It's always a good time to make better choices about eating smarter and healthier. But this is especially true following the holiday season, where we break more comfortably (and frequently) for extra-indulgent fare. Following such escapades, fresh starts are generally in order.
Whether you're rebounding from a run of decadent eating or simply want to give your existing regimen a boost that will yield greater health and nutrition payoffs--sans extreme measures or deprivation--these simple tips for smarter and healthier eating will supply you with extra fuel in your arsenal. They are tips that easily evolve into habits that will keep you on the right track (or get you back there) for a new year (and lifetime) of good eating in the truest sense.
1. Read food labels carefully. Knowledge is power--and that couldn't be truer when it pertains to understanding what you're feeding your body. Taking a few extra moments to evaluate the amount of fat, sugar, or other contents, in packaged foods can mean all the difference between smart (and healthy) vs. poor choices.
2. Pay attention to serving sizes. This is a must, especially when your goals include a healthy body weight. Frequently, the packaging of that favorite beverage or goodies (chips, cookies, candy, crackers, etc.) will make it seem as if it's all one serving. But, in keeping with tip #1, if you read the label more closely, you'll often discover that you have multiple servings (and multiplied calories!) tied into that neat, "little" package.
3. Cook your food. The best way to know what you're eating and control serving portions is to cook and serve yourself. The benefits, health and otherwise, of home-cooked meals far outweigh the extra time and commitment it involves (and you can always count on DMRFF for inspiration.) :) So even if you increase your "nights in" by only one or two days a week, you'll reap hearty benefits on food cost savings and with more balanced, wholesome meals.
4. Keep healthy snacks on stash. Whether you're lounging at home or running errands, keep healthy snacks like fresh fruit, nuts, yogurt, popcorn and bite-sized veggies on hand. Not only will having these snacks readily available avert the temptation to eat more unhealthy snacks, especially when hunger pangs strike suddenly, but you'll likely notice a correlation to improved fitness and energy levels.
5. Go natural when possible. If you have access to farmers markets or organic selections at your local grocery store, opt for the best selections possible. I'm especially keen on organic dairy, produce and meat selections.
Combine these tips with your personal goals for eating smart, without sacrificing taste, variety or the joy of eating.
What smart eating habits do you follow?