Are you looking for tips on eating healthier? Does all the conflicting nutritional advice hurled by the “experts” have you overwhelmed and confused?
You are not alone. Instead of making yourself crazy, bouncing from one extreme diet to another or trying to make too many changes all at once, I would like to suggest a simple, sensible approach to healthy eating. It’s based on tradition, common sense, and moderation. It works for me, my 93-year-old grandmother, countless others, and it can work for you too.
These tips for eating healthier go beyond the food because, it isn’t only what you eat that matters. Where you eat, how you eat, when you eat, and with whom you eat are also important to a healthy balanced diet and way of life.
To get started here are some simple ways to make your diet healthier.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are critical to a balanced healthy diet. They are high in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants and naturally low in calories. Research shows that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables provides lots of health benefits, including protection against cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and the effects of aging. The USDA food pyramid suggests eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and the Harvard School of Public Health suggests 9. If this seems overwhelming, commit to having at least one fruit or vegetable every time you eat. Another strategy is to make sure that vegetables cover at least half your plate.
Drink more water. Your body needs water to work properly. If water isn’t your primary beverage, you probably are taking in a lot more sugar, empty calories, and/or artificial sweeteners than you need. Everybody’s water requirements are different. Be sure to drink enough water to produce pale yellow urine. For most people this means 6 to 8 glasses a day. If you hate drinking plain water, try adding lemon or a dash of fruit juice or give sparkling water a try. Get the facts about tips for prepping healthier meals see this.
Increase the quality of your food. With food, like most other things in life, you get what you pay for. Choose the highest quality version of whatever food you are eating. This means focusing on fresh, real, whole, homemade, organic, gourmet, and local as much as possible. It is one of the most simple and practical nutritional steps you can take toward eating healthier. When it comes to food, quality counts.
Limit snacking. I know this may sound radical and I may be showing my age, but when did it become socially acceptable to eat continuously throughout the day? I can still here my mother telling me to stop snacking so I wouldn’t ruin my appetite for dinner. While a carefully planned nutritious snack or two, can help prevent you from overeating later, it’s important to set limits so you don’t find yourself grazing all throughout the day. If you are eating balanced healthy meals you should be able to go 4 to 5 hours without getting hungry.
Don’t get too hungry or too full. Getting too hungry can lead to overeating, which is always a bad idea. Eating too much at a time over-challenges your digestive system, which can lead to indigestion, heartburn, bloating, cramping and gas. Learn to eat in a way that sustains you for at least 4 to 5 hours. This means eating meals that include protein, fiber, and healthy fats. It also means slowing down and tuning into your body so you can notice the signals it sends to let you know when it is hungry and when it has had enough. You want an amount of food that satisfies you without feeling tired or full.
Only eat when seated at a table. Never eat standing up or on the run. It’s hard for your body to digest properly when you are in stress mode. This can lead to digestive upset and/or weight gain. And since you are not paying attention, it’s easy to overeat. Slow down, take a seat, breathe deeply, and then eat. Make it a priority to eat only when seated at a table. Your body will thank you.
There you have it, six simple tips for eating healthier. You don’t have to try to do everything at once. Choose just one thing that appeals to you, and then another, and another. Don’t rush. Don’t try to be perfect. Small changes implemented over time can produce huge results. And that is what balanced healthy living is all about.