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5 Simple Tips to Healthier Eating
It seems there's always a new diet treatment hitting the market, or talk of a magic pill that will eliminate fat. Whether you choose to partake in any of these new treatments or not, it's wise to remember the basics of healthy eating.
Just what is "healthy eating?" Is it only fruits and vegetables? Is it never eating sugar? It is eating only organic foods? Well, to some people, that is healthy eating. But, for the purposes of this article, when I refer to healthy eating I'm referring to balancing the food you eat to stay healthy. By keeping your diet balanced, you'll find you are giving your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay strong. This in turn gives you energy and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
What are some basic tips for healthy eating?
1. Don't skip any meals
That might sound odd to some people who believe you can only lose weight when you eat less. But, in fact, skipping meals is not healthy, and can actually keep you from maintaining your desired weight. Why? Well, one reason is that your metabolism increases when you eat. And, when the metabolism is increased, you burn more energy. Eating 3 meals with snacks in between is the ideal way to maintain both energy and a healthy weight. What's that, you say, a snack in between? That's right; a snack in between smaller meals is actually good for you. First, it can help you not feel so hungry at meals. And, when you don't feel so hungry at meals, you tend not to eat as much. And, second, eating 5 smaller meals a day helps prevent the large spikes and drops in your blood sugar associated with fewer meals a day.
2. Chew slowly
This advice may seem a bit corny, but it makes sense. When you wolf down your food you aren't giving your brain time to register when you’re full, which takes about 20 minutes. By the time you finally get the signal it's too late and you've eaten far more than you needed to. Therefore, if you chew your food slowly it slows down your eating.
3. Learn how to prepare foods
Instead of deep frying, try grilling, stir frying, microwaving, baking, boiling and, in the case of vegetables - raw. And, if you really insist on using butter for cooking, try a butter substitute. I use a yogurt butter which is half the fat of regular butter, but tastes the same as real butter. If you use butter to add flavor to food, try something else for a change, like lemon, vinegar or dried herbs and spices. Before you eat any type of meat, be sure to trim it of fat and skin.
4. Avoid alot of sugar
If you can eliminate sugar, good for you, but, if you can't, at least cut down. Drinks that contain sugar are a major source of empty calories. If you plan to drink sugary drinks, don't go overboard - limit yourself to one a day.
5. Skip the diet foods
If you follow healthy eating guidelines, there's really no need to buy prepared diet foods. A good number of these foods contain chemicals and additives that can be counterproductive to a healthy diet. A healthy portion of "real" food beats a heaping of prepared diet food any day, and doesn't leave you feeling deprived.
Eating healthier doesn't have to be difficult. The key is to be mindful of what and how you’re eating. Noticing is the first step in changing behavior.
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