Build a better breakfast:Often called the most important meal of the day, research shows people who eat breakfast generally weigh less, have a better mood and are more productive. But what you eat is key to maximizing these benefits. A breakfast loaded with sugar or carbs and not much else – think donut, cereal bar or bagel -- is likely to cause you to crash a few hours later. To get the most from your morning meal, make sure you include fiber and protein. If you are short on time in the morning, something as simple as a hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit, Greek yogurt with berries, or mixing peanut butter into your oatmeal will provide you with fiber and protein to keep you energized through your busy morning routine.
Add fruit to your favorite recipes:While fruit naturally contains sugar, it also has fiber to help balance your blood sugar levels and is packed with vitamins and minerals for good health. For example, a ¾ cup serving of grapes containing just 90 calories provides a natural source of beneficial antioxidants, vitamin K and heart-healthy compounds. In addition to being a smart snack straight off the vine, grapes are super easy to include in your favorite recipes. Whether you blend them into your morning smoothie, add them to your grilled cheese or pizza, or toss them in your rice or chicken dish, grapes and other fruit provide a natural sweetness to make it easier to stick with your healthier eating intentions.
Cook… more:While most people do not have time to cook three meals a day, cooking more often is key to good health. According to recent research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, people who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less. The study also showed that those who frequently cooked at home (6 to 7 nights a week) consumed fewer calories when they ate out.
Replace carbs with vegetables:Try swapping low-calorie veggies for starchy vegetables, bread or pasta in your recipes. Instead of using two slices of bread in your sandwich, wrap the contents in lettuce leaves and shave 200 calories off your meal. If you love pasta try using zucchini pasta instead. Cauliflower also works as a creamy, lower-carb substitute in many recipes like mashed potatoes or mac and cheese.
Snack on nuts:A healthy and convenient snack choice that fits the bill are nuts like pistachios, which provide protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you energized. A 2013 Harvard University study suggests a daily handful of pistachios may have a role in health and longevity. Plus, research suggests pistachios are a weight wise snack.