Unfortunately, this all-or-nothing mentality is especially common when it comes to our diet.
Sounds like it’s time for a perspective change, don’t you think?! What if we told you that simple healthy eating tweaks could get you the results you wanted (maybe even better) without drastically changing your diet or day-to-day life? Yep, believe it! Though minor, these habits are ultra-powerful (hint: they’re sustainable and will support your long-term goals.
Read on for the small but mighty eating hacks that may not seem significant, but trust us — they’ll make a difference!
RELATED: Honoring Your Body Through Nourishment Not Restriction
7 Small But Mighty Healthy Eating Tweaks
#1 Start Your Morning With a Cup of Water Before Coffee
If coffee is the motivating force that powers your morning, by all means, incorporate this caffeinated beverage into your morning routine. But, make it second on your to-do list! While you’re brewing up your favorite blend, sip on a large glass of water first.
Why is this important? Well, after a restful night’s sleep, your body wakes up in a mild state of dehydration. Your last sip of water was likely 8-12 hours prior to bed, so replenishing your hydration stores first thing in the morning is one healthy eating tweak that can make a big impact on your health. It can jumpstart your metabolism, improve your digestion, and boost your energy, just to name a few benefits!
Plus, coffee is a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates you even more! So, start your morning by sipping smart. First water, then coffee!
RELATED: Stress-Fighting Ingredients to Uplevel Your Morning Coffee
#2 Fuel Your Morning Meal with Protein VS. Carbs
Have you ever had a big, filling breakfast made of foods like pancakes, oats, or banana, only to find yourself hungry a few hours later? While these foods can certainly be healthy, they are also carb-heavy when consumed alone (and thus, may not keep you feeling full for long). You may feel an initial burst of energy, but soon after, you may experience hunger pangs and even feel fatigued.
A simple solution? Upgrade those classic breakfast staples with one of our favorite healthy eating tweaks — enjoy your meal with an added source of protein! A protein-rich breakfast can balance out your plate of carbs, helping to keep your blood sugar stable, increase satiety (and reduce mid-morning hanger), and support weight loss by reducing cravings.
Try balancing your plate with these breakfast options:
- Enjoy your bagel with a side of eggs
- Mix in a scoop of protein powder to your oats or pancakes
- Dip your banana in some protein-rich peanut butter
- Stir a serving of nut butter into your bowl of oatmeal or top it off with protein-rich seeds like chia, pumpkin, or hemp
RELATED: 7 High-Protein On The Go Breakfast Recipes
#3 Enjoy a Protein & Healthy Fat With Your Snacks
Just like your breakfast, it’s important to maintain macronutrient balance in your snacks! A healthy snack should have all three macronutrients: healthy carbs, fats, and protein. Protein and fat are two nutrients that will help prevent that afternoon crash, keeping you nourished with a steady stream of energy. And, don’t forget to make it fiber-rich! In addition to keeping you full and satiated, fiber is key for digestion.
See — small but mighty healthy eating tweaks!
Here are some nourishing snack combos to try:
- Avocado toast made with a slice of whole-grain or Ezekial toast, topped with a hard-boiled egg and sprinkle of hemp seeds.
- A protein yogurt bowl full of unsweetened greek yogurt (or a dairy-free greek-style alternative like Kite Hill), fiber-rich berries, and a handful of nuts, cacao nibs, or coconut for healthy fats.
- Turkey roll-ups made with tahini-rich hummus or mashed avocado for healthy fats, and a handful of fiber-rich veggies like salad greens or sprouts.
- A protein-rich smoothie made with banana, spinach, almond butter, chia seeds, and unsweetened almond milk.
Another hack that can help you stay on track? Planning (and prepping) your snacks ahead of time so you’re not tempted by your hunger cravings!
Here’s a FitOn PRO recipe to inspire your meal prep. Keep these simple Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Energy Bites on hand and stay nourished, even on the busiest of days!
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 15 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Step #1: Drain and rinse chickpeas. Dry them with a paper towel and discard any chickpea skins that fall off. Don’t worry about removing them all, just the ones that naturally come off.
Step #2: Add chickpeas, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, chia seeds, and cinnamon to a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
Step #3: Use your hands to roll into 1 inch balls. You should get around 18 bites. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
#4 Add a Superfood to At Least One Meal Per Day
Superfoods are nutrient-dense superheroes — they are strong, powerful, and effective! And a small spoonful or handful can go a long way.
