4 Easy Tips for Planning (and Sticking to) a Healthy Diet
Healthy eating is not about self-deprivation, strict limitations, or trying to stay unrealistically thin. Instead, it’s about feeling great, increasing your energy, and stabilising your mood – and it’s well worth it. However, it can be hard to know where to start when creating a healthy menu. Try these simple tips for eating healthfully every day with ease.
1. Set yourself up for success.
Think of meal planning in small, manageable steps rather than a total overhaul. As you grow accustomed to your new habits, you can add more. Preparing your own meals, reading labels, focusing on how you feel during and after eating, and drinking lots of water are examples of small steps you can gradually add to your routine to form new habits over time.
2. Everything in moderation.
At the end of a meal, you should feel satisfied, but not stuffed. Moderation also means consuming a balance of nutrients, including fat, protein, fibre, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Also, moderation does not mean eliminating foods you love – it might mean having bacon for breakfast or eating dinner out once a week instead of every day, for example.
3. Reduce your sugar intake.
Besides portion size, the single biggest problem with many diets is the excess sugar most people consume. Keep in mind that sugar hides in many foods that aren’t desserts: bread, cereal, pasta sauces, frozen dinners, low-fat snacks, and fast food can all contain large amounts of sugar. Try gradually decreasing your sugar intake, for example by reducing the number of soft drinks you consume, and, when you get used to that, switching your snacks from candy or other sweets to fruit or natural peanut butter.
4. Add more fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and veggies are high in nutrients and low in calories, making them a dieter’s dream. Try adding berries to your cereal or yogurt, or snacking on baby carrots or snow peas. If you must have chocolate, try dipping strawberries or apple slices into melted chocolate – you’ll get fewer calories overall and more healthy nutrients.
Implementing a healthy diet doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen! Take it one step at a time and watch your body change along with your habits.