Nutrition Articles

How to Start Eating Healthier

15 Simple Ways to Eat Better Today

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One of the biggest challenges to eating healthier is finding substitutions for existing foods in your diet. Here are some tips to make the transition easier:
  • Use mustard instead of mayo on your sandwiches. You’ll get lots of flavor with much fewer calories and fat.
     
  • Select whole wheat bread over white bread. Be sure to read the label to ensure you’re getting whole grains, not just colored white bread.
     
  • Eat the white meat of turkey or chicken, which is lower in fat than dark meat, red meat and pork. Animal fat is the number one dietary source of unhealthy saturated fat.
     
  • Start using lean ground beef, pork tenderloin or fish instead of high-fat cuts of meat.
     
  • Change your cooking methods. Bake, grill or broil your meals instead of frying. Use non-stick sprays—or better yet, non-stick pans—instead of oil.
     
  • Drink more water. Slowly reduce the amount of soda you drink and replace it with herbal tea or water. Aim for eight cups of pure water each day.
     
  • Don't drink your calories. Eat a whole orange instead of drinking a glass of juice, for example. Real food is usually more filling and more nutritious than juices, fruit drinks, and other high-calorie beverages.
     
  • Serve sauces and dressings on the side. Dip your fork into the sauce, then dip your fork into the food. You’ll still have the flavor but with fewer calories.
     
  • Gradually switch to skim milk. Milk commonly comes in four varieties: whole (4% fat), 2%, 1% and skim (0% fat). Gradually wean yourself from the higher-fat varieties to the lower fat milk every two weeks. For example: continue drinking your normal 2% milk for two weeks, then move to 1% for two weeks, and then your palate will be ready for the consistency of skim milk.
     
  • Switch from full-fat cheeses to reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses the same way you would with milk (see tip above).
     
  • Order vegetables on the side instead of fries. Flavor them with lemon juice or herbs instead of butter.
     
  • Snack on fruit and nuts instead of sugary treats. The fiber, protein and healthy fats in this combo will sustain you to your next meal and you won’t have the energy slump that comes after eating candy.
     
  • Reduce your portion size. Most people will eat whatever amount of food is in front of them, so start putting your meals on smaller plates. You will be just as satisfied because your mind "sees" that you’re eating a full plate of food.
Eating a healthier diet doesn’t have to mean deprivation. You don’t have to cut out your favorite foods completely—you just have to make a few changes. Treat yourself to a mini chocolate bar instead of a full-sized one, for example. By trying to eat the most nutritious foods possible, you are creating a healthy lifestyle that will help you reach your best weight. You deserve the very best!
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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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