Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible – all which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and incorporating them in a way that works for you. Establishing new food habits is much easier if you focus on and take action on one food group or food fact at a time.
Take time to chew your food: Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of what is in our mouths.
Avoid stress while eating: When we are stressed, our digestion can be compromised, causing problems like colitis and heartburn. Avoid eating while working, driving, arguing, or watching TV (especially disturbing programs or the news). Try taking some deep breaths prior to beginning your meal, or light candles and play soothing music to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Listen to your body: Ask yourself if you are really hungry, and 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. Eating just enough to satisfy your hunger will help you remain alert, relaxed and feeling your best, rather than stuffing yourself into a food coma!
Eat early, eat often: Starting your day with a healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, and eating the majority of your daily caloric allotment early in the day gives your body time to work those calories off. Also, eating small, healthy meals throughout the day, rather than the standard three large meals, can help keep your metabolism going and ward off snack attacks. Choose the types of foods that improve your health and avoid the types of foods that raise your risk for such illnesses as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Expand your range of healthy choices to include a wide variety of delicious foods. Learn to use guidelines and tips for creating and maintaining a satisfying, healthy diet.
Eat enough calories but not too many. Maintain a balance between your calorie intake and calorie expenditure - that is, don't eat more food than your body uses.
The average recommended daily allowance is 2,000 calories, but this depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity. Eat a wide variety of foods. Healthy eating is an opportunity to expand your range of choices by trying foods - especially vegetables, whole grains, or fruits - that you don't normally eat.
Keep portions moderate, especially high-calorie foods. In recent years serving sizes have ballooned, particularly in restaurants. Choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supervised anything. Get moving. A healthy diet improves your energy and feelings of well-being while reducing your risk of many diseases. Adding regular physical activity and exercise will make any healthy eating plan work even better.
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