Healthy eating is all about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook, and stabilizing your mood. It shouldn’t be about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. But if you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone! It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. But by using these simple tips below, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to eat a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
No matter how healthy your diet, eating the same foods over and over is bound to get boring. Rekindle inspiration by browsing produce at a farmers market, reading a cooking magazine, buying foods or spices you haven’t tried before, or chatting with friends about what they eat. By making variety a priority, you’ll find it easier to get creative with healthy meals.
Make every meal “do-able”
Healthy eating needn’t be a big production. Keep it simple and you’ll stick with it. Stocking the pantry and fridge with wholesome choices will make it easier to prepare quick, tasty meals. And always try eating and cooking something new as soon as boredom strikes!
Balance every meal with some source of healthy, lean protein
Lean proteins like fish, eggs, and beans are healthy sources of protein that should be included in the diet at every meal. Protein can be very filling, while having minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Additionally, it will help keep you full and your mood lifted.
When it comes to successful weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight, research shows that a very successful strategy involves following a regular eating schedule. Breakfast helps to jumpstart metabolism, and eating throughout the day can prevent you from becoming overly hungry. Often times, this is when we overindulge in high calorie foods.
Get more fiber
Current recommendations for fiber suggest consuming 25-35 grams per day however most Americans consume only 11 grams per day on average. That is far from enough! Dietary fiber, found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Eat or drink your probiotics
Hippocrates once said, "Bad digestion is the root of all evil." Now, a growing body of research suggests that the ancient Greek physician was seriously onto something: Maintaining a healthy balance of "good" gut bacteria in the digestive tract is critical to overall health and well-being. Eat to beat disease by including a plethora of citrus fruits, fiber rich foods, leafy greens and yellow vegetables. And don’t forget to help the good bugs out by including yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, bananas, garlic, asparagus and onions on a daily basis.
Cut back on sugar
There is a plethora of reasons to cut back on sugar. A high sugar diet has been shown to contribute to heart disease, cavities, and weight gain. Sugary foods are considered “empty calories”-- calories unaccompanied by fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It is relatively easy for diet high in sugar to overcrowd healthier foods from a person’s diet. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks are by far the biggest sources of added sugar in the average American’s diet, so eliminating or reducing sugar sweetened beverages is a good start to cutting back on sugar.
There’s no magic formula to eating healthy. Like anything else worthwhile in life, it takes a little planning, creativity and work. But if you think of the rewards—better health and more energy—you’ll find it’s worth the effort. No doubt you’ll still have days when you fall back on that quick-fix packaged food but if you look at cooking and eating healthy as an adventure, you’ll also have days when you find yourself pleased at what you’ve accomplished and how you feel!
When it comes to healthy, balanced meals, Seattle Sutton has 30 years of experience in assisting clients in reaching their weight loss goals. From traditional meals to vegetarian options, Seattle Sutton has it all!