What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about healthy eating? Dietary limitations, starvation, being unrealistically thing, or simply giving up all those foods you like – is a preconceived notion.
It’s time to change the way you think. Healthy eating is, rather, about eating nutritious foods and feeling great about it, feeling energetic, and stabilizing mood.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed with the diet gurus and their advice, you can follow some simple tips and cut through your confusion to plan a tasty and healthy diet.
Setting Up Your Diet Goal for Success
In order to plan a successful diet, think about some healthier and manageable steps instead of making drastic changes, a gradual approach to the changes, focused and committed, will help you to achieve your goals sooner.
Focus on the freshness, variety and color of food – not on calories and portion sizes. This will enable you to make healthier choices.
Emphasize on finding some foods that you really enjoy and certain easy recipes to go with it. Gradually, you will realize that you are eating healthier and delicious foods.
Start making slow changes to your foods habits. If you aim to improve overnight, you will not succeed.
Making smart or realistic choices is the way to go. If you plan to change everything at one shot, you will end up depriving yourself or cheating on your new diet plan.
Making smaller steps, such as adding more fresh veggies to your diet or switching to olive oil, are smart decisions.
Every change in your diet, matters.
It isn’t necessary to be perfect or eliminate foods completely from your diet. You should aim for a long-term goal in order to feel good and get more energy.
Be a Moderate Eater – A Moderator
Healthy eating isn’t just another “yes” or “no” proposition. They key foundation for healthy diet planning is moderation.
Moderation means, eating foods as much as the body requires. Once you eat, you should be satisfied at the end of your meal, not stuffed. Moderation can also be termed as balance.
Our body requires a balanced amount of nutrients – protein, vitamins, fiber, fat, carbohydrates and minerals for sustaining good health.
The aim of eating healthy is to plan a diet that can be maintained for life – a pragmatic approach.
More specifically, you should start by replacing unhealthy foods like sugar and saturated fat, with healthy foods like vegetables and fresh fruits.
Avoid setting your off-limits. Whenever you try to ban some foods or a particular food group, your body will crave for it more.
You will, often, fail to resist the temptation. So, you should start by reducing your portion sizes and eating them less frequently.
In addition, you should focus on smaller portions or servings. Serving sizes, of late, have ballooned.
Whenever you eat out, choose a healthy starter over an entrée and try to split your dishes with a friend. Visual cues will help you decide how much to eat.
Bigger portions are only going to stuff your stomach to make it work harder.
How You Eat – Not What You Eat
Healthy eating, again, isn’t about the food on your platter – it’s rather about how you eat or think about the food served to you.
Remember, healthy food habits can be inculcated. You must learn to slow down and give a thought to nourishment instead of simply gulping down anything that’s been served to you.
Eat with your family and friends. It has emotional and social benefits, especially for children. It helps you eat healthy too.
Eating with the TV on actually makes you overeat mindlessly. This is fact!
Chew your food to enjoy it thoroughly. Chewing ensures that the flavors tantalize your taste buds and you enjoy the texture of food. It aids digestion too.
Listen to your body’s call – are you hungry? Eat only when you are hungry. Else, drink water to bury the thought.
Sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger, which makes you overeat. Also, stop eating before you start feeling full.
Fill Up Your Platter with Colorful Veggies and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits are the key to healthy diet. They are nutrient dense and contain fewer calories. They give you minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.
Include greens (kale, broccoli, mustard greens, Chinese cabbage), sweet veggies (corn, beets, carrots, onion, squash, sweet potatoes), and fruits (berries, apples, mangoes, oranges).
Include Whole Grains and Healthy Carbs
Don’t deprive your body of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate is the source of fuel and energy for the body.
Choose healthy carbs and sources of fiber, such as whole lasting, to get long-lasting energy. These foods also protect against certain cancers, diabetes and coronary heart diseases.
Healthy carbs are digested slowly, often called complex carbs, include:
- Whole grains
Unhealthy carbs are digested quickly, also called simple carbs, include:
- Refined sugar
- White flour
- White rice
Savor Healthy Fats
Fat is needed to nourish the heart, brains and cells. It is also beneficial for your skin, hair and nails. Foods that contain healthy omega-3 fats like DHA and EPA should be consumed.
Add monounsaturated fats (canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, avocado, and seeds and nuts) and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 and 6 found in salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovy fishes).
Reduce or completely eliminates saturated and trans fats.
In conclusion, drink plenty of water during the day so that the nutrients can travel to different parts of the body.
Get a dose of calcium after 35, especially women. Limit salt and sugar intake from, if possible, childhood and have proteins to build muscles and recover.