Living a healthy lifestyle can sound challenging and sometimes, even a little scary. But, it doesn’t have to be! There are 7 nutrition principles everyone should apply to their lifestyle in order to improve their health and live a better life.

1.  Eat a well balanced breakfast. Taking the time to eat a well balanced breakfast each and every morning will do wonders for your body. It will boost your metabolism and kick start your day. Try some whole grain toast, a hard boiled egg, some fresh fruit, a cup of yogurt and a cup of coffee. This will keep you feeling full and energized throughout the morning.

2.  Eat less by eating more. I know that the rule of thumb is to eat three meals a day, but eating 5-6 smaller meals a day is actually a lot better for your metabolism. Instead of waiting until you’re starving to eat, spread your meals throughout the day. Eat smaller snacks in between your bigger meals to curb your appetite and control your portion sizes.

3.  It’s the little things that count. Between work, cooking dinner, tending to the kids and housework, there isn’t much time left to exercise. But, there are some alternative ways to sneak a little exercise into your schedule. Try parking towards the back of the parking lot as opposed to the front. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take the kids for a walk after dinner. The little changes you make will add up. You don’t have to train for a marathon to be active.

4.  Stay hydrated. Most people tend to drink water only when they’re thirsty. You should be keeping your body hydrated all day to prevent dehydration. Just because you’re not thirsty, doesn’t mean you’re hydrated. The best way to make sure you’re drinking enough water and keeping your body hydrated is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.

5.  Pack your lunch. Stay as far away from fast food restaurants and cafeterias as you can! While those are two very convenient options, by packing your own lunch you are guaranteed a well balanced and nutritious meal with a little forethought.

6.  Eat fruits or veggies with every meal. Fruits and vegetables provide you with all natural anti oxidants, vitamins and minerals that will do wonders for everything from your skin and hair to your metabolism.

7.  Stay away from processed foods. Processed foods are like poison for your body. You want to fill your body with whole grains and fresh produce, not trans fats and empty carbohydrates. 100% whole wheat foods such as whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta and brown rice will give your body more stable energy.