The following is a guest post from Kate Spirito. She has five pieces healthy eating advice to begin adopting healthy eating habits.
Most people are determined transform their current eating habits into healthy eating habits. We spend our time perusing articles, following the latest fad diet and joining programs. We convince ourselves to keep on going, try another diet in an attempt to completely control our diet.
Then, inevitably, we give it all up. Our diets are too drastic and limiting. They’re too difficult to stick to. Before we know it we’re back on the refined sugar, oil, meat and dairy.
Good news: you can make simple changes right now. If you can’t keep one of these five strategies for healthy eating, you can try again the next day.
These strategies are all simple and painless, so you have no excuses!
1. Serve Food on Smaller Plates
Studies show people serve more food on to larger plates and eat more food from them too. Healthy eating begins with healthy (i.e. smaller) plate sizes.
If you want to eat less, then it’s best to eat from a crowded 9 inch plate. Rather than forcing yourself to eat less food by having less room, it actually convinces your brain that it’s still eating a lot of food. This leaves you feeling more sated. It’s the same as those optical illusions where two circles appear to be different sizes but are exactly the same. It’s known as the Delboeuf illusion.
My recommendation: buy 8 or 9-inch plates if you don’t have any already. (Just wait until you finish reading the article!)
2. Healthy Eating Ratios
I recommend dividing your plate into quarters. Here’s how:
Visualize your (8 or 9 inch) plate as if it was divided into quarters. Two of these quarters – or half of the plate – should be filled with fruits and vegetables. One quarter dedicated to each, preferably. Fill another quarter of the plate with protein – such as tofu, beans, tempeh or another filling, plant-strong option. Lastly, dedicate the final quarter to grains and nuts such as quinoa, corn, rice, walnuts, and sesame seeds.
Sometimes you’ll need to combine or blend the quarters when making soups, one-pot meals and casseroles. Even so, strive to maintain the same ratios when putting your meals together.
3. Make it Colorful
There’s a reason vegetables and fruits are bright and colorful: phytonutrients. The phytonutrients not only give color, but also indicate they’re packed with nutrients. The higher the range of colors on your plate, the more healthy vitamins and minerals your diet contains.
It gets even better. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, too. Fiber makes them filling while still low in calories. Strive to add at least 3 colors to your plate. And if your plate already has three colors, there’s no reason to not add more.
I’ve divided fruits and vegetables into the following five groups according to color
- Green – Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and lettuce. Green vegetables such as cucumber, broccoli, Brussels sprouts. Herbs such as basil, parsley, chives. Fruits such as green apples, limes and kiwi.
- Purple/Blue – Vegetables such as purple potatoes, carrots, purple cabbage and cauliflower in addition to eggplant. Fruits such as grapes, blueberries and passion fruit.
- Red – Vegetables such as bell peppers, beets, red onion and chili peppers. Fruits such as apples, tomatoes, raspberries, cherries, rhubarb and watermelon.
- Orange/Yellow – Vegetables such as orange and yellow peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, yams and pumpkin. Fruits such as oranges, mangoes and apricots.
- White – Vegetables such as onions, garlic and turnips. Fruits such as pears and banana.
It’s simple to create a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Find three colors to add to your morning oatmeal or lunch sandwich to add vitamins, minerals and fiber to your food.
4. Healthy Eating Means Stop Snacking
It can be hard to stop snacking because brain enjoys eating things. And sometimes, people eat because they are bored, sad or anxious. Then there are times we want to eat delicious food just because it looks tasty. Other times we’re actually thirsty when we think we’re hungry.
Be mindful when you want to snack… and do something else instead. Distract yourself with a ten minute walk – even if it’s just around the office or the block – and a glass of water.
If you’re not a fan of water, you might consider zero-calorie flavored water or tea. Perhaps you’ll even be sucked into the Fit Tea craze supported by the Kardashians. How does fit tea work? Find out.
5. Healthy Eating Takes Time
I recommend to eat food in small bites and chew thoroughly. It even helps to put your fork down between bites. These techniques help you savor your meal more and make meals last as long as possible.
And make sure to pay attention to your food and your surroundings. Think about the aroma, color, and flavor of your food. Truly savor your meals. It leaves you feeling more satisfied than ever, even if you eat less food.
Avoid eating in front of the TV or computer. Rather, eat with your friends and family and talk between bites. Make your meals social and enjoyable. Eating properly can reduce caloric intake because you’ll enjoy your food more, which means you can eat less.
Healthy Eating Habits are the Key to Diet Success
You’re unlikely to see success with the latest fad diet. It doesn’t matter if you follow Paleo, Keto or a raw diet. If you feel restricted by your diet, you’ll likely end up cheating on it.
Healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes are the only way you’ll ever lose the weight for good. Keep these healthy eating habits in mind and you’ll be on your way to getting the body you’ve always dreamed of.