Healthy Eating in 2020: See How Easy It Is!

easy steps for healthier eating

The new year is here. Maybe a new you? As is often the case with every new year, there’s a “to do list” which may include getting rid of your paunch and boosting your energy level with a healthy eating plan. So, you start thinking about healthy eating, and as usual, it’s very confusing. If only you could come up with some easy steps for healthier eating in 2020 that might even help you lose weight!

And, if you come up with a plan, will your best intentions actually last long enough to get your goals and weight loss accomplished? If your efforts were like most Americans last year, your good intentions may fizzle out around February. Sometimes it’s just too hard to sustain those steps you came up with. They are not realistic for your busy life!

Initial realistic healthy eating steps

easy steps for healthier eating

For 2020, consider beginning with small painless changes. These tiny changes can make a monumental dent in your bad health, waistline, and poor energy levels. The first suggestions revolve around how you plate your food of all things! How you portion your food and the color of your plates and tablecloths can all make a difference!

Portions and plate size. Focus on smaller portions of all foods placed on smaller plates. It may sound ridiculous, but smaller portions always yield less of all nutrients. That includes both fat and calories, both of which are important in achieving weight loss.

Contrast your plate and food color. Research has suggested that contrasting plate color and food color may aid in prompting smaller food portion sizes. For instance, pasta covered with red sauce served on a white plate would tend to cause less to be eaten. A serving of pasta covered in red sauce served on a red/orange plate would potentially trigger the consumption of a heftier portion! I think because we should be eating a rainbow of colored foods, white plates are often the best color for plates.

But don’t contrast your your plate and tablecloth color! The same researchers also found that food portion sizes could be reduced by limiting contrast between the dinner plate and the tablecloth. So a white plate on a cream tablecloth would be more effective in cutting food portions than a white plate placed on a black tablecloth.

More steps to accomplish healthy eating

eat more plants and less meat

Eat more plant based foods every day. Plant based foods yield fiber which fills you up and offers endless health benefits. These plant based foods are rich sources of phytochemicals which help ward off disease. These disease fighting compounds are not found in vitamin pills. They are, however, readily available in whole grains as well as fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables!

Eat less animal protein. You will help your waistline and the planet at the same time. Each 1-oz. serving of animal protein may actually hide as much as a pat of butter in the muscle. By slashing your intake of animal protein, you are also cutting down on saturated fat. Saturated fat is considered to be the type of fat with the least benefit to overall health. For the planet, cutting down on animal protein consumption cuts down on energy usage and pollution.

Drink more water. Sometimes you think you’re hungry, but you are really thirsty! Drink a glass of water automatically before each meal. Include more lighter soups in your diet. The fluid will also fill you up as well as alleviate your thirst. If you don’t like plain water, add more calorie free teas like green tea to your diet. Wondering if you drink enough fluid? Check your urine. If it’s clear to pale yellow then you are hydrating enough.

Get into the habit of planning your eating

Planning does take some practice. It doesn’t matter what is being planned. With that stated, I think it is easier to plan something like a vacation than eating. Because eating happens every day, it is often unplanned. Unfortunately, that lack of planning can often lead to poor choices in food. Starting this food planning process does not need to be difficult.

Start with cleaning out and organizing your food storage areas. You need “tools” to pull off healthy eating. Your tools are healthy foods and ingredients you have on hand to make sure you eat at home more than you eat out!

Make a menu. This doesn’t need to be elaborate. It can be as simple as a sheet of paper posted to your refrigerator. Most people have the toughest time at dinner. Start with planning out a business week of dinner meals and post it where you can easily see it. This will allow you to pull foods from the freezer, use up leftovers, and gather what you need to make your dinners. Once those dinners are planned, you can embrace the process and move on to lunch and breakfast! For fast and nutritious breakfasts, here are some options.

Key messages

Start out easy by paying attention to how you present food to yourself. Portions of food always matter, so use smaller plates so your portions seem larger than they are. Consider using light colored plates to contrast with colored food in order to eat smaller food portions. Go a step further by making your plate and tablecloth colors similar to aid in smaller food portions.

