5 ways healthy eating will change your life plus 5 diet tips

We all know eating whole, healthy food is important, but trashy food is so deliciously tempting. Here are five ways healthy eating can positively affect your life, along with tips to start eating healthy and how to build habits to keep eating healthy.

Nicholas DeRose
By Nicholas DeRose

January 15, 2023
5 ways healthy eating will change your life plus 5 diet tips

Healthy eating is downright difficult. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a double bacon cheeseburger whenever one is presented as an option, ranch always accompanies french fries, and you can take down an entire pizza once a week along with a Mexican Coke–to avoid the high fructose corn syrup in regular Coke, of course. If you’re trying to stay on the wagon this year, here are some reminders for how eating healthy can impact your life in positive ways.

1. You’ll look and feel better about yourself

Actively taking steps to improve your body’s function can lead you to feel a sense of well-being and happiness. You’ll start to notice little differences in your health. Maybe you’re able to walk, run, or hike longer now or you’re able to keep up with your kids more. And you’ll notice a positive physical difference too. Even if all you’re doing is eating healthier, you’ll look in the mirror and feel better about your appearance than you did when you were eating garbage.

Tip: Take Baby Steps

While it may seem like a daunting, unattainable feat, especially if you’ve tried and failed in the past, eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. As the movie What About Bob? has taught us, baby steps can help you inch your way to success.

You don’t need to cut everything out all at once. That’s a surefire way to find yourself down in the dumps. Cutting out all the delicious, high-fat food and sugar can be a real change for your body, but also affects your brain. Studies show that eating high-fat and high-sugar food gives us a big 'ol hit of dopamine. Without that dopamine response, you may feel depressed or find that your mood isn’t the greatest. If you find yourself in this situation, exercise as much as you can to boost your natural dopamine levels. You may also find supplementing with Lithium Orotate can give you a mood boost to get you through the worst of it.

Your body will eventually reach balance, homeostasis, but will take a few days to a few weeks. Until then, just keep taking baby steps. If you have one particular problem food, like cookies or ice cream, cut that out first but replace it with something else that you can indulge in. Later on, you can switch it out to something healthy and indulgent. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a healthy body certainly isn’t either.

2. You’ll have more energy

Eating excess sugar can cause insulin spikes. When your insulin drops back down, it can make you feel drowsy. Eating unhealthy, high-fat food can also make you feel sluggish. Research suggests CCK (cholecystokinin) may be to blame, a hormone that is released in the small intestine when high-fat foods are consumed. Eating any food that increases inflammation in the body, whether it be high-sugar or high-fat, causes cytokines to be released in the body.

Tip: Pre-Make Your Meals

When it comes to meals, easy food is generally unhealthy. Heat up a microwave lunch, make a quick sandwich, or go out to eat. Healthy food seems to be more difficult to make because it generally requires more ingredients and more steps. Processed food has already done the hard part done for you, a whole foods approach requires more preparation and more time.

If you’re busy during the day, pre-making your meals is an absolute lifesaver. We pre-make a whole batch of steel cut oatmeal every Sunday night and then make a large batch of some kind of easy but healthy lunch, usually chicken salad or soup. Coming from eating bacon and eggs just about everyday, I knew I needed to cut back on the good stuff, so I turned to oatmeal. Having it ready to go in the morning has been lifechanging. I no longer skip breakfast if I’m not feeling eggs, I reach for the oatmeal, and my body thanks me for giving it the extra fiber it needs.

3. You’ll have less pain

Inflammation from eating unhealthy food can be a source of pain for many. If you have chronic pain or headaches, it may be directly related. Even if you’re not associating your diet with pain, eliminating or lessening the amount of processed food you eat can lead to a reduction in pains and aches. Your GI tract will also thank you for not having to go to DEFCON1 anymore when you eat.

Tip: Make healthy food taste good

Because we get so used to eating delicious fats and sugars all the time, switching to bland old healthy vegetables and salads can be a shock to the tastebuds. It’s the number one reason I go back to my cheeseburgers and my pizza, the taste. But you can do something to dress up the flavor on your healthy food, and it’s called sauce. Make a tasty sauce to accompany your baked potato or your grilled chicken. Add some Worcestershire sauce to your next salad dressing for some Umami flavor. Experiment, find what you like, and pre-make some sauces and dressings so you never have to eat a bland veggie again.

4. You’ll get better sleep

We’ve all heard about the gut-brain connection at this point. The food you eat has a direct impact on your gut bacteria, which in turn can have an effect on your sleep. Getting the adequate amount of nutrients your body needs during the day leads to the proper sleepy-time formula your brain needs for proper sleep. If you have vitamin or mineral deficiencies, you may benefit from supplements Zinc, Magnesium, or Magnolia Bark for sleep.

Tip: Indulge

This tip is especially helpful if you’re just starting out on your healthy eating journey and goes along with the first tip, taking baby steps. You don’t want to cut out the good stuff entirely, at least not right away, and you still want to give your body, your tastebuds, and your mind something to look forward to. Unless you are a sugar monster that cannot indulge without jumping straight off the wagon, give yourself something indulgent after a period of healthy eating. A small piece of chocolate or a small bowl of ice cream, just don’t go crazy with it.

Your brain works well with reward systems. If you can hack your brain to do some “work” (i.e. healthy eating) in order to achieve a “reward” (i.e. a treat), you can create healthy eating habits that your brain will actually enjoy doing. I still have my cheeseburgers and my pizza, just after a period of healthy eating.

5. Prevent sickness and premature aging

Eating healthy has all kinds of cellular benefits for your body. Getting the proper nutrients everyday from your food is essential for healthy skin, teeth, and eyes. Eating healthy also keeps your immune system healthy, helping it fight off bacteria and viruses like the flu and Covid-19 and keeping your allergies in check. Eating a wide variety of whole, healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, and legumes is the best way to give your body what it needs to thrive.

Tip: Supplement nutrients you’re not getting from diet

It can be very difficult to get 100% of the nutrients our bodies need everyday. For example, if you find you didn’t get any leafy greens during the day, you may find supplementing with Zinc and Magnesium is helpful. If you’re unsure about what vitamins you’re lacking, start with a multivitamin.

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Nicholas DeRose

Nicholas DeRose is a health advocate, writer, and researcher. He is passionate about helping others in their journey to wellness by providing evidence-based information and tips that are proven to increase quality of life.