Eating Healthfully For A Stronger, Healthier You

In this season of the year, it may seem like everyone around you is getting sick. It is easy to let our immune systems weaken when we feel busy or overwhelmed with life.

However, something as simple as eating more healthfully can begin creating positive results for you, in a number of ways. If you want to make sure that your body is strong and healthy, you need to watch what you are putting into it, and how much you are eating.

Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it is about feeling great, having more energy, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible-all of which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics, and using them consistently in a way that works for you.

Healthy eating begins with learning how to “eat smart”-it is not just what you eat, but how you eat. Your food choices can even reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as well as defend against depression in some cases.

Additionally, learning the habits of healthy eating can improve your health by boosting your energy, sharpening your memory, and stabilizing your mood. Try to expand your range of food choices, and learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a satisfying diet.

To set yourself up for success, think about planning some healthy changes as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you may begin to see results sooner than you imagined.

Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your changes in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Variety will help you to stay happy with the foods you are eating.

This should make it easier to make good choices. Focus on finding foods you love, and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients.

Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious. Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time.

Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day, or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become a habit, it could become easier to continue to add more good choices.

Every change you make to improve what you eat matters. You do not have to be perfect, and you do not have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy.

The key is balance and moderation. The long-term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease.

Do not let your missteps derail you-every choice that you make counts. Try not to think of certain things as “off limits,” because you will only crave them more.

When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want them more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty, or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often.

Later, you may find yourself craving them less, or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences. Think smaller portions, and your stomach will adjust to feeling satisfied by eating less.

Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly in restaurants. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and definitely do not order “supersized” anything.

At home, try to use a salad-sized plate for meals, and think about serving sizes in realistic terms by starting small. Visual cues can also help with portion sizes.

Your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be about the size of a deck of cards. A teaspoon of oil or salad dressing is about the size of a matchbook, and your slice of bread should be the size of a CD case.

Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits, particularly for children.

It allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.

Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes. Focus on chewing more slowly, and savoring every flavor and bite.

The more we rush through our meals, the less we enjoy the flavors and textures of what we are eating. In Europe, meals are a time to slow down, socialize, and enjoy every moment-by mimicking this, we will enjoy our food more, and overeat less.

Do not forget to listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are actually hungry, or try a glass of water to see if you are simply thirsty.

During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.

It is never too late to change old habits. Try to incorporate more healthy foods today, and see if your body feels healthier as a result.

Tommy Greene has worked in surgical equipment sales for the past 15 years. He has great advice and information on an Electrosurgical unit.

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