Eating nutritiously is one of the core foundations of staying healthy, but it isn’t always easy. Sometimes we’re unsure of where to begin—searching for substitutes, confusing labels, questioning the most nutritious choices and where to find them—but learning a few swaps and additions to your daily routine is simple and can lead to big changes.
Your weight care journey is all about creating a new way of eating and fostering a better relationship with food. Each day adds up, and pretty soon you realize your view of nutrition has changed, and each step brings you to that place. By making a small, nutritious decision each day, you strengthen the building blocks that set you up for success. Let’s start with tips for every day this month.
1. Hydrate. Try to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. (So, if you weigh 150 pounds, try to drink 75 ounces.) You may need more or less depending on factors like physical activity, the climate you live in, and the food you’re eating. Try keeping a reusable water bottle next to you at all times. Drinking enough water offers a host of benefits and supports movement, heart health, circulation, digestion, and energy.
2. Stock up on healthy pantry staples and purchase fresh foods as much as possible. By having high-quality, nutritious choices—and sticking to a list—you prevent buying unwanted, highly-processed food in a rush mid-week.
3. Curb eating out by planning your meals the week ahead. Eating-in tends to be more cost-effective; you can control portion sizes and smart ingredients at home. If you’re really craving a night out, plan ahead to make sure you're meeting your nutrition goals.
4. Enjoy a smoothie for breakfast. Whipping up a smoothie with lots of veggies and fruits in the morning can help you feel full longer and provide more energy throughout the day.
5.Sit and enjoy a cup of the Argentinian staple, Yerba Maté. If you’re looking to try something new, this antioxidant-rich, tasty tea is a great caffeinated substitute for sugary coffee beverages.
6. Eat more berries. Their fiber will benefit your digestion and keep you from getting hungry. Look for seasonal fresh fruit to throw together a fruit salad with raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries to add vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, and add some nuts, chicken, lean meat, or seafood for protein.
7. Create more color on your plate. Incorporate a vegetable with every meal. We need to have 5 to 9 servings of vegetables a day to reach optimum nutrition. Throw some kale into your smoothie, cook some broccoli with your fish, or cut up a cucumber to have with your favorite healthy snack!
8. Switch it up with oatmeal. Most breakfast cereals seem nutritious, but they tend to be highly processed with added sugar. To avoid sneaky ingredients, stick with whole-grain rolled oats, and serve them with some nuts or nut butter, milk or your favorite alternative milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, or some other kind of protein. (And yes, 1-minute oats count!)
9. Use healthy oils on salads and when cooking. Trying to focus on healthy fats? You want the ones that are liquid at room temperature—otherwise known as oils—because they contain higher amounts of unsaturated fats. Olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, and nut oils all fall in this category. These kinds of fats offer a host of benefits like lowered blood pressure and heart health.
10. Experiment with homemade veggie burgers. Use black beans in lieu of the traditional hamburger patty. Black beans aren’t only cost-friendly but are packed with 14 grams of fiber and 30 percent of your daily iron. Take it one healthier step further by adding lots of veggies and wrapping your burger in lettuce instead of a fast-carb bun.
11. Boost a meal with avocados or nuts. Sprinkle walnuts or almonds on your favorite salad or add avocado—let’s be real—to almost anything.
12. Try something different to satisfy your sweet tooth. Sub dark chocolate and bananas—or baked pears and apples with a dash of cinnamon—for a sugary dessert.
13. Trade potatoes for sweet potatoes. Roast them to replace french fries, or make a yummy sweet potato casserole by adding apples and cinnamon. Sweet potatoes give you added fiber, beta carotene (our bodies convert this into Vitamin A), and are packed with flavor.
14. Munch on fruit with nut butter to replace protein bars. Many protein bars are packed with sugar and full of added preservatives. For example, enjoy an apple with almond butter as a delicious snack.
15. Love pizza? Substitute traditional crust with cauliflower crust. Cauliflower crust is becoming easier and easier to find in most grocery stores—we like the Good & Gather Organic Ultra-Thin Pizza Crust from Target. You'll hardly be able to tell the difference.
