Healthy Eating – Where To Start?

Set yourself up for success. Instead of worrying too much about counting calories or measuring portion sizes on your menu, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on finding foods that you love and on easy recipes that include a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.

Start slowly.

Make changes to your usual menu over a period of time. Changing your diet to a healthy one in one day is not realistic and not very smart. A drastic, quick change usually leads to self-deception or abandonment of healthy eating plans.

Start with small steps, such as adding salads (of raw colorful vegetables) to your diet once a day, or switching to olive oil in cooking, or including healthy snacks of dried fruits, nuts, apples, and berries. And once these small details become a habit, you can continue to add more “healthy” items to your menu.

Focus on how you feel after eating.

This will help you develop new healthy habits and tastes. The more healthy foods you eat, the better you will feel after a meal. Conversely, the more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or lacking in energy.

Remember that your long-term goal is to feel good, increase your vitality, and improve your health.

Water is the source of life!

Water participates in metabolism, and removes unnecessary and harmful products from the body. If the body lacks water, fatigue, headaches, and decreased activity occur. As a rule, people confuse thirst with a false sense of hunger, so it is very important not to forget about daily hydration.

Moderation in eating is the key to healthy eating

If you get up from the table hungry, you are full.

If you get up full, you have eaten too much. If you get up after eating, you have been poisoned. Anton Chekhov.

The basis of a healthy diet is moderation in eating. In essence, this means that you should eat exactly as much as your body requires for a certain constitution (body type) and a certain level of daily activity. Eating should be a pleasure, not a stuffing. We also need to keep in mind the balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diet.

Try to reduce portion sizes (you can try using smaller dishes at home). Also, try to eat less processed foods (refined sugars, saturated fats) and replace them with healthy foods (fruits and vegetables, boiled, baked, and whole wheat flour). But this doesn’t mean completely eliminating the foods you love. For example, if you eat fried pork for lunch once a week and keep breakfast and dinner “healthy,” it won’t do you much harm.

Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits, especially for children, as it allows them to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer or with a book often leads to mindless overeating.

Take time to chew your food and take your time. Chew slowly, savoring each bite.

This way, you won’t eat too much, and the food will be sufficiently chopped for effective digestive enzyme processing, which will speed up and improve its absorption.

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. Low in calories and rich in nutrients, fruits, and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day, and the more colorful your meals are, the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables have a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Try adding berries and dried fruits to breakfast cereals and porridge, eating fruit for dessert, and snacking on fresh vegetables.

Green vegetables. The range of colors here is from bright to dark green. Lettuce, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, and other green vegetables are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.

Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, and onions add a sweet tinge to healthy food and reduce cravings for other sweets.

Fruits. Delicious foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Apples provide fiber, oranges, and mangoes offer vitamin C, and so on.

Eat more whole grains and healthy fats

Healthy carbohydrates include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy carbohydrates digest slowly, helping you feel full and keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels stable.

Include whole grains in your diet (whole wheat, brown rice, millet, barley, buckwheat). Experiment with different grains to find your favorites.

Avoid highly processed foods, such as bread and pasta made from high-grade flour, and breakfast cereals that are not made from whole grains.

Include healthy fats in your diet – vegetable fats such as peanut butter, olive, and flaxseed oil, avocados, nuts, seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, soy), fish such as salmon, herring, anchovies, and sardines.

By switching to a healthy diet, you will eventually see the difference not so much in the food, but in the way, it affects you. Once you feel the positive changes, you are unlikely to want to return to your old lifestyle.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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