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10 Simple tips for healthier eating

Here are a few simple changes that can help you eat healthier without completely overhauling the way you eat.

10 Simple tips for healthier eating

Many of us are trying to eat healthier, whether we are trying to lose weight or just choose healthier options to increase our overall health.  When it comes to eating healthier, it can be difficult to know exactly what is the best way to go about doing it with so many fad diets out there. 

Most healthcare professionals do not recommend using a fad diet as an effective way of losing weight.  Eating healthy has to be a lifestyle that doesn't end when you reach your weight loss goals so you can continue to be healthy and maintain an appropriate body weight.  Here are a few simple changes that can help you eat healthier without completely overhauling the way you eat.

Eat Breakfast.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  Research shows that people who eat breakfast weigh less than those who do not and generally consume 100 less calories throughout the day than do breakfast skippers.  Eating breakfast gives you more energy, keeps your blood sugar in check, and gives you the opportunity to eat healthy "breakfast foods" such as oatmeal, yogurt, fruits, and coffee that can lower cholesterol and add nutrients to your diet.

Eat more often.  Starting with breakfast, it is a good idea to eat frequent meals and snacks throughout the day (every 3-4 hours) to keep your blood sugar levels steady and to prevent over eating.   

Eat more protein. One trick to keep from over eating is adding lean or low fat protein to each meal and snack to make you feel full longer.

Stock the fridge.  Keep the fridge full of healthy foods and long lasting vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, red cabbage, and romaine lettuce.

Eat more whole grains. Eating whole grains as opposed to refined grains can have a huge impact on your overall health.  Switching from refined grains to whole grains can help keep blood glucose levels from spiking which can reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Whole grains can also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  They are also a great source of fiber and can help you lose weight by making you feel more full.

Eat more fruits and veggies.  Ideally, your plate should be half fruits and veggies and one quarter each of lean protein and whole grains.  Eating lots of low calorie, high volume fruits and vegetables can help you to eat less high fat and high calorie foods.  At lunch or dinner, eat a salad or bowl of soup before going on to the main course so you fill up on the good stuff first.

Drink less sweetened beverages.  Calories can add up quick with sweetened beverages and can add little when it comes to nutrients or reducing hunger.  If you are thirsty, try drinking more water, sparkling water, skim or low-fat milk, small portions of 100% fruit juice, black coffee, or tea.

Eat more slowly.  Eating too quickly can cause overeating since you will continue to eat without realizing you are full yet.  By slowing down and savoring every bite, you will realize you are satisfied without having to go back for seconds.

Eat smaller portions.  Doing nothing but reducing portion sizes by 10%-20% would cause you to lose weight.  Shrinking portion size and turning down a second helping could help to shrink your waistline.

The kitchen is closed.  Pick a time to close the kitchen at night to keep you from getting that late night snack and to keep you from mindlessly eating while watching television.

Following these simple tips can help you to eat healthier and lose weight without dieting or overhauling the way you eat.  It doesn't take a lot, a few subtle changes here or there can make a world of difference!

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