Learning how to eat healthy is not as difficult as many people make it out to be. By adhering to a few simple habits, healthy eating can become second nature.
Eat a variety of foods
Most diets fail because most of them either cut out a food group or two, or at the least severely limit what you can eat. Over time, the body will develop a craving for the banned foods and eventually the craving will win … every time. There really isn’t anything you can’t eat – just eat it in small portions and only once in a while.
Weight management is a numbers game. You must burn more calories than what you take in if you want to lose weight. One way to do that is through portion control. A trick used by many people is to eat off of a smaller plate. Instead of using a 12-inch plate, use a 9-inch one. Your eyes will tell your brain it is a full plate of food, but it will have fewer calories than a filled 12-inch plate.
Another trick, especially when eating out, is to avoid “supersizing”. It adds many more calories, but not that much more in nutrition.
Make vegetables and fruits your friend
By their very nature, vegetables and many fruits are lower in calories than foods found in the other food groups. As a matter of fact, some vegetables are negative foods, meaning it takes more calories to process them than what they contain.
If you are going to have fruit, eat it fresh instead of just drinking the juice. By eating whole fruit, you get the fiber that is otherwise filtered out when juiced. Fiber has shown to keep you feeling fuller longer and thus reduces the desire to snack between meals on unhealthy food.
Go whole grain
Whole grains, like oats, wheat and barley, retain the bran and germ that refined grains lose in processing. Look for the “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the product label, or the “Whole Grain Stamp” on the packaging.
Reduce added sugar
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that is added to many food products. Here again, look at the nutrition label to see if sugar has been added. Sometimes companies like to hide it under different names. Look for anything ending in “ose” like dextrose or maltose.
Eat healthy fats
There are three types of fats: saturated, unsaturated and trans. Try to stay away from trans-fat as it is a “manufactured” fat that the body does not know how to handle, so it stores it as bodyfat. Reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat and replace it with healthy unsaturated fats, like olive oil or avocado. Also work into your diet any of the ‘fatty fish” like salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring as they have the good fatty acids omega 3 and 6.
Reduce red meat consumption
As you add in the fatty fish, reduce your intake of red meat. Many of the cuts have a high amount of saturated fat which is bad for your heart and cardiovascular system.
Use these healthy diet habits to reduce your calorie intake and to start eating healthy. Just by reducing the number of calories consumed each day will aid in weight management. Add in exercise and you will burn even more calories.