Healthy Eating Plan
1. Set yourself up for success: To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
A. Simplify: Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
B. Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight is not realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking.
C. Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You do not have to be perfect and you do not have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Do not let your missteps derail you every healthy food choice you make counts.
1. Its not just what you eat, its how you eat: Healthy eating is about more than the food on your plate it is also about how you think about food. Healthy eating habits can be learned and it is important to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down in between meetings or on the way to pick up the kids.
A. Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits particularly for children and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.
B. Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes. Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of our food. Reconnect with the joy of eating.
C. Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
D. Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jump start your metabolism, and eating small, healthy meals throughout the day keeps your energy up and your metabolism going.
E. Avoid eating at night. Try to eat dinner earlier in the day and then fast for 14-16 hours until breakfast the next morning. Early studies suggest that this simple dietary adjustment eating only when you are most active and giving your digestive system a long break each day may help to regulate weight. After-dinner snacks tend to be high in fat and calories so are best avoided, anyway.