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11 Simple Ways To Eat Healthier This Week

01/29/2016 at 3:38 | Bustle

I’ve said it before – I don’t do well with diets, food restrictions, or “lifestyle overhauls,” and I’ve learned with time that simple, achievable changes are actually way more effective in my life. If you’re in the same boat, the good news is there are a ton of ways to eat healthier right now that don’t require you to never eat a grain of sugar or potato ever again.

It’s taken me all of my teens and most of my 20s to fully accept the fact that extreme dieting, consisting of stretches of intense mental focus and restrictive eating, and notions of “never again will I ever eat [insert food X]” simply does not work for me. Maybe if I lived in a vacuum in which I never saw another muffin or piece of cheese again it would be possible, but until then I have learned to accept the fact that I will likely never cut anything 100 percent and completely out of my life, and instead should just focus on making healthier day-to-day choices that will hopefully add up to better health and fitness in the long-run.

I’ve also found that the feeling of deprivation I get from super restrictive eating patterns (i.e: no refined carbohydrates) means that when I fall off the wagon, I fall hard. I don’t just eat the two cookies I might have normally had, but instead I eat all ten. It’s just my body’s reaction to days or weeks of being told “No!”

If you’re tired of thinking of health in terms of extremes and just want some easy tips for living healthier, here are 11 simple ways to eat healthier this week.

1. Double The Vegetables

This is a crazy simple tip from Registered Dietician Sidney Fry for Cooking Light; when making a recipe, such as a soup or pasta, simply double the amount of vegetables. “You are already doing the prep work; so a little extra chopping can go a long way for your vegetable intake,” she said. Plus, she noted that for most recipes the added veggies will not alter the flavor. This also means you’ll be doubling all the good-for-you fiber, vitamins, and minerals with each serving.

2. Swap A Side – Or Order Two

This is a personal tip: When eating out, automatically swap the given side for veggies. However, if you really, really want those fries or mashed potatoes, then order both the fries and the veggies, and make sure you eat the greens first. We sometimes tend to think we have to make “all or nothing” decisions when it comes to our health, but in reality we can usually meet somewhere in the middle.

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