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Eating Habits to Adopt For a Healthier You

When we’re younger, we don’t really pay too much attention to the things we eat, or how they may be affecting our health, both body and mind included. Now, as an adult, I check more labels, notice a few extra pounds on the scale in the direction I do not approve of, and I scrutinize my eating habits constantly. Sound familiar?

Have you ever walked down the aisle at the grocery store, picked something up that you so desperately wanted to eat, only to have second thoughts because you knew it probably wasn't the best idea to eat something so heavily covered in cheese, or fried to a dark brown crisp? Well, you’re not alone. I was never one to be picky about food, to check the caloric content or even pay any attention to how anything I consumed on a daily basis would affect my health, energy levels and cognitive thinking. That was of course until I truly became an adult, and was formally over the age of 25, this was when I found myself really needing to be cognisant of the things I was consuming. What age was it for you?

Age catches up to us all, but that doesn't mean that we have to throw in the towel when it comes to eating the things we like, having fun, and giving ourselves the best possible chance at happiness and health. It does mean however, that we need to get properly and adequately informed, and we need to pay closer attention to certain things, in certain specific areas.

Changes You Can Adopt Today

When I first decided to take hold of my eating habits, to get healthier, to put myself in the best position to live a long, happy healthy life, I went searching for answers. I was able to discover that changing the way you eat for the better, doesn't have to be anything dramatic, and isn’t as awful as it’s made out to be by so many. One of the many great resources that I have utilized on my healthy eating journey has come from an expert's guide on how to incorporate healthy eating into your everyday life. This self help tutorial is full of dietary guidelines and suggestions to help you eat healthy in the best way possible. One of the better pieces of advice that I’ve come to know and really use a lot, is to know how, when, and where I’m eating. having a set plan, knowing what you’ll be consuming, can give you a much better gage on just how well you’re adhering to the healthy rules set in place.

Because overeating, and large portion sizes are so abundant in the United States, following these simple pieces of advice can really help you get started, and stay on the right path:

If you're like many Americans, you may often eat meals while doing something else: driving, talking on the phone, watching television, or reading. In short, you may pay little attention to your food. As a result:

  • Don’t eat until you feel full (most food takes a while to settle in the stomach and to register in the brain, so actually eating until you do feel “full” usually means you’ve eaten too much.

  • Don’t be consumed by calories or trying to count them

  • The more colorful your plate, the better (According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, when you look at your plate, you should see half of it filled by fruits and vegetables.)

  • Try to go with little to no dressing on your salad

Handy Tips & Tricks to Regular Healthy Eating

Now, of course, eating healthy is more than just adorning your plate with an assortment of colors. It means really knowing just what to do from the first meal of the day, to the last. This is not to say that you cannot indulge in your favorite bowl of ice cream, or snack on chips, but there are some things you should try to do more often than not, in order to really see the health benefits of your regimented eating. Take a look at some of these tips and tricks to try in your eating routine:

1. Make the Produce Aisle Your Go To - Shopping on the outside of the grocery store, as opposed to the inside will serve you well. In addition to upping your intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all produce such as fresh fruits vegetables and greens, help to offset your meals calorie count. A great way to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of produce, is to try to have at least a fruit or a vegetable with every meal. Fruits such as apples and bananas make great snacks in between larger meals, and they keep you feeling full for longer.

2. Always Choose Water - According to a recent Huffington Post article, as well as the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, water should be your drink of choice over absolutely anything else, and it’s hard to argue with the reasons why. Getting the majority of your daily intake through water means you’ll take on less sugar, less calories, the daily recommended amount of fiber, and you’ll also curb your appetite and boost your metabolism.

3. Switch Your Starches - For far too long, the U.S population has loved their sandwiches with plain white bread and their crackers with cheese, and the occasional salty pretzel. Simply switching to whole grain foods like brown rice, whole wheat bread and even quinoa, can still offer you the same delicious flavor, but also help you stay full. With high fiber content, these foods also help stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels in the body. Not a bad trade if you ask me.

4. Have Fun - this is probably the most important rule of thumb. Being miserable on  your way to better health is just defeating the purpose. Eating well doesn't have to mean that you give up the things you like, it just means you have to eat them in moderation. Be happy in your quest for better health, don't let healthy eating become a burden, it should be anything but that. Remember to mix things up, try new things, and enjoy the process. Knowing that you’re eating to better your own life should be reason enough to smile.

So there you have it, the many keys to healthy eating, and how to go about adding these nuances into your life. With so many of the illnesses and ailments plaguing this country on the rise, especially ones that are 100% preventable, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to see to it that you don't fall into that trap. Adding a little color to your poate, as well as your life will do you the world of good. Surprise your palate with an array of healthy, tasty meals, and do so with the knowledge and understanding that you’re not only bettering your health, but you’re bettering your body and mind at the same time. Being healthy should be a priority in everyone's lives, as we age, it becomes even more of an important one, so ensure that you’re paying attention to your needs in the right way, to give yourself the chance at a happy, healthy life for years to come.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Caden Crawford

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Yellow Green Farmers Market

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