The Basics of Healthy Eating: 10 Simple Tips for Better Nutrition by Beth Linder-Moss
Trying to start eating healthier this year? Here are my top 10 easy ways to jumpstart healthier eating, complete with the best timing, places to adopt new habits, plus where and how to cook. You can do this!
- Go slowly, do not make all changes at once. Trying to make a lot of changes about eating all at once or in a short period of time is almost certainly going to fail. As we have all spent literally our entire lifetimes learning to eat a certain way, it stands to reason that permanent changes will take longer to make. So be patient and give yourself a break.
- Substitute, eat healthier versions of things you like. There are usually healthier version of things we like to eat available. For example. instead of white rice, try brown rice. Or sweet potatoes instead of white, wheat pasta instead of traditional. This method can be part of the slower pace of change she also recommends.
- Drink more water. Not iced tea, or soda or sports drinks. Water. Tea has caffeine and is a diuretic. You can have tea or coffee, but they cannot count as part of your water intake. Most other beverages have sugar, caffeine or artificial coloring. Avoid these by drinking water.
- Connect with your hunger. We need to ask ourselves if we have an appetite or we are eating just because something is there? As a test, drink a big glass of water. You might be thirsty. But if you are still hungry after a glass of water, eat knowing that you truly are hungry.
- Eat quality calories and pick your foods wisely. Instead of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, put peanut butter on an apple.
- Cook your own foods as much as possible. There is an element of control when cooking at home. You know what you are putting in to cook and mindful of how much oil or salt or other ingredients you are using. When eating out, it is not possible to know the amount or types of things the chef used. These are just some of the reasons why home cooked food is so much better than takeout or eating out. Plus, it is less expensive.
- Balance your meals with protein, carbs and fats. A balanced meal has protein, carbs and fats. Protein is beef, chicken, fish or eggs. Carbs are from things like sweet potatoes. Eat healthy fats. Fat from the avocado is healthy for us. Healthy fats also come from coconuts, sunflower or sesame seeds, cold water fish like salmon or even dark chocolate.
- Where do you eat? At times when eating in the car or in front of the TV, consumption is just mindless. You can be shoveling popcorn into your mouth get to the bottom of the bowl and still not be satisfied. Rather than absent minded consumption, be aware of what and where you are eating. No shoveling.
- Do not be hard on yourself, this a journey. We often judge ourselves harshly when trying to change habits and fall short of perfection. Setting an impossibly high standard is not only unrealistic but can cause people to get discouraged and quit. We are not perfect and will have lapses. Forgive yourself and keep going.
- Make your food tasty with seasoning. Eating healthy does not mean that our food must be bland. Use seasoning to make food tastier. The addition of the right seasoning or spice blend can make that broccoli bolder, salad more savory and rice cakes less terrible.
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