Small Changes for Healthy Eating

Eat­ing healthy can often seem over­whelm­ing. You may think it’s nec­es­sary to fol­low a strict plan, change every­thing all at once or avoid foods you enjoy. How­ev­er, restric­tive rules can cause you to quit a new eat­ing plan. Below are 10 tips to help you achieve your healthy eat­ing goals. 

1. Choose to Mod­i­fy One Meal at a Time 

      You can start clean­ing up your break­fast by trad­ing a Dunkin’ Run’ for sprout­ed grain toast with peanut but­ter and a bowl of fruit or Greek yogurt, berries and wal­nuts. Sim­ple and healthy foods can be fast and easy to assem­ble. Once you like your meal plan, move on to tweak­ing lunch.

      2. Clear Out Your Pantry, Fridge and Freez­er of Junk Foods

          When your pantry, fridge or freez­er is stocked with healthy foods, not junk foods, you can con­scious­ly make bet­ter choices. 

          3. Use a Small­er Plate

            Eat­ing off sal­ad plates has been shown to reduce food con­sump­tion at meals by 10 percent. 

            4. Keep Veg­eta­bles and Fruit Front and Center

              In the morn­ing, fill a plate or con­tain­er with ready-to-eat veg­eta­bles and fruit like cher­ry toma­toes, car­rots, sliced cucum­bers, broc­coli, apple slices and clemen­tines. What you don’t eat in the day­time can be quick­ly added to a sal­ad or stir fry for dinner.

              5. Slow Down at Meals

                It takes 20 min­utes for your brain to know you are full. Prac­tice set­ting a 20-minute timer and see if you can stretch your meal out over that time.

                6. Pre­pare Foods in Advance

                Think of ways to prep your meals dur­ing the week­end to eat bet­ter through­out the week. For exam­ple, you can prep raw veg­gies and assem­ble a Greek yogurt dip, make a crock pot meal, prep overnight oats, cook egg and veg­gie break­fast cups or assem­ble a hardy veg­gie and legume sal­ad. Being pre­pared not only saves time, but it also saves you from indulging in extra calo­ries, added sug­ar and unhealthy fats that are com­mon­ly found in pack­aged and take­out foods. 

                7. Pre­load Your Meal with 12 Ounces of Water

                  Drink­ing water before eat­ing can help you con­sume less and slow down dur­ing meal­times, allow­ing you to enjoy your foods more. 

                  8. Shop from a Gro­cery List

                    A gro­cery list is a great tool to help with meal plan­ning. Stick to your list to reduce unnec­es­sary purchases. 

                    9. Get to Bed at a Rea­son­able Time

                      Going to sleep at an appro­pri­ate time pre­vents unin­tend­ed late-night snack­ing in addi­tion to help­ing you feel bet­ter in the morning. 

                      10. Try Not to Think of Cer­tain Foods as Off-Lim­its”

                        Ban­ning a food can make you want that food more. Instead, include a small por­tion of a favorite treat as an occa­sion­al indulgence. 

                        If you have ques­tions or would like to learn ways to eat health­i­er, please click here for more infor­ma­tion or call 630−286−5090 to sched­ule an appoint­ment with a mem­ber of our Nutri­tion­al Ser­vices team.

                        Health Topics:

                        • A healthy diet and lifestyle helps prevent or reduce the impact of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and obesity. Sometimes changes can seem overwhelming. I focus on individual plans that are simple to do and easy to maintain to help improve health.