While it’s true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can certainly judge a person by what they eat. But don’t just look at the way someone eats; pay attention to how it makes them feel and how it affects their health and well-being overall. For example, eating an excessive amount of food with an unhealthy fat content will lead to weight gain, but even if someone doesn’t technically gain weight from it, they could still experience other negative health effects such as increased cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Eat mindfully

When we eat mindfully, we enjoy our food more and make better choices when it comes to what we consume. While mindful eating may seem like an oxymoron food is often best enjoyed with very little thought involved!—it simply means focusing on what you’re doing and how you feel in that moment. It can be difficult at first, but studies show that with practice, mindful eaters are less likely to overeat, are more satisfied after meals, and experience less guilt about their food choices.

Keep a journal of what you eat

Start by keeping a daily food diary for three days, in which you note everything you eat and drink. It may seem like a lot of effort at first, but research shows that writing down what you eat can actually reduce calorie intake over time. (If nothing else, it will help curb mindless snacking.) Plus, researchers have found that people who write about their food choices show more restraint than those who don’t. If you’re looking for inspiration, download a few apps like MyFitnessPal and track what you eat every day.

Cut out added sugar

Sugars are often added to food without our knowledge, and many of them are extremely bad for us. Added sugars have been linked with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and several other serious medical conditions. Look at nutrition labels for things like corn syrup or any form of sugar near the top of a list—this means there’s a significant amount in that product. Foods with added sugar also have empty calories; they provide energy but very little else in terms of vitamins or minerals.

Eat more fiber

Eating more fiber is essential for a healthy, balanced diet. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels and keeps us feeling fuller for longer. Studies have found that fiber can reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

Hydrate yourself

Drinking lots of water is a great way to stay healthy; it helps you stay hydrated and prevents dehydration, which can be damaging or even fatal. Even mild dehydration can slow down our bodies and make us feel lethargic. It’s easy enough just to drink some water throughout your day, but if you really want a boost in energy levels, try drinking about 17 ounces of room-temperature water in between meals.

Fruits and vegetables are good, but so are meats, fish, and dairy

How many times have you been told that fruits and vegetables are good for your muscles blaze? It’s true: A diet rich in fresh produce is linked with a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, and some cancers. But—are you listening closely?—you don’t need to completely eliminate meat, fish, and dairy from your plate to reap these benefits. Rather than viewing all foods as either good or bad, look at what fills up most of your plate.

Stop with the portion sizes already!

When you go out for a meal, ask for a takeaway box as soon as you’ve finished. If you always eat until your plate is empty, that means you’re overeating. If a full plate is a too much food for one person, it probably is. How often do we eat more than we need? Probably all of us at least once in a while – and when it comes to overeating, portion sizes can play a huge role in how much food we consume.

Focus on cooking at home rather than dining out.

Cooking at home allows you to control what goes into your food. You know exactly what’s in it, because you made it! And it means you can prepare an overall healthier meal that fits into a healthy diet. Learn how to cook; start with easy recipes and then expand from there. You’ll feel good about what you put in your body, and who knows you might even save money by cooking at home rather than ordering out or dining out on occasion.

Balance each meal with carbs, protein, and fat.

Your body needs all three macronutrients to function properly. Carbohydrates give you energy and help you feel full, protein helps build Musclesblaze mass, and fat is essential for healthy cell development. That said, not all fats are created equal some are much better for you than others. This is why it’s important to monitor what kinds of fats you eat as well as how much.

Don’t starve yourself.

It seems counterintuitive, but when you are trying to lose weight, it’s better not to fast or starve yourself. Skipping meals may save calories in the short term, but your body will go into starvation mode and slow down its metabolism as a result of slowed digestion and energy burn. After fasting for a few days, you’ll likely start craving more food than before and that can mean gaining back all those extra pounds that you worked so hard to shed.