You may have heard of people talking about eating more fresh fruits and vegetables to improve your health and wellbeing. Every body seems to be juice fasting these days or going on detox retreats, but is it really necessary to go so extreme to be healthy?

I would recommend taking it slowly, step by step, without putting your body under too much stress. In this article I would like to share with you a few ways in which you can change some of your daily eating habits to healthier ones, but still enjoy what you eat.

Divide your plate in half

In other words, make what you would normally make for yourself, fill half of your plate with that, and fill the other half with a salad. By adding fresh vegetables to your meal, you will increase the amount of fibre that will go into your body, which will in turn improve your digestion. If you feel like you need more food to be satisfied, opt for a second serving of salad.

Change your snacking habits

One of the most common mistakes that people make is they eat “healthy” food during the main meal times, and then snack on junk food throughout the day, thinking that it doesn’t count.

If you like snacking on sweet things, keep some dried or fresh fruit at hand everywhere you go. If you keep some in your bag or at the office, you’re less likely to go searching for sugary cookies or sweets to eat. If you prefer savoury snacks, get a hold of some kale chips – there are so many flavours you can get! Nuts are also a good option as they will fill you up quickly, just make sure not to overdo it.

Never eat and multitask

We are much more likely to overeat if we’re not paying attention to our food, which is why it’s essential not to eat in front of the TV or at our computer desk. When we are distracted by something, our bodies’ signals that tell us we’re full don’t reach us in time, which in the long run may contribute to weight gain.

Skip or replace one meal a day

For some of you, skipping breakfast or dinner may not seem like a difficult task, and it will give your body a break from digesting all day long. However, you may instead choose to make one meal a day really healthy, and eat whatever you wish for the rest of the day. For example, opt for a green juice or fruit smoothie for breakfast instead of your usual cereal, or have a fully raw dinner instead of a heavier cooked meal.

Cut down on sugar

Refined sugar is one of our biggest addictions, and most of us aren’t even aware of how addicted we truly are. I encourage you to look at labels on products you often use, and replace regular sugar with products that are still sweet but are better for our bodies. For example: coconut sugar/syrup, maple syrup, natural honey, stevia or dates and other dried fruit.

So what changes can you expect if you decide to fill half of your plate with a salad?

Digestion – One of the first things you’ll notice is an improvement to your digestion and your bowel movements. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of fibre and by eating more of them, you will greatly help out your digestive mechanism.

Weight loss – you may start to naturally lose weight, it will be a healthy loss and will stabilise at the ideal weight for you.

Better sleep – many people say that they have more energy in general and sleep better throughout the night when they begin to eat more fresh food and natural juices.

Immunity boost – because you will be giving your body more of what it needs, it may respond by strengthening it’s immune system. You may find that you don’t get the flu as easily as before or not at all!