Moving on to actual eating, choose more plant based foods. By increasing plant based foods and decreasing meat, you are easily improving the quality of your diet. Drink plenty of calorie free liquids to fill you up. Consider planning out your most difficult meals, such as dinner. Get your kitchen organized and make a menu to begin improving your diet each and every day. A little thought and organization is monumental in straightening out a poor quality diet quickly. Remember, small but consistent changes in eating behavior can affect your health for the rest of your life!

Cheers to a better diet for you in 2020.

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Guide to Healthy Eating in 5 Simple Steps

Quick guide to healthy eating: and it's painlessBetween “Dr. Google” and all the nutrition books available, it’s no wonder people are confused about how to eat. Many clients tell me it seems the recommendations are always changing, and it makes for a lot of confusion. In reality, it’s not difficult if you can remember some diet savvy strategies to get started. Here’s a quick and easy guide to healthy eating that you can implement now. And, it’s painless and takes only five steps.

5 steps to guide your healthy eating now

1. Eat tons of colorful fruits and vegetables

Risk for diseases such as cancer and heart disease decline as more fruits and vegetables increase in the diet. In part, this is due to the fact that the more colorful your diet, the richer your diet is in anti-inflammatory compounds. In fact, certain food colors are associated with very specific disease risk reduction. Increasing your daily intake of both fruits and vegetables to at least five servings per day will decrease your risk of many diseases.

2. Cut animal protein to guide healthy eating

Most people eat way too much animal protein. By decreasing your animal protein, you are decreasing your fat intake which can be a good thing if you are trying to manage your weight. Even if you are not trying to manage your weight, cutting down on animal protein will decrease saturated fat. A lower saturated fat intake can lessen inflammation. Furthermore, your kidneys will benefit from a lower protein intake as they do not need to work so hard.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), consumption of 18 oz. of red meat per week correlates with increased colorectal cancer. Red meats include beef, pork, and lamb. Both colorectal and stomach cancer risk increase with red meat and processed meat consumption. Processed meats are meats that are salted, cured, or smoked. For more healthy eating tips, the AICR offers other guidelines on healthy eating for cancer prevention.

3. Limit your restaurant and carry out food

guide to healthy eating

I have never met a client that was able to lose weight and eat restaurant/carry out food on a daily basis. Consumer beware: most restaurant/carryout food is higher in sodium, calories, and fat than the same food prepared at home. Check menus and nutrition information in advance of dining out. I had a client recently that ordered a so-called healthy salad at a chain restaurant thinking it was a good choice. Unfortunately, the calories clocked in at 1400!  Good thing she was active that day!

4. Take advantage of convenience foods

I guarantee a Healthy Choice, Kashi, or even Lean Cuisine frozen dinner is going to stack up with less calories, sodium, and fat that your average carry out meal. The portion control eliminates the need to think too much when you are tired or your defenses are down for whatever reason. Round out your meal by including a healthy beverage and a fruit/vegetable side.

5. Meals options, no cooking is ok

Is it a problem to eat cereal for dinner? I don’t think so! Have that cereal with milk or a milk alternative, some fresh fruit, an it’s a rather nutritionally adequate and satisfying easy meal. By choosing a higher fiber unsweetened cereal you have improved the quality of your meal dramatically. Not into cereal for dinner? Then try a simple fruit smoothie made with some milk for another nutrient dense snack or meal replacement. Ever think of adding cottage cheese to the smoothie? It makes the smoothie taste like cheesecake! Try my very creamy smoothie.

Guide to healthy eating takeaway

Increasing plant based foods while decreasing animal protein will go a long way in improving your diet. Making food at home, as opposed to takeout or restaurant food, will slash your fat, sodium, and calories painlessly. Consider capitalizing on the grocery store convenience foods-foods already prepped or frozen, and this will keep you away from restaurants and take out food. And, remember that cold uncooked foods and snacks can also count as a “meal” whenever too tired or lazy to prep or cook a multi-course meal.

What are your healthy eating strategies?

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