Wishing you could eat healthier without having to overhaul your entire life? Do you still want to enjoy a lot of your favorite foods but wish you could do it without feeling like you’re eating junk all the time? If your eating habits are like those of most Americans, it means that as you transition your way toward a far healthier lifestyle, there are tons of great tips you can follow to take those first helpful steps.
Many people start out using these tips to make a difference in their lives and find that they work so great that they continue to add more tips along the way. Use these 10 tips to kickstart your own healthier relationship with meals you prepare at home.
1. Choose your fats wisely – Fats have a bad reputation, but some fats are actually very good for you and can even help to promote weight loss. The key is not to overdo it and to choose healthier fats, that is, unsaturated fats such as good quality olive oil.
2. Add another scoop of veggies to your plate – The vast majority of people aren’t getting enough fruits and veggies in their diets. You should be trying to get at least 4 to 13 servings of fruits and veggies into your diet every day. Start looking to fruits and vegetables at snack time, and in the rest of your meals, serve yourself an extra scoop of vegetables on your plate. Eat them first so if there’s anything left on your plate, it wn’t be the fruits and veggies!
3. Dump refined foods – Choose whole grain foods over those made from refined white flour. This includes options such as rice, bread, pasta and others. Instead, select bread made from whole grain flour, brown rice, and pasta made out of whole grains, too.
4. Reduce your focus on meat – This doesn’t mean that you need to become a vegetarian. However, reducing your meat intake will also lower your consumption of saturated fats. Instead, eat more vegetables and whole grains.
5. Choose your dairy wisely – You don’t need to drink skim milk, but if you choose a lower fat dairy than your current choice, you’ll also reduce your fat intake without sacrificing calcium. Be aware of portion size when it comes to foods like cheese as it’s likely smaller than you think.
6. Pay attention to your portions – One of the best ways to eat a healthier diet is simply to eat healthier portion sizes. You can eat virtually anything you want as long as you don’t overdo it. Serving the right portion will keep your calories under control and help to put your nutrient intake where it should be.
7. Reduce added sugars whenever you can – Added sweeteners, no matter what they are, aren’t great for you. When you must use them, choose more natural, unrefined options and use as little as you can.
8. Watch your sodium intake – Whether you’re trying to avoid high blood pressure or bloating, keeping your sodium intake under control plays a vital role in your health.
9. Use citrus, herbs and spices – When you eat foods with intense flavors, you’re less likely to overeat. Practice using herbs, spices and citrus to draw out the flavor from your dishes.
10. Be mindful – Pay attention to taste and texture in every bite. The more mindful you are, the less food you’ll need to eat in order to enjoy it and feel satisfied.