3 easy ways to eat a healthier diet – . Health Blog

While many people may be making their New Year's resolutions this year, others may mark a fresh start this month by choosing to make up for the bad eating habits of the past. However, this motivation is often centered around an overly ambitious or overly restrictive diet. Without a solid plan, you can fail quickly. So come up with a compromise: start with these three easy ways to eat healthier.

Aim for real food only

Take a look at your plate and make a note of what is being processed and what is not. Maybe it's the whole (like a frozen dinner), or maybe it's just part of your meal (like the bottled dressing on your salad). Think about where you can swap processed foods for healthier versions. Ideas are

  • Eating whole wheat pasta instead of fortified white flour spaghetti
  • Quinoa instead of white rice
  • Make your own snacks like baked chickpeas instead of opening a bag of potato chips.

Processed foods have been linked to chronic inflammation and other health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. One of the healthiest diets you can eat is a Mediterranean eating plan high in vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, fish, poultry, and low-fat dairy products (milk, yogurt, small amounts of cheese). .

Plan your meals and snacks

Set timers on your phone for three different meals and two snacks (if necessary) and don't eat between these scheduled times. This can curb your cravings, reduce stress the next time you eat, and cut the extra calories from unnecessary snacking – a real challenge when you're at home or at work near a refrigerator all day.

Avoid late-night meals or snacks when your body's clock (circadian rhythm) senses that you should sleep. “During the circadian phase of sleep, our metabolism slows down, our digestive system flips over, and brain temperatures drop, part of the process of eliminating toxins during sleep. Eating at other times than our typical circadian wakefulness leads to weight gain, ”says Dr. Lawrence Epstein, Associate Doctor in the Sleep and Circadian Disorders Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital at ..

Reduce your portion sizes

If you are like most Americans, you are overeating. An easy way to implement portion control: load your plate as usual, then put a third or half of the food back. Other ideas:

  • Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate to fool yourself into eating less.
  • Continue to hold the bowls off the table so you are not tempted to eat extra servings.
  • Do not linger at the table and continue eating when you are already full.

It also helps to know how many calories you should be consuming in a day. For example, if you're supposed to be eating 2,000 calories a day but using 3,000 calories, it is probably time to cut all of your usual servings down by a third. How can you find out your calorie needs? For healthy people who exercise 30 minutes a day, multiply your weight (in pounds) by 15 to get an estimate.

One final thought: only take one step a week

You don't have to do all of these steps at the same time. Try one step a week. Write down what you are eating and what thoughts or questions you have about the process. After a week, assess what worked and what did not. You will shortly have the confidence to take new steps.

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