Eating well is not that complicated. It is actually very simple. Of course, that doesn’t make it easy, given how busy we are and how plentiful and cheap unhealthy food choices can be. To keep healthy eating simple, I have devised my list of 12 simple steps for eating well to guide you.
Twelve Simple Steps for Eating Healthier
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens
Make eating more fruits and vegetables your number one priority. It is the foundation of my healthy eating strategy. Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, healthy antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. They fill you you up without filling you out, so it is easier to eat less of everything else, helping you to stay slim naturally.
2. Eat a wide variety of foods from all the food groups
Variety is the spice of life and a key component of healthy eating. Make sure your diet includes all the food groups – fruits and vegetables, healthy natural fats, whole grains, nuts, legumes, dairy, soy, meats, eggs, and fish. Try not to get stuck in food ruts where you find yourself eating the same few foods day in and day out.
3. Cut back on the sugar and processed foods
According to a report in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, The average American consumes 133 pounds of sugar per year. This is way too much sugar and can lead to health problems. Is it any wonder that obesity and type 2 diabetes are out of control? Sugar can be very addictive; the more you eat, the more you crave-establishing a vicious cycle so skip the soda and sugary snacks whenever and wherever you can. Try a handful of nuts when you are hungry. They are much healthier and satisfying.
4. Slow down and eat for pleasure
This may be the most important of the twelve simple steps for eating well. Food is one of life’s great pleasures that should be enjoyed completely. Have what you want and really enjoy it. No food is totally off limits. If you want dark chocolate, have dark chocolate. Just be sure to slow down and savor it without guilt! Don’t eat what you don’t want. Life is too short to eat food you don’t want just because it is available.
5. Eat when you are physically hungry and stop when you are full
Learn to reconnect with your body’s innate wisdom and its hunger and satiation signals. Don’t stuff yourself or fall into the mindless snacking habit. It’s hard to pay attention if you are eating while doing other things so do not eat in the car, while checking email, or standing over the kitchen sink.
If you are tempted to eat when you are sad or happy or angry, do something else to distract your self like call a friend or take a walk. Ask yourself what it is you really want and if eating is going to make your situation better. Often this delay is all that is required to break the cycle of unhealthy emotional eating. Just 5 to 10 minutes of basic yoga exercises and focused breathing is all I need to stop a Ben & Jerry binge.
Seek support if you struggle with severe emotional eating issues.
6. Practice portion control
Most of us eat way too much. Serving sizes are huge and not just at the fast food establishments. Did you know the average bagel is equal to five servings of grain? Load up on your veggies, which are naturally low in calories, leaving less room on your plate for the proteins, dairy, and starches. When eating out, bring part of your meal home for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner. Try gradually decreasing the amount you put on your plate, trick yourself by using a smaller plate – it really works. You may be surprised at just how little you need to feel full.
7. Drink plenty of water
Did you know the average body is composed of 55-60% water? Your blood is 83% water and your muscles 75%. Water keeps your body hydrated which is critical for proper functioning. Exactly how much water you need depends on many things including how many water rich foods you are eating, where you live and your activity levels. Try to drink clean filtered water whenever you can to avoid chlorine and other contaminants. If you don’t like the taste of water perk it up with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange, cucumber slices or a splash of fruit juice. Give sparkling water a try. It’s a refreshing alternative to soda and juice.
8. Find an activity you love and do it regularly
Healthy living includes healthy eating and healthy moving. Our bodies were designed for movement. Seek fun ways to exercise. Basic yoga and walking are my preferred ways of staying active. I encourage you to give basic yoga a try if it sounds interesting. Maybe pilates, swimming, or dancing is more appealing. The key is to find something you love to do so it seems less like work and more like fun.
9. Seek balance, not perfection
Lose the all or nothing; good vs. evil thinking. Food is not inherently good or evil. Yes, some food is more nutritious, some more caloric, but don’t get obsessive or militant. Think in terms of your overall day or week when assessing your healthy eating strategy. Employ the 80-20 rule. If most of your meals are balanced and healthy, the occasional treat(s) or unhealthy meal won’t be a problem. It’s how you eat most of the time that’s important.
10. Cook as often as you can
Cooking is the best way to make sure the food you are eating is healthy and balanced. It is a wonderful way to really connect with the whole process of nourishing yourself and those you love. Cooking does not have to be complicated or difficult. Focus on easy recipes with just a few ingredients.
11. Take a high quality multi-vitamin
Just to be safe, supplement your healthy diet with a high quality multi-vitamin. Optimal health can be hard to achieve through healthy eating alone, even with your best 먹튀검증커뮤니티 intentions. Studies show that our food does not contain as many nutrients as it used to – mainly from overuse of chemicals and depletion of the soil. The American Medical Association suggests vitamin supplementation.
12. Nurture your body, mind, and spirit
What you eat is only one component of my recipe for healthy eating. Where, when, and with whom you eat matters too. Make eating a pleasurable, social experience like the Mediterranean cultures do.
Make your life as full and rewarding as possible with enjoyable satisfying work, supportive friends, and healthy relationships. Engage in self care that nourishes your body, mind and spirit. Figure out what nurtures you and do it. Try to get enough sleep. Treat yourself to a massage or pedicure. Read inspirational works. Be compassionate with yourself and others. Practice Gratitude. Take time to appreciate and savor your life.
So there you have them – my twelve simple steps for healthier eating. Incorporating just one of these steps into your life can have lasting positive results.
Martha McKinnon is a health coach who believes that healthy eating and balanced living can be simple and delicious. She loves helping others achieve their health and life goals by providing simple practical suggestions and ongoing guidance and support.