To help you on your journey, try these Top Best 20 Tips for Healthier Eating – you’ll be glad you did.
1. Take some time to discover your primary reasons for healthier eating and how much time you are able to commit to the process. This will help you determine what to buy at the grocery store and how to design your weekly meal plan. For example, maybe you need to shop & cook on Sunday for the week, or maybe you can commit to shop 2x a week and cook a simple meal each evening. See my other posts: The Best Meal Plans and The Ultimate Grocery List for how to meal plan and a complete grocery list.
2. Don’t drink your sugar or your calories. Focus on drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water each day. Figure out what works best for you – fill a gallon pitcher each morning or carry a water bottle. High calorie drinks like specialty coffees and soft drinks can add a lot of calories and additives. Diet drinks are full of chemicals – plan to taper off these as time goes on. I love this water bottle to help track my water intake all day.
3. Include protein, complex carbohydrate and healthy fat at every meal to ensure you are satisfied and are fulfilling your nutritional needs. The amounts of each will vary for each person but in general we tend to get less protein than we need and tend to eat more carbs than needed. Protein and healthy fat will help keep you feeling full longer.
4. Move your body every day. Support your new healthier eating habits by taking part in some activity every day. Add a walk around the block if you are just getting started – you may be surprised by how good you feel.
5. Simplify mealtime. Keep your meal ingredients to a minimum—just be sure to include a source of complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fat at each meal.
6. Eat when you are hungry, not according to the clock. I often find myself going to the fridge around 11am thinking it’s time for lunch when the reality is that I had a late breakfast and am not hungry. This has made a huge impact for me, even though I still sometimes forget and end up at the fridge around noon. This is leading you towards more mindful eating and understanding when you are actually hungry as opposed to bored or looking for something to do.
7. Mindful eating. Similar to the tip above but more focused on when you are eating. Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full—meaning satisfied, not stuffed.
8. Read the Label. This is a must-do for healthier eating! There is so much non-nutritious “stuff’ that goes into so much of our food that we must take the lead to read the label and decide if an item is good for us. Remember the basic guideline – anything with more than 5 ingredients probably doesn’t need to go into our cart. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, that’s another hint.
9. Start Cooking at home more often. If this is new to you, start with making a great salad and with some frozen chicken breast strips. Practice on the weekend with new recipes, roasting some veggies in the oven and pan searing a chicken breast. If you are used to take-out, then start with a premade rotisserie chicken with some frozen veggies. It will help you get in the habit of preparing a meal and sitting at home to eat it at the table.
More Top 20 Tips for Healthier Eating
10. Plan your meals for the week so you can create 1 grocery list and do most of your shopping in one visit (with another short trip to restock fresh fruit & vegies during the week). See THIS POST for a quick, simple way to create a weekly meal plan and THIS POST for a healthier eating grocery list.
11. No matter which nutrition plan you follow, for healthier eating you must eliminate junk food. Go to your pantry and fridge right now and toss as much of it as you can. Stick to your grocery list and stay out of the junk food aisles and you won’t be bringing it into the house.
13. Eat the Rainbow – you’ve probably heard this but what it means is that you should try to have a variety of colors on your plate. This will help you get more fiber & nutrients as you add greens, yellows, reds. Etc.
14. Be aware of Sugar in all its forms and reduce overall intake. As we age, sugar becomes a significant health issue for many of us. We aren’t going to be the sugar police here, but trying to find ways, even in small areas, to reduce your sugar intake is an important part of healthy eating.
15. Decide what healthy eating means to you and don’t consider it a “diet.” I like to think of it as a way of life. Think about all the great things you can eat instead of what you can’t.
More Ideas for Healthier Eating
16. Choose organic clean foods whenever possible if and when your budget limits allows. Keep the Dirty Dozen list on hand and try to select organic versions of those foods. Next, if your budget allows, make meat, eggs, dairy the organic priorities.
17. Get used to taking food with you. Packing a healthy meal and snacks for a meal at work or when you are on the go will help avoid last minute fast food choices. It almost always healthier and less expensive.
18. Watch your blood sugar levels. Another big part of eating healthy is to keep your blood sugar levels in check. This means avoiding the refined sugar foods and eating more fiber-rich nutrient-dense options. Blood sugar swings can lead to that hangry feeling which often leads to eating anything close by and usually not the best options.
19. Try new recipes (Pinterest is great for this) and you’ll be able to find many new meals that you may have never thought of. It gives you a wide variety of options and adds some fun into the meal prep process. Aim to select 1 new recipe each week and let your family try something new. If it’s a favorite you can add it to your regular weekly meal planning.
20. Here is the last Top 20 Tips for Healthier Eating – Focus on making progress each week and don’t put pressure on yourself to do everything perfectly. Over time, you’ll make good progress and will see how your diet gradually changes and the processed, overly sweet foods will no longer have so much appeal.
I hope this has provided some good food for thought about how you can transition to healthy eating or reinforced those good decisions you’ve been making. To dive more into this healthy eating journey, here are a few of my favorite resources:
- My favorite blender to use is the NutriBullet for a budget friendly choice. If you would like to use a higher quality, more professional blender, you can invest in the Vitamix but be sure of your commitment as this is an expensive tool.
- https://drhyman.com/ has a great podcast and several good healthy eating books. I like his concept of Pegan eating which is a focus on vegan but supports some meat as well.
- Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food
- Forks Over Knives Cookbook ….and Documentary on Amazon Prime
- Whole30 – Program Overview and great Cookbooks
- My favorite healthy eating cookbooks:
Leave a comment below – I would love to hear from you what your healthy eating journey looks like and your favorite cookbooks or resources.