When it is time for your next meal, you always have the opportunity to start eating healthier wherever poor diet has been. Your attitude to eat, how prepared you are to get healthy and how you experience your relationship with food really do matter. Here are some tips to jump-start your diet on a healthier path
Eat with greater focus and awareness. This is referred to as “conscious eating.” How many times chomp down your food while sitting in front of a computer, talking on the phone or watching TV? As you look down on the crumbs left on your plate, you do not remember how the food tasted. Instead of feeling content, you come for a second serving only to repeat the cycle of unconscious eating. Focus on your meal, not what happened to you during the day or things you need to do later. Bring yourself in the moment using the senses to see, smell and taste the food. What texture is what you experience in your mouth? When you eat, you should be fully awake during the experience.
Focus on adding food, not take it away. Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your meals for the bulk of your diet. Sure you should limit empty non-nutritive calories from your diet such as candy, soda, fried foods and processed grains like white bread. In a perfect world, you can cut these out of your diet completely, but you let yourself feel deprived if you do it. A person who feels deprived will indulge and sabotage their healthy eating efforts. Allow yourself small portions of unhealthy foods you love once a week.
Find balance and portion control. This does not just refer to nutrition and portion size contained in RDA food pyramid, but also for eye appeal and contrast with textures and flavors. Color your plate healthy! Colorful fruits and vegetables generally contain the highest forms of nutrition. There are many schools of thought on how to balance the meal. A popular suggestion is to have half of your plate full of fruits and vegetables with the other side of your plate filled with 1/2 cup of whole grains and 4 to 6 oz. of protein. Count dairy, cheese and soy protein.
Prepare healthy food choices in advance. Pre-wash and chop fresh fruits and vegetables to have on hand when you feel hungry. Write down some of your favorite healthy, easy to prepare food choices and have them on hand every week. Apples, bananas and oranges are nice portable fruits in their whole state and stay fresh for long periods outside the refrigerator. The more healthy food choices you make, the more they will begin to appeal to you.
Pay more attention to how you feel and how your clothes fit. Do not focus on the bathroom scale. The number on the scale will fluctuate with water retention. Remember to like yourself for who you are and be grateful for the gift of your physical body. So many people are unhappy because of the number on the scale or their dress size. Make your diet on health, not vanity.