How do I Develop Healthy Eating Habits?

Sheri Cyprus

Developing healthy eating habits isn't always an easy task, especially since snacking on fat and calorie-laden foods is often difficult to avoid today. Many parts of the world feature a variety of fast food restaurants as well as grocery store aisles loaded with cookies, candy and fried foods. Eating some of these non-nutritional foods can still usually be part of a healthy diet if they are eaten in small portions once in awhile. Sticking to your favorite foods, both in daily nutritious ones and in occasional treats, can help you develop healthy eating habits.

Fruit salad works as a healthy dessert.
Fruit salad works as a healthy dessert.

By limiting your treats to only those you really love, you can often reduce the amount of high calorie, high fat foods you consume. Doing this can aid you in your goal to eat healthier because it reminds you to enjoy your very favorite treats rather than just consume extra fat, sugar or starch mindlessly. Trying to eat more of your favorite healthy foods in your diet can also edge out a lot of the unhealthy ones.

Maintaining a food journal is a great way to track what foods you're eating.
Maintaining a food journal is a great way to track what foods you're eating.

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Keeping a food journal that begins with lists of all of your favorite foods and drinks along with their calorie and fat counts can help you consciously develop healthy eating habits. If your doctor informs you that you need to watch your sodium, carbohydrate or other food values, keeping track of the daily numbers in a journal is a good way to monitor your health. The record can be handy to bring to medical appointments as well, especially if you note your blood pressure or other numbers the doctor had asked you to record.

Healthy foods can be enjoyable.
Healthy foods can be enjoyable.

If you're not sure of the calorie and other amounts of food values you should be getting each day in your diet in order to be your healthiest, mentioning this to your doctor is a good idea. He or she is likely to recommend you to healthy eating habits classes or for an appointment with a nutritionist. It's the balance of different kinds of foods that creates health and achieving this isn't easy for many people. Nutritionists help individuals with eating plans that fit each person's unique health needs.

Oils derived from nuts and olives are high in healthy unsaturated fats.
Oils derived from nuts and olives are high in healthy unsaturated fats.

Healthy eating isn't only the balance of the right foods though. It's also about portion control since too much of even the most nutritious foods may lead to weight gain or other problems. Developing healthy eating habits in terms of portion control is often easiest if you begin by using smaller plates and serving food not at the table, but before you sit down to eat. The amount of food you should have will appear larger on a smaller plate; a beautiful design and color you like can enhance the look of portion sizes. Also eat slowly and enjoy your food as this can make smaller portions taste more satisfying.

Eating nutritious food is important for a healthy, balanced diet.
Eating nutritious food is important for a healthy, balanced diet.
A healthy breakfast for kids could include oatmeal and high-fiber fruits such as kiwi and oranges.
A healthy breakfast for kids could include oatmeal and high-fiber fruits such as kiwi and oranges.
Keep your refrigerator stocked with oranges and other healthy fruits to develop healthy eating habits.
Keep your refrigerator stocked with oranges and other healthy fruits to develop healthy eating habits.
Practicing healthy eating habits can help people maintain a healthy body weight.
Practicing healthy eating habits can help people maintain a healthy body weight.
A healthy body weight is essential for good health.
A healthy body weight is essential for good health.
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of eating healthy.
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of eating healthy.

Discussion Comments

Buster29

My office had a weight-loss challenge a few years ago and I realized just how unhealthy my food choices really were. I try to blame it on time constraints or my limited budget, but then I noticed that a cup of fresh fruit salad at the grocery store wasn't any more expensive than my usual bacon and egg sandwich. I had the same amount of time to eat a piece of grilled chicken as I did to eat a hamburger.

After that challenge was over, I found a healthy eating habits article online and completely changed my daily routine. A health food store close to my house sold healthy smoothies, so instead of coffee and a pastry from a coffee shop, I'd stop at the health food store most mornings. Lunch may have been at a fast food place, but I'd get a salad or a grilled chicken sandwich instead of the usual burger, fries and large soda. Dinner would often be fish or vegetarian meals. I have lost 25 pounds, and I have a lot more energy these days.

Reminiscence

When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I had to learn some good healthy eating habits in a short amount of time. I knew I had to eliminate excess sugar and processed carbohydrates from my diet, but I had no idea how to judge if a favorite food was truly diabetic-friendly or not. I had to do some serious research online before I got a handle on what I should be eating and what I should be avoiding.

The first thing I did was learn how to make a healthy breakfast. I figured if I could make one healthy meal a day, then the rest of the meals would become better along the way. Instead of my usual fast food sausage and egg biscuits and deep fried hash browns, I started making unsweetened oatmeal with fruit instead. The fruit helped sweeten the oats, so I didn't feel deprived. Instead of coffee or a soft drink, I had a yogurt smoothie and a glass of water.

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