Eating healthy is not about having a strict diet. It’s not about depriving yourself of foods you’re craving. It’s not something you do for a limited time in order to reach a goal. Eating healthy may require a lifestyle change; it’s about adopting a healthier lifestyle.
What exactly does it mean by eating healthy? According to Wikipedia, a healthy diet “is one that helps to maintain or improve overall health.” Therefore, in my opinion, it’s about having a diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. And I only use the term “diet” meaning what we consume on a daily basis and not a restrictive and temporary meal plan.
It’s about moderation and not deprivation. We can have a burger with fries and a milk shake. However, only occasionally! Everything in moderation.
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How To Eat A Healthy Diet
I’ve already mentioned that a healthy diet does not mean it has to be restrictive. You don’t have to give anything up. However, you may have to reduce the quantity of these foods. You don’t want to feel deprived. This will only lead to you rebounding and over eating.
Firstly, we need to have a plan. We need to think ahead about what each meal will consist of. If you’re eating out, you don’t need to get plain grilled chicken with no sauce. Enjoy your meal, however balance out the rest of your foods for that day/week. If you’re going to have steak and fries for dinner, then make sure you have more vegetables for lunch. Ensure that you’re having whole grains, legumes, fruit, veggies, as well as healthy snacks such as nuts and seeds. And limit highly processed foods.
Consume A Variety Of Foods
When grocery shopping purchase lean proteins, fruits and veggies for the week and the next week pickup all different proteins, fruits and veggies. This way, you’re less likely to get bored of the same foods. Also, different foods have different nutrients and in this way, you’re more likely to get a wider variety of nutrients.
Include Lean Protein and Fish
Meats that are higher in fat (ie. red meats and processed meats) boost bad cholesterol. Therefore, limit your intake of these and instead include more lean protein such as skinless poultry, legumes (ie. plant based proteins – for my journey on a plant based diet check out my posts here, here and here). Replace saturated fats with healthy nuts, seeds and fish.
Have you considered a paleo diet? Click here for a Beginner’s Guide to Paleo Eating which includes a grocery list and recipe/meal plan ideas.
This is a biggie…sometimes it’s hard not to finish the whole bag of our favorite chips or go for a second serving of pasta because it’s so good. We need to eat until we’re full and know when we’re full. In order to do this, plate your food (ie. on a plate = 1/2 the plate should be veggies, 1/4 carbs and 1/4 protein or if you’re having pasta = in a small or medium size bowl, fill the bowl with pasta). Once you finish your plate, have a glass of water, then wait a few minutes. If you’re still hungry, have a fruit or two. 🙂
Watch The Liquid Calories
This includes pop, sweetened juices and alcohol. These drinks are loaded with calories and don’t provide much nutrients. If you do want a drink, then have it in moderation.
Enjoy Your Food
Be mindful of what you’re eating. You may even enjoy your food more.
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Sign up here for my FREE Clean Eating eCourse which takes you step-by-step on your journey to clean eating.