For decades, we’ve been told that the best way to lose weight and improve your health is to go on a diet. But studies show that dieting may do more harm than good. Instead making a few simple changes to the way you eat could put you on the path to better health.

Here are 8 ways to ditch dieting and boost your overall health.

  1. Eat gut-friendly foods. Consuming high fiber foods like oats, beans, lentils, brown rice, quinoa, nuts and vegetables keep your gut microbiome nourished and your digestion functioning optimally.
  2. Ditch packaged foods. Ultra-processed foods can put you at risk for chronic diseases. Read your labels and choose foods with as few ingredients as possible. Look for foods with labels that include “minimally processed,” “grass-fed”, or “whole grain”.
  3. Add healthy fats and protein to your plate. Eat foods like nuts, avocados, eggs, yogurt, and wild caught seafood.
  4. Watch your portions when eating in the evening. Our bodies are not designed to digest food later in the day. Eat your heaviest meals earlier in the day, when metabolism is higher, and stop eating before sundown, if possible.
  5. Incorporate fermented foods. Nutrient-dense foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and yogurt are beneficial to gut health.
  6. Make your first food of the day a vegetable. Eating vegetables as your first food have been found to make you feel full longer and preventing blood sugar spikes that can result from eating sugary foods and breads.
  7. Drink more water. Ditch sugar-laden drinks that add empty calories.
  8. Live the life of a centenarian. Centenarians, or people who live long lives nearing 100 years, regularly eat nuts, beans, whole grains, eggs, olive oil, fruits and vegetables. They also exercise, like gardening and walking, every day.
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