5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Bad Diet Today

Board of vegetables with dips and sauces
Line Klein / Collection Mix: Subjects / Getty Images

Not happy with your unhealthy diet? You're not alone. So many people eat a diet of heavily processed, high-calorie foods. The result is excess weight, that sluggish feeling and eating a bad diet isn't good for your health.

Are you on a mission to improve your unhealthy eating patterns? It can seem like a long uphill battle, but with these easy tips, you can get started on your dietary quest. 

1. Drink Water Instead of Soda

If you're getting ready to grab a bottle or can of sugary soda, just walk away and pour yourself a glass of water. You'll instantly save calories by eschewing the sugar. Drinking water is a good habit to form. If you're not a fan of plain water, you can dress it up with sliced fruits.

Miss the fizziness of soda? Go to the grocery store, pick up bottles of mineral water -- look for brands enhanced with a little fruit flavor. But watch out for 'flavored waters' that are flavored with sugar or high fructose corn syrup—they're just as high in calories as sodas.

Alternatively, there are zero-calorie beverages sweetened with various non-nutritive sweeteners. 

2. Hide the Treats and Bring Forth the Fruit

If you have bags of cookies, candy or other treats in plain sight—by all means hide them. Out of sight, out of mind. That doesn't mean you can't have the occasional treat, but if they're not sitting out, you're less likely to be tempted to grab one whenever you walk by.

With the same idea in mind, if you have fresh fruit like apples, bananas, oranges and pears lurking in your cabinets or refrigerator, bring them out. Put them in a big attractive bowl on your counter or table. If you don't have any fresh fruit—add some to your grocery shopping list.

3. Add a Colorful Vegetable or Fruit to Your Next Meal

Really, I think the best way to improve any diet instantly is to start eating vegetables (but French fries don't count). The beautiful thing about most vegetables and fruit is they're nutrient-dense and usually lower in calories compared to other foods. Green beans or broccoli are delicious when served as side dishes, or add some spinach leaves to a sandwich. Or eat a salad or vegetable stew.

4. Drink Herbal Tea Instead of Your Usual Nightcap

If your usual habit is to imbibe in an alcoholic beverage or two before bedtime, try a nice soothing herbal tea, such as chamomile or a bedtime blend. Or try a decaf green tea that contains polyphenols that work as antioxidants and may have added health benefits. De-alcoholized wine is another option.

5. Prepare for Tomorrow

Are you a breakfast skipper? That's generally not a good idea—starting your day with a healthy breakfast might make it easier to get through the morning. Plus it sets the stage for a day of better eating habits.

Make tomorrow morning a little easier by preparing breakfast tonight. Hard boil a few eggs and keep them in your fridge. Breakfast can be toast (preferably whole wheat) with peanut butter and an egg. Make some quick cook oatmeal. Even cold cereal with milk can be a good breakfast, especially if the cereal is whole grain and not pre-sweetened.

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