You can simplify your healthy eating plan and still stay on track. Follow these realistic practices to provide you with the greatest opportunity for healthy, enjoyable eating.
Read Nutrition Labels.
Blindly selecting items in the grocery store is dangerous because there are hidden fats, salts and sugars in many unexpected places. Learn how to read food labels and consciously purchase foods that are healthier options. Because of reading food labels, I’ve now make my own bread, purchase 100% juice canned fruit and no sugar added applesauce, and buy frozen vegetables instead of canned. You can make easy switches like these and easily improve the healthy options available to yourself and your family.
Measure Your Food.
When I’m hungry, I throw caution to the wind and load my plate with food. I’ve learned that by measuring out the amount of food I eat, it’s easier for me to stick to a healthy selection. I allow myself to load up on fruits, veggies and lean meats or beans. But as a general rule for casseroles, creamy dishes or processed sides; I stick to the serving size as my maximum.
Make Easy Swaps.
Reduce the oil by 1/2 in cakes and sweet breads (like Banana Bread or Pumpkin Bread) by adding applesauce instead. When making soups and stews, double the vegetable ration and reduce the meat included. Always use real butter instead of margarine; real ingredients are a must and beat processed counterparts in flavor and health-factor. Use spices instead of salt for full flavor. Don’t add salt to meals, it usually gets masked in the cooking process–instead have individuals add spices and flavorings themselves to completed dishes.
Make Healthy Options Visible.
On my work desk everyday in plain sight? 2-3 pieces of fresh fruit. Other work snacks I have like crackers and peanut butter are hidden, so I start with the healthiest items first. And it’s easy because I glance at them all day as I’m working on my computer. Making healthy options visible at work and at home makes you more likely to pick the healthy options first.
Go Back For Seconds.
Does this sound backwards? Make your first trip to the buffet line a reasonable portion. I’m sure there will be more if you need to go back for seconds. Savor your first plate and eat it slowly, while drinking lots of water. If you’re still hungry after you’ve cleaned your plate, go back for only the best items and select reasonable portions.
Savor the First Three Bites.
Indulgences like desserts are delicious, but it seems like the first three bites really taste the best and are what you’ll enjoy most. Take the smallest piece and slowly eat the first three (normal-sized) bites.
Tomorrow is a New Day.
Some days, no matter what you do, you can’t win. Don’t give up on your healthy eating plan because of one bad day. You can always start again tomorrow. Reassess your goals if needed and make sure your plan is realistic. This will help you make the most of your simplified and healthy eating plan–remember, it’s a lifestyle change. It takes work until it becomes habit!