16. Make eggs for different meals. Eggs often get a bad rap, but they’re a great source of protein. Enjoy them for dinner in a veggie quiche, have an egg and bean burrito with salsa, or add sliced boiled eggs to a salad at lunch. Eating one to two eggs a day can add some flare to your meals. And there’s no need to worry about heart health—even though eggs themselves are higher in cholesterol, they won’t increase yours.
17. Get creative with breakfast. Add veggies like Swiss chard or kale, artichoke hearts, or broccoli to mix in with eggs. By doing this, you’re pairing protein and fiber for a great powerhouse breakfast.
18. Swap out pasta for zucchini noodles. No fancy gadget needed to make these tasty substitutions—use a potato peeler to shave long, thin strips. Add the zucchini to your favorite lean protein, a variety of your favorite vegetables, and tomato sauce.
19. Eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles. Fermented foods are jam-packed with probiotics to help with weight care, support healthy gut function, mood, digestion, and heart health.
20. Make wild or canned salmon once a week to get some healthy fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of healthy brain and heart function—and help lower blood pressure. Salmon is also something you can make in many different ways to give you variety throughout the month.
21. Skip calorie counting. One of our Found principles is to focus on nutrient-dense whole foods instead of calories. Not all calories are created equal—100 calories of a cookie is different than 100 calories of fish. By carefully reading labels and looking at the nutrients, you can make sure your body is getting everything it needs.
22. Eat a variety of lean proteins, such as tofu, lentils, beans, fish, or chicken. Protein is a part of creating amino acids that our bodies need—they’re pivotal in building muscle and transporting nutrients throughout our body.
23. Divvy up snacks in individual portion sizes to avoid mindless snacking. By doing this, you’re less likely to overindulge and you’ll be more mindful of the amount of food you’re eating. If you choose to snack, consider protein-rich foods that fuel your body and help you feel satisfied.
24. Trade nutrient-poor foods for more nutritious versions. For example, swap white bread for whole wheat bread. Other options: whole wheat pita, whole grain crackers, chickpea pasta, red lentil pasta, or whole corn tortillas. Read the labels and choose foods with as few ingredients as possible.
25. Spice it up! Ease up on salt by flavoring your food with ingredients like chiles, fresh or dried herbs, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, lime juice, turmeric, and chiles. Many of these flavor-bombs also have bonus health benefits: For example, chiles and turmeric both help lower inflammation.
26. Get more Vitamin D. Sources include fatty fish, fish liver oil, enriched almond milk, or egg yolks. As we age, our bodies lose the ability to make Vitamin D, a huge contributor to strong bones and joints as well as a healthy immune system.
27. Choose clean proteins over fatty or processed meats such as sausages and deli meats. Instead, enjoy lean meats such as seafood, chicken, or plant-based proteins such as beans and lentils. Fatty and processed meats tend to have more saturated fat (the kind that’s not good for your heart) and have been linked to high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer.
28. Craving a salty snack? Choose something with extra nutrition benefits. Instead of chips, pretzels, or instant noodles, nibble on nuts, edamame, olives, pickled veggies, or baked veggie chips.
29. Bake or sauté your meat. Studies suggest charred meat on the grill has been shown to lead to compounds that can contribute to cancer.
30. Drink alcohol in moderation. The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a max of one alcoholic drink a day for both men and women. Don’t forget that alcohol has a lot of calories, and drinking more of it can make it tougher to stick to your health goals. Get creative and swap sparkling water for soda or your favorite seltzer. Want to make it zero-proof and swanky? Try one of the mocktail recipes from our December 2021 event with dietitian and author with Diana Licalzi.
31. Purchase whole grains, beans, and legumes in bulk. Keeping these on hand will help ensure you’re getting enough fiber to support healthy digestion and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Found is among the largest medically-supported weight care clinics in the country, serving more than 200,000 members to date. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz.