Simple Ways to Eating Healthy
Eating healthy is not about having to eat unsavory dishes or forgetting about some of your preferred foods. It does not mean having to eat only specialty organic foods either. In fact, people can begin to eat healthy by adopting small simple changes to their normal way of eating.
Healthy eating should be thought of as a lifestyle change and not a short term diet. Rather you want to eat healthy in order to lose weight or just improve your health these quick and easy tips will get you started.
Eating Healthy Tip #1 – Less Sugar
Refined sugar is a processed food that gives you zero nutritional value. These empty calories can accrue quickly and can cause you go over your calorie intake limit. Too many calories will more than likely create weight gain. Try to reduce treats high in sugar or try the sugar free versions of your favorite sweets.
Watch for the sugars in your drinks as well. A regular flavored pop has about teaspoons of sugar. Drink diet drinks, or better yet, water. Studies show that people who choose diet soda and water instead of regular flavored drinks lost up to 20 pounds in one year with just this minor change in their lifestyle. Fruit juices can also be high in sugars and calories so minimize these to just one 8 ounce cup a day.
Eating Healthy Tip #2 Include Protein
Be sure to get protein with every meal. Protein uses more energy to digest which means you are burning more calories to process these foods. Your protein can come from eggs, beans, lean cuts of meats, fish and even tofu.
Protein not only helps you lose weight by burning more calories but helps to build lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have the higher your metabolic rate. This is the rate at which your body burns calories during the day with normal activities including sleeping. Your metabolic rate is responsible for 60% to 70% of the total calories you burn in a day.
Eating Healthy Tip #3 – Keep it Natural
Having foods in their most natural state provides the most “bang for your buck”. Meaning you will get a higher nutrient value from the foods in their natural state. Foods that have been processed lose a lot of their nutritional value and often increase the fat and/or calorie content.
For example, a large apple has 110 calories, 0 fat grams, 29 carbohydrates, 5 grams dietary fiber and 1 gram of protein. However a large glass of apple juice has about 150 calories, 0 fat grams, 36 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of dietary fiber and protein. So you can see that the processed drink there are more calories and carbs and less dietary fiber and protein.
Eating Healthy Tip #4 – Select Whole Foods
While eating foods in their natural form is the best, there are times when you will need processed foods. Breads and pastas are good examples of foods that cannot come in a natural state as they don’t grow on trees or in the ground. When buying these processed foods you should look for whole grain versions.
When foods are processed with 100% whole wheat you are getting more vitamins and minerals than foods made with processed white flour. Wheat in its natural, unrefined state has a lot of vitamins and other valuable nutrients including dietary fiber and is a great plus for your healthy eating habits.
Eating Healthy Eating Tip #5 – Variety is the Key
Have a variety of foods with lots of nutrition. There are more than 40 nutrients that you need to eat each day. No one food item can give you all of these nutrients, so make your meals varied and rich with nutrients. Do not forget the vegetables and fruits with each meal. You need to get protein with every meal. Protein requires more energy to burn than fat so items high in protein are also great fat burners.
Make sure to get your calcium needs also with dairy products. Just select fat free or reduced fat products like skim milk or fat free yogurt. Studies have shown that dieters who have 3 to 4 servings in a day of low fat dairy products lost more weight than those who did not include dairy in their meal plan.
These are just a handful of tips to help you make small changes to your lifestyle. By including these easy alterations you are on the road to eating healthy for life and losing weight.
About the Author
For more healthy ways to lose weight, check out these quick weight loss tips
Julie is the author and creator of Exercise 4 Weight Loss where you will find lots of tips and information on exercise and weight loss.
TV Chef Ching He Huang’s recipe for a healthy start to 2009.
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