Healthy eating behaviors aren't difficult to incorporate into your lifestyle, and they don't mean eating only sprouts and tofu for the rest of your life. A few simple changes to your lifestyle can not only improve your eating habits, but you'll be healthier, and enjoy your food more too.
Here are some helpful hints to get you started.
1. Detecting Hidden and Empty Calories
There are hidden calories and chemicals that contribute to a poor diet, namely in processed foods. What may seem like a healthy choice can actually be higher in calories, especially when you're hitting the drive-through window.
There are also empty calories, calories that don't contribute to a healthy diet. When buying "low fat" or "low calorie" foods, read the labels to make sure you're really cutting calories, while still getting what you need in your diet.2. Paying Attention to What You Eat
If you aren't paying attention to what you're eating, it's very easy to eat the wrong thing or to eat too much. Keeping a journal of what, how much and when you eat will help you see how much you are really eating, especially if you have a tendency to eat on the run. Read labels and see what's really in your food. When you're eating a meal, turn off the TV and pay attention to the food you put in your mouth, the rate you eat, the number of times you chew, the taste and the sensation of swallowing.
3. Three Meals a Day
Skipping meals is easy, especially if you're busy and if you aren't in the habit of eating regularly. The problem is, when you do finally eat, you'll be too hungry, and you'll be tempted to eat too much of the quickest thing available, which may not be the healthiest choice. Even if it's only a quick piece of fruit or two, eat at least three meals every day. If you're trying to lose weight, have healthy low-calorie snacks between meals too.
4. Water, Water Everywhere
Coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks or alcoholic beverages are all easy and interesting, but they're not what our bodies really need -- plain, fresh water. While other drinks may be more satisfying, they also contain substances that must be filtered by our kidneys and can have a negative impact on our digestive systems. And, research shows that drinking slightly more water than we think we need not only improves our heath, but increases stamina as well.
5. A Little Bit of What You Fancy
Too many of us think that a healthy diet means giving up all the things we love best -- chocolate, pizza, red meat, ice cream, alcohol. What a healthy diet really means is eating good food most of the time and treating ourselves occasionally to something special. Investing in a good cut of organic beef and eating red meat once or twice a month is eating healthy.
The occasional chocolate bar or dish of quality ice cream isn't going to damn you to a life of obesity. A healthy pizza with more vegetables than cheese is an excellent choice, especially with a salad on the side. And a glass of red wine is as good for your heart as a handful of grapes.
So don't suffer, just make a few changes to your diet, and you'll be eating more healthily without compromising your diet or your enjoyment of every meal.