As a dietitian, I’ve heard it again and again: “Why does healthy eating have to be so hard?” People really struggle with eating the right food for health, and of course also struggle with eating to maintain their weight. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be so complicated, though! To help you with some of the basics, I put together 8 tips from registered dietitians.
If you’re looking for lots more on some of the basics of improving your diet, be sure to check out my blog post on how to stick to a healthy diet.
1. Small habits can lead to success.
Eating healthy can seem like a distant dream at times. Stick with one healthy habit until you feel comfortable with it. Then add another healthy habit. Over time you will be able to look back to see everything you have accomplished. Small changes over a lifetime are better than a big change over a short period of time that you don’t stick with.
2. Eat balanced meals.
As a dietitian, eating healthy means different things to different folks. However, eating balanced meals from wholesome ingredients can improve the way you look, feel, and perform! Your biofeedback — the signals your body sends you such as hunger, energy, and cravings — is hugely affected by nutrition. If you want to feel more, have more energy, and fewer cravings, you will benefit from incorporating healthy eating habits!
3. Go for colors!!
Make sure to have a variety of colors on your plate in every meal. This will promote the intake of fruits and vegetables and help you in achieving your goal of eating healthy.
~Meghna Pandit, M.Sc.(DFSM), M.Sc.(Microbiology), NET
4. Slow down and tune into you.
Slowing down during meals allows your body to tune into your internal hunger cues and can reduce overeating. As you learn to honor your hunger you will build a healthier relationship with the foods you eat. Plus, being more mindful as you eat allows your body to truly enjoy the food you are eating in the moment too!
~Jamie Adams, MS RD LDN
5. Wash and chop your vegetables after grocery shopping.
Whether you are going to eat them for a snack, or toss them into your dinner, be sure to place these ready-to-go vegetables in a clear container at eye level in your fridge for easy access. Not only will this increase your vegetable intake, but it will also help food from going bad, and ending up in the green bin.
~Veronica Rouse, MAN, RD
6. Eat mindfully.
Before you start eating, take 1-3 deep breaths and focus on your hunger level. Eat mindfully – which means tune into your senses- the aroma, taste, temperature and texture of the food and really enjoy the eating experience. Notice when your enjoyment reduces, this is the point at which you have satisfied your appetite and it’s time to finish eating.
7. Start lunch and dinner with a vegetable.
It can be a salad, crudités or a veggie packed soup. Eating a veggie first guarantees that at least one veggie fits into your meal. If you’re trying to eat less or eat smaller portions, the veggies will fill you up too!
8. Focus on whole foods.
While there’s a lot of different eating approaches out there, I think the most important thing to focus on is that you’re eating whole foods. Try to cook from scratch as much as possible and source high-quality ingredients. An investment in your health is never wasted!