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Between work deadlines, busy family schedules, and little time for sleep, you might be putting your healthy eating habits on the back burner. However, with National Nutrition Month fast approaching, now is the perfect time to make a few lifestyle changes that will make a big impact on your overall health.


Five small eating changes can make a BIG difference:


1. Refresh your diet — The average adult should aim to consume at least 4 cups of fresh fruits and vegetables, 5 ounces of natural lean protein and around 6 ounces of whole grains daily. The more unpackaged and unprocessed foods you consume, the healthier you will be.


2. Snack well and often — Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can boost your metabolism, help maintain blood sugars, and help you avoid hunger and overeating. Preparing your own snacks means you can better track what you’re eating. So pack granola, bagged fruits or veggies, protein bars or nuts before leaving the house.


3. Stay hydrated — Most people don’t drink enough water, often mistaking hunger for thirst. Drinking 9-13 cups of water per day should keep your diet on the right track.


4. Say goodbye to sugared soda — Ditching just one can of regular soda eliminates 10 teaspoons of sugar a day from your diet. Try substituting green tea or natural fruit juice mixed with sparkling water instead.


5. Practice the 80-20 rule — Nobody’s perfect. Plan ahead to make smart eating choices 80 percent of the time so the remaining 20 percent can be spent splurging on your favorite “cheat foods” during social events or dining at restaurants.


Living a healthy lifestyle becomes less of a challenge when you incorporate small improvements over time. It’s all about developing realistic strategies that will become a habit forever.

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