Nutrition Articles

How to Start Eating Healthier

15 Simple Ways to Eat Better Today

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Most people are creatures of habit. We go to the grocery store on the same day every week and fill our carts with the same stuff. If it’s Monday, chicken's for dinner and Wednesday always means spaghetti. We are comforted with knowing what to expect—even if our meals aren’t that exciting, we know what we’re going to eat.

That’s what makes eating healthier so scary sometimes. We are so used to eating a certain way that we rarely think about what we’re actually putting into our bodies. So to eat a healthier diet means actually waking up and paying attention to what's on your plate.

Make Healthy Eating a Habit
Eating healthier doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you want to adopt healthy habits that will last, then the easiest way to do it is by making small, gradual changes. Don’t expect too much from yourself too soon—it takes about a month for any new action to become habit.

Before you start making any changes to your diet, take a week or two to observe your current eating habits. Track everything that goes in your mouth, including drinks and treats, no matter how small. Keeping a food journal will really open your eyes—realizing that you ate 10 cookies over the course of the week might make you think twice before reaching into the cookie jar again tonight, for example. You might not realize how bad your present eating habits are until you see an unhealthy pattern right there in black and white. Once you see that some changes are in order, then you're ready to take the next steps.

Small Changes Mean Big Rewards
If you can't stand the taste of broccoli, then vowing to eat it more often is pretty unrealistic. But if increasing the number of vegetables you eat each day is one of your goals, start by finding a few different ones that you can painlessly work into your diet. Make sure you select a variety of colors (dark green, red, orange, etc.) to get the most nutrients per bite. Add some shredded carrots to your muffin batter or top your pizza with fresh tomatoes, for example.

If you know you need to eat more fruit, start by adding some sliced bananas to your cereal in the morning or bake an apple with a bit of brown sugar for a yummy, low-cal dessert. Fresh berries and yogurt make a nice, light breakfast or snack too.

As you adopt this new style of eating, you will find that your food preferences will gradually change—when you cut out high-sugar, high-fat goodies, your cravings will actually go away in time. Your body wants healthy food!
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • Thanks. Small changes I can do - 1/10/2014 10:49:39 AM
  • I can get behind most of these, but the "dip your fork into your sauce and then into your food" seems a little too obsessed/hysteric
    al. Just portion out the amount of sauce you allotted calories for, then you won't get too many calories no matter how you dip. - 1/9/2014 9:09:22 PM
  • I am so pleased to be able to say that I have implemented all of these steps. Everyone last one, over a period of 3.5 years! - 1/9/2014 8:29:47 PM
  • 03191952
    Read comments, very informative today. - 1/9/2014 4:24:13 PM
  • Most of these are great changes to make but....I'm afraid I just can't do skim milk. It's basically cloudy water and tastes about the same. I was raised on 2% and I can do 1% with no problem, though it "tastes funny" by comparison, it's not bad....but skim is just gut-wrenching for me.

    Add in the fact that my mom, boyfriend, etc. all prefer 2% and it becomes fiscally unreasonable to make any huge changes in the milk department. With the rising price of milk these days, buying separate types for different people within a household just doesn't make sense.

    ...I'm also a bit nervous about trying to start "snacking" on nuts. Nuts add up quickly, and only a couple of them just makes me hungrier and I think I'd just go overboard on them. - 1/7/2014 4:35:48 PM
  • ROLAND341
    Hello. I would like to thank you for this helpful article which is really informative to gain benefit. A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition; fluid, adequate essential amino acids from protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and adequate calories. But what about the correct and full guideline? I can recommend a good source http://www.find-t
    r.com/diethom
    e.html which includes precious tips from the diet gurus and nutrition experts. Happy and healthy days..!
    - 12/7/2013 3:12:28 PM
  • ELWHITNEY
    KERICUTCHALL, I found this newer app on my iPhone and have been using it for just about a month now. "Meals4me" is the name and its really getting me excited to try new recipes that stay in my calorie needs! - 11/3/2013 8:15:06 PM
  • ELWHITNEY
    Wow, I really like this information. Always looking for new ways to approach a heathy lifestyle and maintain motivation! Trying to balance a busy life and finding time to eat healthy can be a challenge but I find that having good healthy recipes that you like can be a great way to start! - 11/3/2013 8:13:03 PM
  • KERICUTCHALL
    Is there a place on here that I can get some eating plans that are examples of daily meal plans so I have some idea of what I should be eating each meal?
    - 10/29/2013 12:26:40 PM
  • Thank you. Great info. - 8/10/2013 5:56:01 PM
  • Good article. Only thing is ...it is hard when your husband does'nt want to follow suit. So, I think I am going to have to cook two meals. He likes all kinds of bad food. - 4/23/2013 1:18:27 PM
  • It makes me happy to feel that I am on the right track. When I first started my lifestyle change this time around, I just ate the normal way I would for thte first week and just tracked everything I ate. This way I saw exactly how many calories I was eating. - 3/12/2013 2:33:09 PM
  • i grew up eating an all natural organic vegetarian diet (well started when i was 12 at least when my mom stopped working 80 hour weeks haha) so eating healthy has never been a big issue for me. but since i moved out with my boyfriend (who grew up on a meat and potatoes diet no veggies) i have realized eating healthy is just too expensive. i gained a lot of weight because i would get the unhealthy cheap stuff. and soda. i loved soda. but now ive realized that yes im eating within my calorie range but im not eating good calories. so i started changing small stuff. whole wheat pasta instead of white (50 cent difference when bought in bulk) whole wheat bread instead of white. cut out the soda and drink more green tea and flavored waters. drinking about 120 oz of water each day. i started carrying a water bottle with me everywhere one with the filter in it so i can fill it up anywhere and get fresh water. i do some sort of workout every day. im not losing weight even tho ive been at this for a long while now but i am losing inches which encourages me. im just assuming my body needs to build up muscles first before it kicks out the fat. - 1/13/2013 2:10:25 PM
  • great ideas, small changes add up to BIG changes! thanks - 1/13/2013 12:02:28 PM
  • Disagree with switching to skim milk. Most milk is fortified with Vitamin D, which is fat soluble. Stick with 2% instead. Fat is not evil, our bodies need it, and I'd rather eat naturally occurring fats than the "I can't believe people expect me to believe this is butter" type. People just need to learn to rethink their proportions and cut out the junk. Eat larger portions of veggies and whole grains, smaller portions of meats and fats, and skip the sugar entirely if you can. Refind sugar *is* evil. But so are artificial sweetners. Totally agree with the advice not to drink calories, that's right on the money. :) - 1/13/2013 11:08:48 AM

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