6 Ways to Make Your Meal Healthier

vegetables at farmer's marketby Elle Rose

Newspapers, magazines, the radio and the Internet all advertise “going healthy” to be a stupendously easy task, like walking the dog. Though for the percentage of us who have indeed gullibly clicked on the link for “lose weight in just two weeks!!” we have come to the gutting conclusion that these diet magic tricks do not in fact work.

However, it doesn’t have to be a case of magic in order to fit into that pair of size 10 shorts before summer.

With the following 5 tips, you can immediately rid your meal of unnecessary carbs and calories. It’s that simple, without any catch (I promise).

1. Lettuce Leaf Instead of Bread Bun

Swap the bread bun for a lettuce leaf. As BBQ season is upon us, we cannot escape the burger- nor would we want to. By replacing the bread with a lettuce leaf you’re removing a large percentage of the meals calorie intake.

Instead compensate with onions, tomatoes and gherkins. Also try and make sure the sauces you use are low-fat or half-far. Sauces like Tomato Ketchup can contain a lot of hidden sugar which can pile on the pounds quickly without you even realizing.

2. Low Fat Instead of Whole Fat Dairy

Try and substitute whole fat dairy products with semi-skimmed or low fat. It seems obvious but by religiously abiding by this you will really start to notice the difference. You’d be surprised by how much dairy we consume in our foods on a daily basis; in our coffee, with our cereal, in our baked goods.

The difference in taste goes unnoticed, but the difference in the fat is huge. And don’t forget to stick to this rule during the day too – when you’re out at coffee shops. Specify with them that you’d like you coffee latte half fat – otherwise they may automatically serve you full fat. It’s an easy way to slip up – so always try and remember to ask.

3. Eat More Whole Grains

Eat whole grains rather then their refined, processed counter parts. Cook whole oats instead of instant, and cook brown rice rather than white. It’s a lot healthier as whole foods have not been stripped of their fiber and nutrients.

Regularly eating whole grain can also reduce the risk, up to 30% to be specific, of one of Britain’s leading killers- heart disease. So swap the processed white bread for brown and feel smug knowing that you’re one step closer to a healthier you.

You’ll probably notice how much brown bread will stop you bloating too – as white bread and other “processed products” can lead to nasty bloating – which will make you look bigger than you are.

4. Avoid Sugary Processed Food

Beware of sugar, just because you’re avoiding pick ‘n’ mix doesn’t mean that sugar doesn’t creep up into your daily diet. Though it may surprise you, a lot of the food we consume has a very high sugar content, so be cautious with fizzy drinks, chewing gum, canned fruit, cereal bars, bottled spaghetti sauce and barbeque sauce as these are all prime contenders.

The bloating rule applies here too – fizzy drinks can make you bloat hugely – meaning that even if you have slimmed down – you’ll be less able to tell.

5. Grill Your Food

Boil or grill, don’t fry. The way you cook your meal can make a lot of difference in regards to how healthy it is. Instead of frying bacon, grill it- that way the bacon is drained of some it’s fat whilst cooking, however frying on the other hand locks in the fat and grease.

There are some great cookers out there that will ensure the fat is drained – so if you want to invest in something to help you get healthier – this might be a good thing to choose. These cookers will drain the fat out of meat products whilst cooking – so that you can enjoy your meal guilt-free.

6. Eat before 8 pm

Don’t eat at night time and try and avoid eating after 8pm (if possible) – to give your body time to process the food you’ve already eaten that day. It may sound bizarre but by cutting out any late night snacks and just steering clear of the fridge after a certain time – can have a big impact on your waistline.

If you do feel the need to pick at something – keep it super healthy like carrots and hummus. It’s also wise to keep away from sugar in the evening – as your body find sugar more difficult to break down than other foods. This means, even fruit shouldn’t necessarily be eaten after 8pm, as fruit contain a high amount of natural sugar.

(Elle Rose works for Global Knives review, and loves being adventurous with her cooking. She likes knowing the health benefits of her food too – which is why she writes and shares blog articles like this.)

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About Health on a Budget

We provide resources to eat and live healthy on a budget.

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