22 Simple Ways to Get Healthier With Minimal Effort

Modern society makes getting healthy harder than ever.

People are busy trying to balance work, family and other responsibilities. As a result, their health goals are often put on hold.

That said, being healthy does not have to be difficult.

Here are 22 simple ways to get healthier with minimal effort.

1. Fill Half of Your Plate With Non-Starchy Vegetables

Vegetables can be loosely classified as starchy and non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables generally have more carbs and calories than their non-starchy counterparts.

Examples of starchy vegetables include potatoes, corn and navy beans. Non-starchy vegetables include spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.

Filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables is a simple way to make your diet healthier. They are low in calories but packed with nutrients, fiber and water.

By replacing some of the starch and protein of your meal with non-starchy vegetables, you can still eat a similar amount of food — but with fewer calories .

This simple strategy also saves you the hassle of worrying about serving sizes and calories.

SUMMARY:

Filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables is a simple way to eat healthier. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients.

2. Eat From a Smaller Plate and Bowl

Believe it or not, the size of your plate can affect how much you eat.

In one study, scientists found that people who ate from large serving bowls ate 56% (142 calories) more food than people who ate from smaller bowls.

In an analysis of 72 studies, scientists found that people consistently ate more food when offered larger portions and plates (4).

The simple illusion of eating from a smaller plate could help you feel satisfied with less food.

SUMMARY:

Eating from a smaller plate is a simple way to trick your brain into eating less. This can be useful if you feel the portions you eat are too big.

3. Swap Refined Carbs for Whole, Unprocessed Carbs

Refined carbs are commonly known as simple carbs or “empty” carbs.

They are rigorously processed and stripped of nearly all their nutrients and fiber. This means they add extra calories to your diet with no nutritional benefit.

Examples of refined carbs include white flour, white bread and white rice.

Not to mention, eating a diet rich in refined carbs may increase your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Choosing whole, unprocessed carbs like whole wheat flour and brown rice lets you eat the foods you normally eat with the added benefits of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

SUMMARY:

Refined carbs are sources of “empty” calories and provide no nutritional benefit. Swapping them for whole, unprocessed carbs can increase your nutrient and fiber intake.

4. Add Some Fruit to Your Morning Oats

Fruit is a great way to add some color and flavor to your morning oats.

Fruit is loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health. It also has plenty of fiber and water that can help you stay fuller for longer.

In addition, fruit is a great source of polyphenols — compounds that contribute to the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

These compounds act as antioxidants in the body and can help it fight inflammation. Additionally, studies have shown polyphenols may help reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and an early death.

A study with 7,447 participants found that people who ate the most polyphenols had a lower risk of an early death than people who ate the least polyphenols (11).

SUMMARY:

Although fruit can be high in sugar, it is also packed with plenty of vitamins, minerals and compounds, such as polyphenols. Polyphenols may have great health benefits.