For whole food superfoods, try incorporating foods like: dark leafy greens, berries, turmeric, and ginger. Their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help boost energy, support weight loss, and optimize overall health.
Some other additions worth adding?
- Manuka honey
- Goji berries
#5 Amp up your Fiber Intake by Enjoying a Daily Fiber-Rich Shake
If you’re looking for simple healthy eating tweaks to add to your routine, making a daily fiber-rich shake is a no-brainer. It’s one of the easiest ways to add in just about any nutrient for whatever you’re lacking. Not getting enough protein? Mix in a scoop of protein powder or spoonful of nut butter. Lacking some greens in your diet? Toss in a handful of spinach (trust us, you won’t taste it). Deficient in some vitamins or minerals? Add a spoonful of superfoods!
And, of course, your daily shake is one of the best ways to up your fiber intake — a nutrient we clearly need more of. According to research, 95% of Americans are fiber deficient!
Fiber benefits digestion, balances blood sugar, aids weight loss, and acts as a nourishing prebiotic to feed the good bacteria in our gut. It’s safe to say, fiber is important! Luckily, we’re making it easy to incorporate this nutrient into your diet. Try adding these fiber-rich foods into your smoothie, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your daily fiber needs.
- Chia seeds: 2 tbsp = 10 grams of fiber
- Raspberries: 1 cup = 8 grams of fiber
- Almonds: 2 oz. = 6 grams of fiber
- Avocado: ½ avocado = 5 grams of fiber
- Oats: 1 cup = 4 grams of fiber
RELATED: 95% of People Don’t Get Enough of This Nutrient
#6 Swap Sugary Desserts for Healthy Substitutes
We’re all for treating yourself every now and then, but with so many food substitutes on the market, it’s easy to swap unhealthy sugary desserts for nourishing foods (that taste equally as good as they make you feel)!
Here are some healthy swaps for whatever desserts you’re craving:
Swap Ice Cream for Banana Nice Cream: Enjoy this guilt-free treat sweetened 100% naturally with frozen bananas. You can even make a protein version! Try these seven delicious flavors!
Swap Sugary Popsicles For a Healthy Homemade Version: Make your own by freezing blended coconut water and fruit!
Swap Sugar-filled Cookies For Homemade Energy Balls: Simply blend dates, nuts, oats, and your favorite add-ins in a food processor, roll into balls, and store in the fridge!
Swap Pudding For Chia Pudding: Chia pudding is loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full and tastes just as delicious as its sugary-filled alternative.
Try this Easy-Prep Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding recipe!
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 3 tbsp sliced almonds
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup mixed berries
- 2 tsp honey, maple syrup, or granular sweetener
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Drizzle of nut butter, such as almond or cashews
- Fresh berries of choice
Step #1: Combine the almond milk, sweetener, and vanilla. Taste and adjust sweetness and vanilla strength if needed.
Step #2: Stir in the chia seeds until well mixed.
Step #3: Refrigerate for 4 hours. Stir before serving. Add the mixed berries and sliced almonds. Option to serve with toppings of choice!
#7 Avoid Skipping Meals & Bring Leftovers for Lunch
We’ve all had those days where time is nowhere to be found (and seemingly, neither are healthy meal options). When your stomach is growling for an afternoon bite, the last thing you want to do is skip lunch all together (in an effort to avoid splurging on not-so-healthy meal choices). Skipping meals can make you tired, irritable and lead to unhealthy binging behaviors later in the day.
Luckily, our healthy eating tweaks can help you plan ahead and prevent hunger pains! If you don’t have time to prepare meals for the week, simply make a larger-sized dinner. Throw last night’s leftovers in a Tupperware, and out the door you go! No clean-up, no cooking, no afternoon hanger.
In need of some inspo? Try this protein-rich turkey chili!
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 16 oz ground turkey (to keep it plant-based, swap for black, kidney, or garbanzo beans)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded (or a dairy-free substitute)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
Step #1: Start by heating a large stockpot over medium heat with coconut oil. Add the ground turkey and brown for 5-7 minutes or until completely cooked. Mix in the taco seasoning and stir.
Step #2: Add the remaining ingredients minus the avocado and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Step #3: Split into four servings and enjoy with cubed avocado and shredded cheese, and enjoy!
Small, Consistent Changes Make for Big Results
As you can see, these healthy eating tweaks are simple — you may already be incorporating some of them into your daily routine (without even realizing it)! The key is consistency. When we are consistent with our actions, small changes can add up to long-lasting results, benefiting everything from weight loss to overall health!