Eating right doesn’t have to be difficult. Healthy eating starts with learning new ways to eat, such as adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cutting back on foods that have a lot of fat, salt, and sugar.
A change to healthier eating also includes learning about balance, variety, and moderation.
- Aim for balance. Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you feel satisfied.
- Look for variety. Be adventurous. Choose different foods in each food group. For example, don’t reach for an apple every time you choose a fruit. Eating a variety of foods each day will help you get all the nutrients you need.
- Practice moderation. Don’t have too much or too little of one thing. All foods, if eaten in moderation, can be part of healthy eating. Even sweets can be okay.
Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control many health problems, such as:
Healthy eating is not a diet. It means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life.
First, think about your reasons for healthier eating. Do you want to improve your health? Do you want to feel better? Are you trying to set an example for your kids?
Next, think about some small changes you can make. Pick ones you can keep doing.
- Don’t try to change everything at once.
- Set an easy goal you can reach, like having a salad and a piece of fruit each day
- Make a long-term goal too, such as having one vegetarian dinner a week.
Here’s a little story I would like to share. I grew up being active, involved in sports, classical dancing, and other extra circular activities. I never gave healthy eating too much thought until I found myself gaining weight several years during my first year of University. I was just stepping into the introduction of nutrition. Before all this, I have tried all different kinds of diets, which resulted in my weight gain.
It started here; I decided to change my eating habits. The first step I took toward healthy eating was to stop going to fast-food restaurants. I used to eat fast food as often as 4 times a week. Since, I spent my whole day at university, it was more convenient.When I go out to eat, I try to pick menu items that I know are healthier. I order salads and lower-fat sandwiches instead of hamburgers, and I drink water instead of soda pop. “I try to order things that I know I can modify or are already prepared the way I would like them to be prepared.”
Planning meals has been a key to my success. It helps me avoid the trap of getting too hungry and resorting to fast food. Each week, I plan what I will eat for each meal, and I shop for groceries with a plan in mind. “It’s a lot easier to make healthy choices when you’re just planning ahead for it.”I have always enjoyed cooking. Now I experiment with ways to make recipes healthier. The cooking styles that I do now just involve a healthier way to cook the foods that I already liked. Cooking allows me to have more control over my food choices. “If you’re going to prepare it yourself, you’re much better off than if you were going to buy it already packaged. You know exactly what’s in it.”
Rather than cutting out certain foods, I sometimes include my favourite foods in my eating plan. “That way I don’t feel like I’m letting myself down by not sticking to my plan.”I know the things that I like to eat, like baked goods, cookies, and stuff like that.I know that I’m never going to stop liking those. “I have learned to expect that there will be setbacks as I change my eating habits. I accept that things won’t always go perfectly, so I don’t get discouraged. “Just be patient with it, and be realistic with your goals.” This is how I started changing my eating habits into a healthy lifestyle.