Let's take a look at how to eat healthy and put your plan into action!
As we begin to implement your plan, you will likely have some questions and concerns. Our role as your mentor is to address as many of these here and now and introduce some basic strategies that will be helpful along your journey.
Are you a success story? Share your best tips and strategies on how to eat healthy here!
A Quick Tip: Don't think of these as rules that must be followed for success. Rather, treat these strategies for how to eat healthy as a play book of options that have proved to be successful in the past. And by all means, if you have something in mind to help hit the ground running, don't be afraid to try it just because it is not listed below.
In the past pages we've learned about our body's essential nutrients and created a plan for a healthy diet. In order to start learning how to eat healthy, we'll use the valuable lists of Superfoods in conjunction with the daily food guide's traffic light to guide our food choices and help create a shopping list tailored to your tastes and preferences.
One of the best strategies to set yourself up for success is to clean out your pantry and kitchen of foods that have no place in your healthy diet plan. Separation anxiety is common, but these junk foods will hinder your progress and create a lot of unnecessary temptation.
At the very minimum, make a compromise for yourself. You will only buy food items that are on your shopping list in the future. By adding more healthy foods to your diet, the unhealthy ones will eventually get crowded out. You will effectively clean out your pantry either way.
We'll leave it up to you to choose: Slow or fast. Now, let's talk about how to write the all-important grocery list.
Pick foods you know and love. Pick foods you are familiar preparing. Take a pledge to add something new to the basket or cart each time you go grocery shopping. Expanding your horizons and experimenting will pay huge dividends maintaining your healthy diet plan in the long run.
Feel free to review the importance of Diversity along with the other Components of a Healthy Diet.
Every time you begin to question things, remind yourself that each small step is a step moving forward. Small steps quickly add up to giant leaps!
We don't typically give too much thought to hunger. When it comes, we eat to satisfy it. Our body sends us psychological signals first and, if we ignore them long enough, we begin to experience physical fatigue.
But, what if we are mixing the signals up?
Oftentimes, thirst gets mistaken for hunger. We eat food, and within minutes are feeling hungry again. Our bodies are actually craving fluid to satisfy thirst. Next time you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first before you eat. It is shocking how much of how to eat healthy involves proper fluid intake.
Water is the only nutrient we haven't yet addressed specifically in your healthy diet plan. However, it is arguably the most important and should not be discounted. The general rule to avoid dehydration is to drink eight 8 oz. glasses per day. This amounts to a half gallon or approximately 1 liter or fluid.
Treat this amount as a minimum daily intake, not as a goal to reach. Not only are people of the modern diet chronically dehydrated, but also the kidneys in an adult are capable of filtering 15 liters (almost 8 gallons) of fluid per day.
Check out our article on Water Nutrition to calculate your Personalized Daily Intake Goal and learn our Top 5 Strategies to Increase your Water Intake.
It's safe to assume that a key part of how to eat healthy for your diet is controlling the food you eat. One of the biggest obstacles you will encounter along your journey is take control of what you do and do not put in your body.
The modern diet encourages eating prepared food. In fact, about 2 out of every 3 meals we are prepared for us. Several reasons are commonly cited by consumers for eating a majority of their food prepared for them.
This includes dining at sit-down restaurants, fast food, carry-out and delivery as well as frozen, dried, and canned items from the market.
How many meals do you eat a day that are prepared by someone other than yourself?
Reasons We Eat Prepared Food
This can present a big problem because when you eat out, you don't know how the food is prepared. In cases where nutritional data is presented, it is often not straightforward and the nutritional quality of the food is very poor.
Dining out is part of our cultures, so don't expect to cut it completely out of your life. That is simply unsustainable. Try to cut the number of meals from your answer above in half. If you eat meals prepared for you twice a day, make it once. Pack a lunch and cook breakfast.
Realize there is no specific guideline, but rather think in terms that the less prepared foods you consume, the more you actually know about your diet, and the more you know about your diet, the more control you have to make that diet a healthy diet.
One caution... Don't rationalize eating out the same amount or more by choosing more "healthy" options. While a salad over a prime rib is in all likelihood a "healthier" choice, you still don't have the control and nutritional knowledge you would if you made that salad (Think dressing, croutons, cheeses, etc.)
A good strategy is to think of eating out as a luxury or splurge, not as a necessity to life or as home meal replacement.
First things first. Our list of strategies and tips for how to eat healthy is always growing, so check back often.
That was quick, right? Let's continue...
Treat our Daily Food Guide as a kitchen appliance you use... well, daily. It will give you an idea of food groups put focus on, and in what proportions relative to other food groups.
These lists of foods will provide you with a wide variety of options to put your healthy diet plan into action and obtain the full puzzle piece.
**As always, feel free to use the navigation below to backtrack and get an overview of Healthy Diet Mentor and our plan to get you on your way to a lifelong healthy diet.
Your Healthy Diet
Healthy Diet Plan
How to Eat Healthy