When my diet was completely in shambles, making changes toward a healthy diet seemed incredibly difficult. I didn’t even know where to start and consequently changed nothing. After several trials, I now know from experience which changes have had the greatest effect.
If you are also in such a situation? Would you like to improve your diet, but don’t know where to start without turning your whole life upside down?? Then we have just the thing for you. The following habits have an excellent cost-benefit ratio. This means that with small changes you can already make a big impact. You don’t even have to implement them all. Start at the top first and slowly work your way through the list. How about one new habit per month?
1. Drink water
If you make just one change to your diet, switch to water! Make water the number one source to meet your hydration needs.
Avoid sodas, fruit juices, spritzers, sweet iced teas, energy drinks, chocolate milk, diet drinks and similar crimes against your body. If you are a frequent alcohol drinker, limit your alcohol intake. Save it for the weekend as a treat.
Your body only needs water, and that comes without any calories. To make the water more palatable, add limes, lemons, organics, cucumbers, frozen fruit, ginger and/or mint. When the fruit is a little in the water, it takes on its flavor. Unsweetened tea is also a good alternative, we sometimes drink it cold. Tea and coffee are also suitable as warm drinks. Read more tips on drinking water here.
For many people who are overweight this change is probably enough to lose weight. If the diet is very poor, it will at least be enough to prevent further weight gain. Plus, cutting out sweet drinks has another benefit: you’ll have less of an appetite and can temporarily satisfy a little hunger with some liquid.
2. Eat a hearty breakfast
Two popular habits we consider counterproductiveDon’t eat breakfast at all and eat a sweet breakfast. If you don’t eat breakfast at all, you lack energy for the day and are likely to get it back through snacks and larger portions throughout the day. Therefore, foregoing a meal is just window dressing.
A sweet breakfast, on the other hand, gives you a boost of energy, but it doesn’t last long. High blood sugar levels plummet after a meal and hunger quickly returns. However, since you’ve already set your sights on sweets for the day, you will have a strong craving for more sweet stuff. This goes on until the evening.
We want to have energy in the morning without feeling hungry or craving for sweets after a short time. That’s why we eat a hearty breakfast. This can mean all sorts of things, but above all it means Low in easily digestible carbohydrates like sugar or white bread. Sometimes we eat muesli with a low sugar content, sometimes wholemeal bread with cheese, sometimes we make ourselves an omelette. With this habit we start the day satisfied and usually make it to lunch. You can find sugar-free breakfast ideas here.
3. Eat real meals
If you start at the top of this list, you’ve already internalized one meal of the day – breakfast. Now there are two more that we take seriously: Lunch and dinner.
We do not find it so important in the first step, what you eat at these meals. But you should use them as real Perceive meals. This means not eating while walking, standing or driving. Sit down at a table and take your time for your meals. A table at a fast food restaurant doesn’t count though! Don’t skip meals to "save calories" either! Your body gets the energy back through snacks anyway.
Refrain as good as possible from ready meals. Prepare your meals from real foods instead. These have far more nutrients than any industrially produced product. So your body is better fed and you stay full longer. Of course, at this point it will be time-consuming, but it is not possible without effort. Since I prepare more and more meals myself, I feel better after eating, I am fuller, I enjoy more and a nice side effect: the pounds fall off.
Our Recipe collections will help you cook more often. We have tried many recipes, refined them and made them suitable for everyday use. You can find it here.
4. Eat healthy snacks
If you eat little sugar and grains, you will hardly feel hungry between meals. If it still happens, or if your last main meal was not so healthy, then you can still eat something. I also do this. I don’t like to be hungry. But with snacks it depends, what you eat. Therefore, don’t reach into a bag of chips, don’t eat cookies, don’t spoon up ready-made fruit yogurt, and don’t buy anything from the bakery or late-night shop. Eat fruits, vegetables or nuts instead.
I personally prefer fruit, so I always have fresh fruit in the house. However, I try not to eat too much of it, because fruit contains the most sugar of all real foods. Sometimes I also reach for cut vegetables that I can eat raw. These include carrots, cucumbers, kohlrabi, radishes and tomatoes. If you like, you can nibble on the vegetables until you lose your appetite.
When I have not only an appetite, but hunger, but there is still a long time before the next meal is due, I like to eat nuts. They contain a lot of fat and protein, so they keep you full for a long time. You have to be careful not to eat too much, though. Since they are so small and have a high energy density, you tend to overdo it with nuts. But the satiety takes a while.
Such real Snacks will satisfy your hunger at least as much as a convenience snack – but are much healthier and won’t settle on your hips. This change is comparatively easy and Shows a great effect! It will be even easier if you don’t buy the nasty snacks and sweets in the first place. What you don’t have at home, you won’t eat.
5. Reduce grains in your diet
The first four changes reduce sugar in your diet and should motivate you to prepare fresh foods yourself. This fifth change goes one big step further. You may like it the least, but it is a great lever for the slim line: Eat as few cereals as possible. Even more than sugar, grains have crept into every aspect of our diets. That’s what makes it so hard to give up.
Not only are grain products included in almost every meal, they usually take up a lot of space. They are not just a little garnish, but often account for the largest percentage of calories consumed. Eat pasta with cheese and maybe some vegetables. We top the pizza crust with a few ingredients. We put a spread on the thick slice of bread.
Grains (even whole grains), however, contain a lot of carbohydrates and, much like sugar, cause blood sugar levels in the body to rise rapidly, making a large part of the energy ends up in the fat pads and we quickly get hungry again. If you want to see the pounds fall off, and without starving, you should work on this site.
Since almost every meal is based on cereals, this change is difficult. That’s why I recommend tackling them last. Also for me it was the last large change. It first means looking for alternatives for breakfast to get by without bread and classic cereal. My favorites are eggs with avodaco (both saturate very well) and "muesli" with ground nuts instead of cereal flakes. You also need recipes for the other dishes that do without the classic filling side dish (pasta, spaetzle, Schupfnudeln, rice) or use only a little of it. The emphasis of any meal should be on vegetables.
These are five steps on the way to a healthier diet. You can incorporate each of these tips one by one into your daily routine as a habit. Don’t start with all of them at once, but don’t close this article either, without at least a to tackle small change. Don’t be one of those people who are just looking for alibis for a healthy diet.
If you want to go deeper into these tips, I recommend our book "Slimmed down – 10 habits to lose weight". In this one, we revisit all five habits.
12 good news for everyone who wants to lose weight: Here you can find our eBook "A pound of motivation, please!" as a free download.