This year turn your resolution to eat healthier into a way of life. You can attain the healthy lifestyle you seek if you recognize that your current unhealthy diet evolved out of habit and convenience. Subsequently, it will take time to adopt new habits that will eventually become just as convenient. Approach these changes with a slow, consistent approach. If you attempt small steps and build on your achievements, within a few months you will accomplish your healthy diet goals and also expand your taste preferences.
Assess which foods in your diet you consider unhealthy. Include health-robbing fried foods, highly processed foods, full-fat dairy products, high-sugar foods and red meat.
Choose one category from step one and begin your diet transformation by eliminating or cutting down on consumption of this food. Choose a healthy equivalent and add it to your diet. Replace red meat, for instance, with fish or skinless chicken for less fat and cholesterol.
Repeat step 2 the second week and then again the third week and so on, eliminating a different food each week. Be sure to substitute a healthier version for each food you eliminate to lessen feelings of deprivation.
Eat more chicken, fish, beans, low-fat milk and cheese and fresh produce. Avoid sugary products and products made with white flour. You will find that your sugar cravings will wane and that fruit serves as its replacement.
Add healthy foods gradually to your diet. Allow yourself to savor the nuances of foods you hardly ate before. As weeks pass, continue to add new foods.
Introduce whole foods into your diet. Replace highly processed foods that have preservatives and other additives with fresh foods. Try fresh produce instead of canned or frozen varieties.
Eliminate white flour products and discover how delicious whole grain breads, cereals and pastas taste. Recognize whole grains not only by their brownish color but also by finding the words “whole wheat” or “whole grain” high in the product’s ingredients list.
Eat lots of foods that contain antioxidants, cancer and heart disease fighting properties. Make berries, red grapes, nuts and seeds your regular snack foods. Eat vegetables every day at lunch and dinner. Look for other foods that fight disease.
As you become more comfortable with the new types of foods you eat regularly, consider buying as many organic foods as possible. Understand that organic means free of pesticides, antibiotics and fertilizers, all of which can harm your health.
Remember to also shop for organic meats and dairy products which come from animals raised without chemicals and antibiotics. Pork, beef, chicken, eggs and dairy come in organic varieties.
Check for the “organic” seal on packaged foods. Do your shopping at health food stores if your regular grocer does not carry organic products.
Be aware that organic fresh foods such as produce will not be as “pretty” or as large as their chemical-laden counterparts. Choose products for their nutrients, flavor and healthful methods of growing instead of by their size and color.
- Invest in an interesting healthy food cookbook. You will experience new spices, herbs and vegetables. You may experience hunger between meals due to your body’s efficient digestion of the healthy foods you eat. Eat a nutritious snack to hold yourself over until the next meal. Pay attention to your hunger signals. Eat when you are really hungry and stop when the hunger pangs subside.
- When you eat in a healthful way, excess pounds will shed themselves. Exercising and avoidance of over-eating will take you to your ideal weight, which improves your state of health.