If the phrase “I’ll start tomorrow” sounds familiar to you, then listen up! March is National Nutrition Month, making it the perfect time to embark on your journey to healthier eating. Whether you're just starting or looking for new ideas, here are some fast and simple tips for better nutrition:
Varying Your Diet:
Understanding what your current diet looks like is an important first step to eating healthier. What foods do you regularly reach for? Do you eat the same foods consistently, or do you follow your cravings? When thinking about each meal, Harvard’s School of Public Health recommends that you fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of your plate with proteins and the final quarter with carbohydrates, adding healthy oils in moderation. Beyond including key food groups in your daily diet, varying what you eat is an easy step towards better eating. Rotating your go-to veggies and fruits will not only make eating healthy more enjoyable, but it will give you the opportunity to try new foods and ensure that you receive a mix of different nutrients. Next time you sit down for dinner, think of what foods you’d like to try to change up the colors on your plate.
Consistency is key when it comes to keeping up with good nutrition. Eating well does not mean eliminating the foods you like; it’s about maintaining a balanced diet. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s okay to incorporate your cravings into your diet in moderation, especially if indulging every now and then will help you stick to your overall nutrition goals. A great way to understand where you can fit in a snack or two is by planning out your meals ahead of time. By planning out what you’re going to eat for the week, you can take stress out of your grocery shopping and make sure that you’re including an appropriate amount of each food group daily. Knowing what you’re eating and how much you’re eating can also help relieve anxiety and guilt around snacking because you can adjust to include it in the context of what you’re eating that day.
Eating healthy food doesn’t have to be boring! It’s very common to approach weight loss healthy eating as a temporary diet or solution to help reach your goals. However, the true benefits of reaching your nutrition goals come with consistency and making a lifestyle change. If you don’t like what you are eating, it’s easy to go off course and indulge in less nutritious snacks. Adding some simple cooking skills to your arsenal can help you enhance the flavor of your healthy foods. For example, high heat cooking techniques such as pan-searing, grilling or broiling can help brown and add flavor to your proteins. And for those who aren’t big vegetable fans, dressing your veggies up with some olive oil and herbs and roasting them in the oven or grill can add sweet, smoky flavors, making them fun and easier to eat.
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