Typically, at the start of a new year everyone has the same goal – to lose a few pounds or to eat healthier food. We start out with a heart full of zest and wind up falling short, or worse, not even beginning. Include the following top 10 ways to eat healthier into your routine. You may be surprised by the results!
There are ways to incorporate more healthy eating into your lifestyle that do not have to be cumbersome or require too much compromise either. Even better, these can be lifestyle changes and not that dreaded word, diet! Besides, in the old days when I was in the Navy, I could increase my exercise and fitness routine to lose a few pounds. Not anymore! I do not have either the desire or ability to exercise the way I did in the past.
Top 10 Ways to Eat Healthier
#1: Focus on Adding New Things, Not Taking Away Things
Sometimes for many individuals that are considering eating healthy, the first thought is one of taking away many things from their diet. I find this thought stressful! You mean I have to give something up? But if you begin your new healthy eating endeavor by adding new and different things to your diet, you will find yourself fuller and less apt to eat unhealthy foods.
#2: Try New Things
Start trying something new every other day of the week. For example, you may wish to add a fruit or vegetable that you have never tried before, or you may want to try whole-grain bread as opposed to a plain white bread. By trying new things, you open the possibility up of finding something that is not only healthy for you, but that you truly enjoy, as well. I tried the dragon fruit pictured below. Yummy! If you cut dragon fruit into cubes, it will look like you are eating a bowl of dice. Dice up some mango and strawberries for a color explosion!
#3: Be More Colorful
Take a look at the different food groups and see if you can incorporate foods of different colors into your daily eating routine. For example, peppers come in a variety of colors and if you have never tried a yellow or orange pepper, now may be a great time. I prefer the taste of yellow and red ones rather than the green pepper. If your theme color of the week is orange, try a tangelo.
#4: Get Your Co-Workers Involved
Incorporate your office friends to join you on this new adventure of eating healthier. Have everyone contribute by bringing in a new food, fruit, or vegetable once a week. Take turns and make it fun. At the end of the week, take a vote and give out a small prize or incentive for the most creative and tasty food or healthy treat.
#5: Start Where You Shop
The old adage that if it is in the house, you will eat it could not be any truer. If you buy cookies, ice cream, and cake, you will have easy access and less willpower. Do not buy large quantities of these items and you will be fine when you find out that you have run out of that gooey treat. I can resist temptation in the grocery store if I eat before shopping.
#6: Do Not Deprive Yourself
One of the worst things you can do is to deprive yourself from a treat or a snack. Some individuals crave chocolate treats while others crave salty snacks. Whatever the case may be, there are so many alternatives to high-calorie snacks, which will still keep you completely satisfied. Peanuts are just as salty as potato chips, but are better for you.
#7: Use More Healthy Substitutions
If you are looking to eat healthy but want to keep some of your favorite items in your meal plan, think about substituting. Try grilled chicken breasts instead of fried chicken wings. Or go for natural plain yogurt instead of sour cream. Use honey in recipes instead of sugar.
#8: Pictures for Inspiration
By posting messages about what different healthy foods can do for different parts of the body, for example the heart and the brain, you will have more incentive to eat right for excellent reasons. Place photos of beautiful skin, hair, nails, and a healthy heart on your fridge. This way, you will be reminded constantly of what you are doing for yourself and for your family as well. Another option is to pin up pictures showing an active lifestyle such as people jogging or walking or swimming.
#9: Call a Meeting
Call a family meeting and ask others to be respectful of your newfound decision for eating healthy. Tell them that they are not forced to join you, but it would be nice. Also, let them know that they are to support and encourage you by not eating unhealthily in front of you. This has a double bonus in that your family may just notice your good habits without being forced to do so. I explained to my family that I was conducting an experiment changing my eating habits. And one shelf in the pantry was for my food items which would not have any snacks for them to grab.
#10: Host an Eating Healthy Event
Invite friends and families over at the beginning of your new decision. Have everyone bring a healthy dish to a potluck style dinner. Have them place index cards with the recipes on it that so others can take them home.
Buying new cookbooks and placing index cards around the kitchen showing the difference in calories between a heavy cream and a low fat yogurt in a recipe, you will also have a visual of how you are helping your body keep healthy by eating healthy, as well.
Eating Healthy Tips Summary
Once you can see on paper that the results of eating healthy are numerous, you are more than likely to stick to the plan. Eating healthy helps your body and your mind. Important nutrients contribute to health benefits such as lower cholesterol, a healthy heart, and even a sharper memory. Besides losing weight and feeling great, these are all great bonuses in the desire to eat healthier.
If you want to take it to the next level and go beyond just the top 10 ways, then consider the 25 questions of the most popular diet plans.
I hope you have enjoyed reading the top 10 ways to eat healthier. If you have other tips, any questions or wish to share your experience, please leave a comment below.