10 Small Diet Tweaks with a BIG Impact on Your Health
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These 10 small diet tweaks have a BIG impact on your health by helping to decrease inflammation, boost metabolism, balance blood sugar levels, and so much more!
We hear time and again that healthy eating (and living, for that matter) is a lifestyle.
But a lifestyle shift doesn’t just happen with the snap of your fingers.
And where to even begin? With kale? And spinach? And quinoa!? What the heck is quinoa and how do you pronounce it!?
*Deep breaths, my friend*
It requires making healthier choices each and every day rather than just as a one time quick fix.
Trying to completely overhaul your diet all at once can be overwhelming and often counterproductive as a result. Making small but impactful tweaks is the key! Starting small and then adding one on top of the other.
1) Start your day with a pint of water and squeeze of fresh lemon
Not only does this habit rehydrate your body after a long night’s sleep, but it also kick-starts your metabolism and digestion, plus gives your liver a little vitamin-C boost.
After drinking your lemon water, wait at least 15 minutes before eating breakfast so the water doesn’t impair digestion by diluting your gastric juices.
2) Revamp your breakfast so it’s high in protein and healthy fats, and lower in carbs
Of all the tweaks on this list, this may be the most impactful.
Many breakfasts — even the “healthy” ones like oatmeal, whole grain cereal, and sugary yogurts — are loaded with sugar or carbs (which when digested, ARE sugar to your body). This raises your blood sugar levels and sets your body off on the blood sugar roller coaster all day long.
Elevated and erratic blood sugar levels don’t just lead to weight gain and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, it’s also a main source of chronic inflammation, suppresses the immune system, elevates those hormones that cause adult acne, is the reason you get “hangry,” and to blame for crazy sugar cravings.
So instead, start the day with a meal rich in protein and healthy fats to keep you satiated and blood sugar levels balanced. I’m telling you: amazing things will happen! Like coffee… who needs it!? Same for that mid-morning snack attack — you’ll actually be full right up until lunchtime. And your jeans may even start to get a bit loose!
3) Actually eat breakfast in the first place
Eating breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and has been shown time and again to not only aid weight loss but also help maintaining that weight loss.
Because when we skip breakfast, cortisol levels go up — managing and maintaining normal cortisol levels is key for weight management, regulating inflammation, boosting the immune system, maintaining hormonal balance, and regulating energy and mood. Plus when cortisol levels go up, blood sugar levels go up in turn.
And since elevated cortisol and blood sugar have both been linked to obesity, it’s no wonder this one small tweak has such an impact on metabolism and weight!
4) Make pure stevia extract your go-to natural sweetener
Unlike honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar, stevia has no effect on blood sugar whatsoever. Yep, no effect on blood sugar at all!
There are a lot of stevia options out there, and a lot of them are total junk. You want to look for a pure liquid extract with stevia in a base of just alcohol or water and vegetable glycerin, or else pure powdered stevia — look closely at those ingredient labels!
5) Swap your morning coffee for a morning matcha latte
Ah I can hear the groans from here! But trust me: this actually won’t be such a difficult tweak for you.
Because not only does matcha — powdered green tea — offer that burst of caffeine you’re after, but there is SO much more to love too.
Matcha contains l-theanine, an amino acid that actually promotes relaxation and so helps to lower cortisol levels. This helps offset the cortisol-spike from the caffeine!
And matcha’s LOADED with antioxidants, which help fight the signs of aging and prevent sebum oxidation (a key player in adult acne) from within, and also protect the body from damaging free radicals and inflammation.
Bonus points of you spike your matcha with some collagen peptides (more info below!) and MCT oil like in my favorite MAJOR Metabolism-Boosting Matcha Latte.
6) Spike that morning matcha with some collagen peptides
Not only are collagen peptides a GREAT source of supplemental protein — and again, protein helps keep blood sugar levels nice and balanced — but they also support gut, joint, and skin health. It’s one of those multi-beneficial products I use daily and try to get everyone else hooked on too!
I’ve tried a bunch of different brands and the absolute best when it comes to quality and price is Perfect Supplement’s grass-fed collagen peptides. Besides my morning matcha, I add it to my smoothies as a single-ingredient source of protein (no sketchy additives or fillers!).
7) Hit your hydration goal
Proper hydration is key for a healthy body. Period.
The basic water equation is:
Body weight ÷ 2 in fluid ounces + # fluid ounces of diuretic beverages consumed
A great way to start upping your water intake is simply by carrying a reusable water bottle around with you (OK and to fill it and actually drink from it, of course!). And if you need extra motivation or accountability, try downloading a free phone app like Waterlogged, Gulp, or Hydro Diary to keep you on track.
8) Toss the canola and “vegetable oil” in the trash can (and never looking back!)
Don’t get it twisted: these are NOT “heart-healthy” options. They’re incredibly pro-inflammatory and need to be avoided.
- Avocado oil and grass-fed butter or ghee for high-heat cooking
- Olive oil for low-heat cooking and dressings
- Hemp seed oil for dressings
9) Add a high-quality omega-3 supplement to your routine
OK so this one isn’t so much a diet “tweak” as it is the addition of a supplement to your routine. But it’s a biggie and so couldn’t miss this list!
Because 1) omega-3 essential fatty acids are critical for anti-inflammation and 2) the average person’s diet is severely lacking in them. In fact, a great omega-3 supplement is one of the few across-the-board supplements I believe everyone should be taking regularly.
It’s best to take your omega-3 supplement with a meal containing fats so it is best digested.
10) Stock your desk and pantry with nuts and seeds for a protein-packed snack
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with snacking! But let’s make sure you’re doing it right…
Carb- and sugar-rich snacks — pretzels, chips, cookies, fried fruit, and even a lot of “granola bars” — are going to spike your blood sugar and digest quickly, leaving you hungry again in no time. Not to mention stoke the blood sugar roller coaster that suppresses the immune system, is a source of chronic inflammation, leaves us “hangry” and craving sugar like mad(wo)men, and leads to weight gain.
So instead, reach for a snack that that’s rich in protein and healthy fats — these are going to fill you up and keep you full until your next meal. Nuts and seeds are the perfect whole foods option that fits the bill.
Have you noticed a big difference after making one of these small diet tweaks?
Any others you would add to the list?
Join in on the conversation and let us know below in the comments!
Hi Nadia! Is there a particular omega-3 supplement you would recommend?
Hi, I’m wondering how what exact recipe you use for your matcha and collagen peptides. I’ve just ordered the collagen and so I’m hoping I can make it taste good and not too thick in matcha. Thanks!
Good question, Rachel! Yes, green (including matcha) and black teas are also diuretics so I would suggest upping your water intake to compensate!
Hi Nadia. I’m curious about the matcha. Would that be a diuretic to include in your water count? Like would you add those ounces in like you do coffee? Thanks for any help you can offer here.
Hi there! This is Nina from Clean Fresh Beauty –
This is a great post ; I have been slowly working toward and healthy diet and this is very useful. Great site!