Attaining a healthy eating plan is essential, making us more energized, lighter, and happier. It also prevents excess weight gain and reduces the risk to develop chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and many other diseases. How does one achieve healthy eating?
The eating plan you follow should suit you, your schedule, and your lifestyle. It should include healthy foods of which you love eating. Eating is all about pleasure and nourishment; if you’re not enjoying what you’re eating, you won’t attain a “HEALTHY EATING”.
This article will show you small changes you can do in your daily eating patterns that will help make your diet healthier.
14 Steps to Healthier Eating:
- Eat slowly. I know it’s not easy. It’s hard to eat slowly if you’re used to eating at a fast pace. Always remember that food is about enjoyment and pleasure so there’s no need to be in a rush while eating; enjoy your food, chew slowly, have your meals with someone so you can chat and enjoy your time during your meals.
- Once you omit any type of food from your diet, it should be replaced with something else; always create alternatives don’t just eliminate. If you like chips and you’re used to eating a bag of chips at night while watching your series, replace it with something similar to it, salty and crunchy such as air popped popcorn, or whole-wheat crackers, or baked crunchy homemade fries topped with some salt, paprika and olive oil. When you start with healthier alternatives you won’t feel deprived, it will eventually become part of your habits over time.
- Do small changes. We all have certain body/health goals, but they don’t just happen overnight. Small changes will give us great results.
- Stay hydrated. Drink a cup of water before and after having your meals. By keeping your body hydrated, it will function better, your digestive system will work better and your body will be able to signal if you’re hungry or full. Sometimes our body sends wrong signals (feeling that you’re hungry) when in fact you might be dehydrated.
- Don’t have sugary beverages. Replace sugary beverages such as Colas with fresh juices, flavored water, or sparkling water. That way you will decrease the amount of sugar consumed per day.
- Eat lean proteins with every meal. Add beans, legumes, chicken, lean meat, or fish as part of your dish. Proteins are the most filling among macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats).
- Have 5 small meals a day. 3 main meals and 2 small healthy snacks in between. This will prevent overeating during meals and will give extra nutrients to your body.
- Transform your unhealthy meals to healthier ones. Bake or grill your food instead of frying it. For example, if you want to have breaded chicken for lunch, instead of frying it and adding excess useless calories, bake it in the oven.
- As for the late-night snacking, keep healthy filling snacks around such as a handful of nuts, 1 cup of yogurt with cucumbers, you can even have a boiled egg… These foods are packed with proteins and fibers which will fill you for longer periods of time and diminish your cravings for unhealthy food.
- Decrease the portions of your unhealthy treats gradually. If you’re used to eating brownies as dessert just have half of it during the week, then ¼ for the following week, then replace it with 20g of dark chocolate. That way you won’t be depriving yourself and you will be switching your eating habits to healthier ones.
- Don’t be fooled by health claims. Fat free, sugar free, low in fat, might contain ingredients that harm your health as they are never FREE from calories so take them in limited portions.
- Trick your brain by using smaller plates. That way your brain will think that you’re eating more but ending up eating less and skipping the extra calories.
- Ordering a salad doesn’t mean that it’s healthy or low in calories. Some salads have more calories and fats than a burger; that’s why be aware of the type of salad you’re having. Salad dressings are packed with a lot of calories due to the excess oils found in them so order the dressing on the side and have half of it; and if the salad comes in a big portion just eat half of it and save the other half until a later time.
- Add skimmed milk to your coffee instead of creamers or full fat milk and have it without sugar or if needed add 1tsp. of unrefined sugar such as coconut sugar, honey, or unrefined palm sugar.
By following these easy simple steps, you will notice your eating habits changing with time to healthier ones, you will find a boost in your energy levels day after day, and you will see positive changes in your body.
5 easy healthy dishes for dinner
Never skip dinner, have a balanced meal at night that contain unrefined carbohydrates (rich in fibers), proteins, and good fats (that come from olive oil, avocado, nut butters...). In that way, you will prevent late night snacking.
- Eggs and avocado on toast. Mash 2 Tbsps. of avocado with 1 boiled egg topped on 1 brown toast.
- Vegetable soup. Add the veggies you love like broccoli, carrots, zucchini, onions, celery. You may add some legumes such as chickpeas and peas, get them to boil with some vegetable/ chicken broth and add spices for extra flavor such as chili powder and black pepper.
- Hummus Balila. 1 cup of cooked hummus with lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, and veggies on top.
- Turkey sandwich. 1 mini whole-grain baguette with some mustard, lettuce and 3 slices of unsmoked turkey.
- Oatmeal. ½ cup of plain oats with 1 cup of skimmed milk, 1 tsp. of honey, 1 banana, a pinch of cinnamon and vanilla.