Four simple ways to improve your diet

A bowl of vegetables with hummus
Getty Images
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
23 March 2021

If you’re anything like us, over the last year your diet has changed somewhat – and not always for the better. Working from home means that the kitchen is just a few steps away and there are no colleagues around to judge you for snacking every 20 minutes. We get it – we’re tempted by the cookie jar too! Fortunately, Virgin Pulse has some great tips and an excellent nutrition toolkit to help you improve your diet and step away from the fridge.

Drink more water

Did you know that drinking water can help decrease the hunger you feel before meals? It may also increase how full you feel after eating and help to promote weight loss. Studies show that people who drink two glasses of water before they eat consume 22% less than those who don’t drink any water.

Not sure how much water you should be drinking? Take a look at this video from Virgin Pure.

Eat your greens

We don’t want to sound like your mum, but you do need to eat your vegetables. At the moment, it seems that people in the US aren’t eating enough fresh food (especially fruit and veg). Research shows that in 2020, purchases of sugary, fatty, highly processed foods went up by 30%.

Experts recommend that 85% of your food each day should be non-processed, nutrient dense items such as fresh or frozen produce, whole grains, lean proteins, dairy and legumes. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans points out that 90% of Americans do not consume the recommended servings of vegetables. If you’re not a huge fan of the way that vegetables taste, why not look up some recipes for hidden vegetables in sauces or other ways to make them delicious?

A family making a healthy meal together
Getty Images

Remember you’re sweet enough

Sugar consumption is a major issue – and it’s not just what’s on your plate that matters. Drinks can hide so much sugar without you even realising. One 12oz (330ml) can of fizzy drink can contain as much as 39g of sugar – which is more than the daily amount that the American Heart Association recommends an adult should consume.

Opt for no added sugar alternatives to your favourite drinks – or try to drink water with some fruit in it for flavouring.

An older couple making a meal together
Getty Images

Spice up your life – and reduce the salt

Eating a diet that limits your salt intake can help lower your blood pressure. 45% of American adults currently live with high blood pressure so it’s worth taking note.

Thankfully, reducing your salt intake isn’t as hard as it might sound. Most of the salt that we eat comes from commercially prepared and highly processed foods. By preparing your meals yourself and avoiding fast foods, you can easily reduce the amount of salt you’re consuming and use herbs and spices to add flavour.

Looking for more healthy lifestyle tips and advice? Head over to Virgin Pulse.