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10 Easy Ways to Kick-Start a New Healthy Eating Lifestyle
There is a huge amount
of sometimes conflicting, often confusing, nutrition and diet information
available. Therefore, its very understandable when people become
discouraged about selecting an eating plan for themselves. Even scientific
studies often contradict each other. How can we figure out how best to
eat for overall health or weight loss?
2. Strive to eat 1-2 servings of fruits or vegetables at each meal or snack. This will add up to several servings a day which is recommended for optimal nutrition.
3. Switch to whole grains. Go for the healthier whole grains in breads, pasta, tortillas, and cereals. Also eat brown rice instead of white. Youll be taking in more beneficial fiber and gaining all the other benefits of whole, rather than processed, grains.
4. Get your sweet tooth under control. Start to slowly reduce the portion sizes and frequency of your intake of any sugared treats. Try switching to unsweetened breakfast cereals. Go from full-sized candy bars to bite-size. And, if you are accustomed to eating dessert after every meal, switch to fruit as a dessert a few times per week. The less you eat the sweets, the less youll crave over time (really!).
5. Switch to lean meats. Avoid highly marbled beef, high fat pork ribs and chops, regular ground beef and other fatty cuts. Try substituting lean ground beef and turkey, pork tenderloin and flank steak, along with fish and shellfish.
6. Switch to lower fat dairy products. You can really influence your calorie and fat daily totals by switching to lower fat milk, cottage cheese, cheese, sour cream and more. If you enjoy fat-free, work your way down to that. If you really dont enjoy the taste, then go to the lower fat varieties (thats what I do!).
7. Find a couple of lower fat salad dressings that you enjoy. With all the vegetable youll be eating as part of your new eating style, a couple healthier dressing options will go a long way toward making them more enjoyable. In addition to using on salads, you can use dressings for marinade, dips, sandwich spreads, and whenever you can use some extra flavor.
8. Slowly reduce your portion sizes. Most people who are carrying around some extra weight probably are eating too much food. By slowly reducing your portion sizes, youll feel less deprived as you make your way down to a portion size you feel comfortable and satisfied eating.
9. Learn how to read and compare nutrition label information. This will help avoid common mistakes made by people experimenting with healthier foods, such as overeating low fat items even though they contain as many calories as the full-fat varieties. Look at things like fiber, protein and sugar content to help you understand what youre feeding your body and how it makes you feel.
10. Although this isnt directly an eating issue, increase your activity! Healthy eating is only half of the equation. For ideal health, your body needs to move and move often. Again, start slowly and gradually increase your activity. This doesnt necessarily mean hard exercise walking, housework, gardening and running around with your kids can lead to healthy changes in your fitness level. Many experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise three times a week as a minimum for overall health. Each person should talk with their doctor, and determine what type and level of exercise will best suit them.
Even though you may determine you want to make additional lifestyle changes, these basic healthy tips will give you a great start toward improved health. Take it at your own pace and make changes that fit into your lifestyle. You dont need to eat foods you dont enjoy just because they are healthy. It would be better for you to experiment to find foods you do enjoy, so that you are motivated to keep eating them. Always keep in mind that youre making these changes to become a healthier person that will live a longer, more active life!
Erin Rogers, a work-at-home
mom of two, is the founder of Health-E-Meals.com, providing practical
healthy living resources for busy people. Visit her website to sign up
for the FREE newsletter, 'Dinners on the Double' - offering a quick and
healthy, no-recipe dinner idea each week. Other available services include
quick and healthy recipes, healthy cooking articles, fitness and motivation
tips, healthy living web links, and lots more! Erin can be reached via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.