Eating healthy is the first step to being healthy. If you are ready to get your health and your food habits back on track, keep reading. Follow these steps and you will have a guide for eating healthy for life.
- Start reading labels. Sometimes the path to healthy eating starts with the eye-opening look at the ingredients of your favorite packaged foods.
- Choose foods that occur in nature. Following complicated diets that offer empty promises can be frustrating roads to nowhere. Instead of trying to start with counting ingredients or deciphering nutrition labels, start simple. Choose natural foods you recognize including meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If you cannot tell the original form of something by looking at it then it's been processed and no longer retains its natural qualities.
- Eat regular meals. Whether you go for three meals a day or five small meals is up to you and what suits your lifestyle. Just be sure that you start your day with breakfast and eat at least every four hours throughout the day.
- Unless you're vegetarian already, start to limit your animal proteins to one meal per day. This does not mean that you should give up protein. Instead you should reduce the animal fat you are consuming by limiting the animal proteins and replacing them with nuts, legumes and soy or tofu products. Beef and other animal proteins are slow to break down in the body and often contain fats which can be unhealthy for your cardiovascular system.
- Strive for variety in your fruits and vegetables. Variety is found in the colors and textures of your food. Instead of eating the same green salad every day at lunch, try shaking things up by having carrots or yellow peppers one day, tomatoes another, or even switching to spinach or cucumber on your sandwich. The same works for fruits. Instead of just eating an apple and banana every day, add watermelon, strawberries, papaya, mango or kiwi to your fruit intake. The variety will help ensure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from your foods.
- Stay hydrated. When you switch from a diet of junk and processed sugars, your body will react. Gas and bloating are common when you switch to foods with more natural fiber such as fruits and vegetables. By drinking at least eight glasses of water each day you will be able to make this transition time more comfortable.
- Allow yourself the occasional treat. Remember that sugar does occur in nature so if you are craving a sweet treat consider making a dessert that includes fruit and a small bit of natural sugar. Avoid processed sugars and candy but don't be afraid to have a treat sometimes.
Making the change to eat healthy can be overwhelming. Instead of following some strict diet, try the natural way instead. Eat foods that have not been processed. If it comes in a box or contains ingredients you cannot begin to pronounce, skip it. Taking the steps to eat healthy will provide lifelong results.