10 Steps to a Healthy Diet
Have you been trying to keep a healthy diet and never succeeded? Well, there are some easy steps that you can follow, which will help you lead a healthy and nutritious diet, without too much effort.
Step 1: Step yourself up for success. To do it, you should think more about the fact that a diet is made up from little steps rather than a drastic one. If you take it step by step, you’ll have a healthy diet in no time.
- Simplify. Rather than counting calories, think about your food in terms of colors, variety and freshness. Now it should be very easy for you to make healthy choices.
- Start slow. You shouldn’t rush into anything. Starting slow and making changes to your eating habits over time will make it easier for you. Adding a few healthy things step by step is what you really need and it won’t be difficult to stay away from your old eating habits.
- Every change you make matters. Keep in mind the fact that you do this to feel better in your skin and to reduce the risks of getting cancer or heart disease. If you think about it, every change you make in your diet is a good one if you choose healthy food.
Step 2: Moderation is key. Usually, people don’t eat to live, they live to eat. This is a bad idea and you should always take into account that you don’t need too much food to live and to feel great and healthy at the same time.
- Try not to think about certain foods as “off limits.” If you cut out on sweets for instance, you’ll crave for them more than ever during your diet. But if you reduce the amount of sweets you consume, with time, you’ll see that you won’t want them as much and the chance of succeeding in your plans is guaranteed.
- Think smaller portions. It’s a known fact that people eat as much food as is in their plates. So, if you’re at home, use smaller plates and if you go out, split your dish with a friend or simply don’t order super sized anything.
Step 3: It’s all about how you eat. The most important thing you should know is that eating habits can be learned and it’s very important to think about food as nutrient and not as something to gulp down between meetings.
- Eat accompanied whenever you can. Eating with someone is important both for your social life and for your emotional status and it is also important in learning about others’ eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or in front of the laptop won’t ever help you and it will get you fat.
- Take time to chew your food. Don’t rush through your meal like the end of the world is coming. Take a step back and chew slowly, feel the flavor of the food and reconnect to the joy of eating.
- Eat breakfast and smaller meals. The basic point of a healthy diet is the breakfast. This should be the most consistent meal of the day, the most nutritious. During the rest of the day, have smaller meals because it will keep your energy up and your metabolism running.
Step 4: Get some colorful fruits and vegetables. As you probably know, fruits and vegetables are the base of a healthy diet and they should be part of your every meal. The brighter, deeper colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits. Some great choices are:
- Greens: are full of calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and K, and they help strengthen the blood and respiratory systems.
- Sweet vegetables: reduce your cravings for other sweets. Some examples of sweet vegetables are corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes or yams, winter squash, and onions.
- Fruits: provide fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, and oranges and mangos offer vitamin C.
Step 5: Eat more healthy carbs and whole grains, because they give you energy and they are very satisfying and they also help you protect yourself against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.
- Include whole grains in your diet. Grains like whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, and barley will keep you energized and on the track and you can also choose from them the ones you like best.
- Make sure that what you get are really whole grains. Look for the new Whole Grain Stamp. If there is no stamp look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat,” and check the ingredients.
Step 6: Enjoy healthy fats, because they nourish your brain, heart and cells, as well as your hair, skin, and nails and they can also and reduce cardiovascular disease, improve your mood and help prevent dementia.
- Monounsaturated plants, like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans) and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame) keep you healthy and satisfied.
Step 7: Put proteins in perspective because they give you the energy you need for a whole day at work. The types of proteins you can include in your diet are: beans (black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils are good options), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans) and soy products (tofu, soy milk, tempeh and veggie burgers).
Step 8: Add calcium and vitamin D to your diet, because they keep your bones healthy and strong. You can get them from dairy products, which come already fortified with vitamin D, dark green, leafy vegetables, such as kale and collard greens and dried beans and legumes.
Step 9: Limit sugar and salt. If you succeed to plan your diet around the things mentioned above, you may find yourself naturally cutting back on foods that can get in the way of your healthy diet, like sugar and salt.
- Give recipes a new look. Dishes almost always taste better with less sugar
- Avoid sugary drinks, because they are full of sugar and they don’t even keep you satisfied. Once you have a glass of soda, you’ll want more and more to satisfy your thirst and it will never happen.
- Avoid fast foods, because they are the unhealthiest places you could be in, eating. They add a lot of salt to their products and all the oil the fries or the burgers are made in is not good for your health.
Step 10: Plan quick and easy meals ahead. Cooking your own meals is always better than dinning in a restaurant, for instance. If you have three or four meals planned in a week and eat leftovers on the other nights, you will be much farther ahead than if you are eating out or having frozen dinners most nights.11