Healthy Eating Habits
Old habits die hard!
I recently watched one of those reality shows about a man who was very overweight. The show brought in a personal trainer to help him change his lifestyle to one that would promote healthy weight loss, including diet and exercise.
The new healthy eating habits worked, but only for a while. Then, unfortunately, after a few short months, the habits of a lifetime took over and he found himself doing all the things that had made him overweight and unhealthy in the first place.
They're called "habits" for a reason!
Changing long established habits is one of the most difficult things that you will ever do. There may even be underlying reasons why the old, unhealthy habits seem to have so much power over you. If that’s the case, you may need to get professional guidance or therapy to help deal with those issues.
Nevertheless, the matchless benefits of developing healthy eating habits are so powerful, that I hope you will take the time to learn what eating behaviors will lead to a healthy life, and then commit to making those changes, whatever it takes.
To this end, here is a list of things you can do to create a healthy eating lifestyle.
Don't be overwhelmed; just make one change at a time.
You don’t need to change everything at once, but each little step you take to eat healthy will go a long way toward your goal of looking good, feeling well and living a long and productive life.
Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating
-Eat a variety of fresh, whole foods, including selections from the five food groups—Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Meat and Legumes and Milk.
-Include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, with an emphasis on vegetables.
-Include a serving of low-fat versions of good quality protein with each meal and snack.
-Eat good carbs such as whole grains most, if not all of the time.
-Choose unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
-Include fiber foods with each meal so that you get a total of 25-30 grams of fiber each day.
-Eat a balanced diet with a ratio of 40-30-30 of good carbs, low-fat protein and good quality fats respectively.
-Eat colorful foods for their phytonutrients. These include foods that are green, red, orange and yellow. If your plate is made up of only beige or white foods, you need to add some color!
-Choose low-fat versions of dairy products and leaner meats.
-Stay away from foods that provide calories but little nutrition. These foods are called empty calories for a reason!
-Limit your intake of foods with added sugar and salt.
-Limit prepackaged foods and fast foods, which are generally over-processed, full of preservatives and high in sodium.
-Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water each day, while avoiding soft drinks and limiting fruit juice.
Getting started establishing healthy eating habits
Sometimes taking the first step is the most difficult part of making changes. Here are some links to help you take it step by step. Each link describes one step you can take. By the time you get to the bottom of the list, you will have made huge progress in becoming a healthy eater!