For some of us, eating healthy always seems just a bit out of reach. This can be frustrating and lead you to feeling discouraged. But you should never be too hard on yourself — especially in this age of fast food that screams out to us especially loudly when we are overworked and exhausted. So what can you do to start eating healthier? Here are a few tips!
- Try the “perimeter” technique while grocery shopping. This strategy is all about fresh and healthy since the outer perimeter of the store is where you’ll find the foods that should be going in your body: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, and nuts. If you stick to just the outer ring of the store, you’re way more likely to purchase healthy foods.
- Incorporate whole grain flour when baking. Whole grain flour includes the bran and the germ making whole grain flour more nutritious than the refined. Start off by subbing half of the flour in the recipe with any other whole grain flour of your choice and see how it works. Here are some handy tips for baking with whole grain flours.
- Count nutrients, not calories. Unhealthy food is unhealthy food no matter how many calories. It is the quality of the calorie that has the most impact on health, not necessarily the quantity. Calories (or energy) in fat, protein and carbohydrates have a different biological influence on satiety, metabolic rate, brain activity, blood sugar and the way our body stores fat. So if you want to improve the quality of your diet, focus on the nutrients in your food instead of calories.
- Keep healthy food readily available. When you get hungry, you’re more prone to grabbing and eating the first thing you see versus taking the time to prepare something. So be sure to have healthy food in easily accessible and visible places in your home and workplace. Keep fruits in a basket and place it on the kitchen counter, store healthy snacks at eye level in your pantry, and stock up your fridge with small batches of cooked whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. At work, store quick bites like almonds, pistachios and dried berries in a jar and place it on your desk or in its top drawer.
In addition to trying these tips to create healthy eating habits, also be sure to increase your water intake and eat natural dairy products. Opinions differ regarding the amount of water you should be drinking, but most scientists agree that being hydrated curbs your appetite. Also, the naturally occurring fats in dairy products allow you to feel satisfied longer and help absorb fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin-D.