Eating Healthy in Three Easy Steps
Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 25, 2008
Top Three Tips For Eating Healthy — by Catherine Morgan
I am a firm believer that the number one thing any of us can do to promote good health…Is to eat a healthy, well balanced diet. Regardless of your weight (even if you are thin or at an ideal weight), it’s important that we all try to eat healthy. Unfortunately, that is sometimes the hardest thing for many of us to do.
It can be overwhelming for someone with “questionable” eating habits to make the changes necessary for good health. But, it’s also the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and chronic illness. So, what can we do? Well, I recommend you take it slow, and not put too much pressure on yourself.
Don’t decide today to make radical changes in your eating habits. If you do that you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, let’s look at what I believe are the top three changes you can make that won’t be hard for you to stick to. Once you have conquered these three things, you will become empowered to continue taking a step at a time toward healthier eating habits and a healthier life. So, let’s give it a try.
#1 Increase your water intake. It’s amazing how easy it is to get busy with our work day, and totally forget that we haven’t had a glass of water all day. More than likely, even if you drink water, you are not drinking enough. Here is a great Hydration Calculator from About.com, that can help you pinpoint just how much water you should be drinking.
Hydration Challenge: If you already drink enough water, then take healthy hydration to it’s next level. Stop drinking soda (even diet soda is bad for you). I know that may sound radical to many people who are soda junkies, but aside from drinking pure fructose syrup, soda is just about the worse thing you can drink. Sorry about that. So, if you only drink soda occasionally, stop cold turkey right now. If you drink several cans of soda a day, then start cutting back gradually.
#2 Cut back on cookies, candy, and ice-cream. We need sugar for good health, but not the kind of sugar that is in these yummy dessert treats. And this type of sugar really is addicting…the more you eat it, the more you want it. Even if your preferred dessert has no fat, it is still fattening, and that is because unused sugar in our bodies turns to fat. I know it’s a bummer, but it’s true.
So, how do we cut back on desserts when they are soooo yummy? Try starting a list (nothing fancy), and write down what and when you eat one of these sugar filled treats. Now go back to your list…Is there any way you could consider replacing one of those items with a healthier sweet treat? Make one change at a time, with your goal being, to eventually change to healthy sweets altogether.
High Fructose Challenge: If you already turn your nose up to cookies, and candy (good for you), now take it to the next level. Make a conscious effort to monitor your intake of sugar and high fructose syrup, by always checking labels. You would be surprised how much of this stuff is sneaking into our diets. For example, you may think eating canned or jarred fruit is good for you, but many (for reasons I can not understand, considering fruit is naturally sweet), add tons of sugar and fructose. Always check and try to get only fruit without added sugar. Other items that seem healthy but you should check the ingredients before you buy are…cereal, yogurt, and all packaged treats that claim to be low in fat and/or calories.
#3 Cut back on high fat snacks and fast food. Use the same method I have mentioned above for sugar, and do the same thing with your high fat intake. Figure out what you are eating, and then gradually make changes. Just noticing what areas you could make changes in, will make it easier for you to find ways to eliminate or reduce the amount of fatty foods you ingest.
High Fat Challenge: If you already eat very little high fat junk foods, then try taking it to the next level. As with sugar, fat is sneaking into foods in greater numbers than you may realize. Try to make it a habit to check labels and compare. Make choices that have zero trans-fat (as this is the fat that is the worst for you), and lower in fat.
So, there you have it. Don’t be overwhelmed. Just make a commitment to yourself that you will be aware of what you are putting into your body, and gradually make changes. Once you have been successful with one change make another, and so on, and so on. Before you know it, you will be eating healthy. As you make these changes, you will also begin to notice that you feel better and have more energy, making it easier for you to continue replacing unhealthy foods for healthy ones.
I hope I’ve given you something to think about.
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