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7 Tips to Start Eating Healthier

7 Tips to Start Eating Healthier

Need motivation to finally start eating healthy? Then mark your calendar for November 7, National Eating Healthy Day, as a starting point to make better food choices, rely less on processed foods, eat more fresh fruits and veggies, and influence your life for the better.

The day is sponsored by the American Heart Association as part of their mission to improve the cardiovascular health of Americans 20 percent by 2020. Their fourth annual Healthy Eating Day focuses on making healthy changes in the workplace, but encourages everyone to get involved.

Here are 7 easy ways to eat healthier beginning November 7th:

1. Replace just one unwholesome snack with something healthier

Eat an apple, pack some baby carrots in your lunchbox, or munch on almonds instead of chips – it doesn’t matter, just start making healthy swaps a daily practice. You’ll feel more satisfied and energized as well as giving your body vital nutrients.

2. Stop thinking of food as entertainment

This may sound strange, but we all do it. Food is rarely just something to stave off hunger, we eat because we’re bored, want something to do with friends, are stressed, celebrate a promotion or farewell, you name it. Making small excuses for why you’re eating, though, adds up to a big intake of unneeded calories by the end of the week. Be more mindful about every bite.

3. Start thinking about the holidays now

Before you’re tempted with a parade of treats at work, huge family dinners, and finger foods galore, decide how you’ll have a festive Thanksgiving and Christmas while managing not to feel like a glutton come January. One serving size of meat is the size of a deck of cards, casseroles are best kept to spoonful portions, and desserts can be sampled with just as much enjoyment as a full serving would provide.

4. Nix the soda

This is common sense, but it really needs to be taken to heart by more people: soft drinks are not good beverage choices, especially on a daily basis. They raise your risk of stroke, heart attacks, obesity, high blood pressure, kidney damage, and more, and diet sodas are even worse than regular. Sugary juice drinks and sports drinks should also be severely limited make water your usual choice instead. There’s a reason New York City is banning the stuff!

5. Swap out fridge and pantry staples

Maybe you’ve sworn you hate the taste of skim milk or zero trans fat margarine, but making changes like these really isn’t all that difficult. Start with baby steps, like drinking a mixture of 3/4 whole milk and 1/4 skim milk, then 1/2 and 1/2, and so on, until you hardly notice the difference. Choose spinach or kale over iceberg lettuce for salads, and make your own healthy, more flavorful dressing instead of using the highly processed supermarket ones. There’s tons of exchanges like this that can be done relatively painlessly.

6. Slow down and eat at home

Supersize Me got it right, eating fast food on a regular basis will have disastrous effects on your health. Plan your meals ahead and you won’t be too busy to cook. This will save money, ensure quality family time, and increase your well-being.

7. Find a balance of variety and routine

Both routines and variety should have a place in your diet. Maybe you can commit to eating something similar every day, or at least most days, for a certain meal, like oatmeal and fruit for breakfasts or a green smoothie every lunch. Variety is needed to ensure you’re getting a proper balance of nutrients, so aim for colorful plates of each food group. At the store, pick new fruits and veggies each week along with your staples, and commit to using them creatively in meals.

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Food, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, Holidays, , , ,

By Sarah Shultz for DietsInReview.com

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23 comments

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2:25PM PST on Feb 10, 2014

Great tip...some easier said than done! ;-)

5:08PM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Thank you Brandi, for Sharing this!

2:03PM PST on Dec 11, 2012

amazing tips/ideas

12:20PM PST on Dec 2, 2012

thanks

1:57PM PST on Nov 12, 2012

thanks for the tips!

6:16AM PST on Nov 9, 2012

I agree with Kirsten P.: food CAN be wrapped up in emotions, some of them damaging/distracting. ALSO: FOOD CAN BE COMFORTING, empowering, a force to draw people together, esp. when it is made with love! Dinner parties and more simpler shared meals are some of my favorite things in life. Hard to feel the same connection over, say, a box of Twinkies. (Oh, wait, they don't make those anymore....)

6:12AM PST on Nov 9, 2012

Heidi A: I think that if you have never had any sort of emotional or other eating challenges it is easy to say that you don't know anyone who uses food for entertainment. Not everyone only eats when they are hungry: there are a miriad of other reasons why we feed our body and not all of them have to do with physical hunger.Lots of people do, and it is a large contributing factor to why our society has come to the weight we have.

5:17PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

good tips

2:18PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

First, I don't know anyone that thinks of food as entertainment. I think of food when I am hungry. Secondly, the absolute easiest swap for me, was the switch from Romaine lettuce to fresh, organic spinach on my daily lunch sandwich. That is absolutely painless and tasty. Fresh, baby spinach has a nice smooth, almost buttery taste. I tried fat- free mayo, but no go. It was like eating gelatin on my sandwich. Gross. Same with fat-free cheese. Its has the texture and taste of rubber. Actually, whole fat milk isn't as bad as it is made to sound. Whole milk contains very beneficial types of fatty acids to both reduce blood sugar and promote fat loss. If you drink skim milk, read the label. If it contains non fat milk solids, used to make the milk less blueish looking, it is about as healthy for you as consuming trans fats. The non fat milk solids are produced by very high temperatures and pressures that are PROVEN to damage arteries. Read the label.

1:39PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

I use moderation and balance to guide me to my healthy diet, and I eat only organics and no processed foods, so I couldn't really do much to make my diet healthier for me and for my family.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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