Tag Archive | "snacks"

Where to Start With Your Healthy Eating Plan

Once you’ve decided to take the first steps in healthy eating, creating a plan to guide you will help you in your efforts. Eating healthier can start with small changes at first and you can progress from there, but creating goals for yourself in advance will help you stay focused and measure your progress.

Make Realistic Goals

If losing weight is what you hope to accomplish with your new healthy eating habits, set reasonable goals for yourself in terms of how much weight you’d like to lose. For some, gaining weight, lowering cholesterol, or building muscle may be the goal. Regardless of what you’re working towards, making goals that aren’t too easy or too impossible is a great way to stay motivated.

Stay Away From Convenience Foods

Not in every case, but quite often, packaged foods that are ready to eat are much less healthy than something home cooked. Cooking healthy meals from fresh meats, vegetables, and whole grains allows you to see what you’re putting into your meal and cut down on the excess fats and sugars you don’t need. You’re also potentially cutting out quite a bit of preservatives and toxins by eating this way.

Don’t Be Afraid To Snack

Sticking to a healthy eating plan doesn’t mean you need to cut snacks out of your day. Switching up your snack choices to a healthier alternative will allow you to fulfill your cravings while helping you to feel full and satisfied all day. Have a snack alternative option ready for every different craving you have, such as sweet, salty, hot, cold, or crunchy. Eat a piece of fruit in place of a candy bar or have a handful of nuts rather than a bag of chips.

Start Slowly

Making too many drastic changes at once could be discouraging if you become overwhelmed with denying yourself all the foods you’re used to. Start by reducing your portions on your regular meals and cutting out the little things like that bag of chips you wolfed down on the way home and didn’t really taste. Once you’ve become accustomed to paying more attention to your diet, add a few more healthy eating habits in one at a time and soon you’ll notice your whole routine has changed for the better.

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Tips To Help You Stick to Your Healthy Eating Goals

Most people slip up or cheat at some point when trying to eat healthier but it’s important to not let these instances discourage you and to focus on the things that will help you stick to your goals. Be proud of what you do accomplish and don’t allow yourself to be wracked with guilt over what you can’t. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you shouldn’t learn to be strict with your eating habits.

Be Honest and Realistic With Yourself

Decide what your healthy eating goals are and be realistic with yourself about what you hope to achieve. Making goals that are too easy will prevent you from pushing yourself while making impossible goals will just discourage you and could cause you to give up. When you accomplish your goals, reward yourself and set new ones, but avoid rewarding yourself with junk food as that will only undo all of your hard work.

Don’t Give Up Everything You Love

You don’t have to swear off snack foods entirely, just make healthy eating choices when you can and start your efforts off slowly. Rather than watching TV with a bag of potato chips, snack on a small bowl of plain popcorn. Plan your snack alternatives in advance and have a choice ready for every different taste you crave. Trade sweets and candy in for fresh fruit or eat a smaller piece of dark chocolate in lieu of a sugar loaded candy bar.

Don’t Starve Yourself

Feeling full throughout the day will prevent you from giving in to the urge to snack on something full of sugar or fat. Be sure to drink plenty of water and have healthier snacks during the day rather than saving your hunger up and going crazy on the cheese puffs in the evening. Try eating multiple smaller meals a day rather than three larger ones if this helps you to feel satisfied and less hungry.

Clear Out Your Junk Cupboard

If it’s there, you’re far more likely to grab that convenient bag of cookies sitting at the back of your cupboard when you don’t feel like taking the time to prepare a healthy snack. Throw out all the junk food you have and when you really can’t fight the urge make sure you only buy smaller packages of your favourite treats so you don’t have leftovers sitting in your kitchen to tempt you.

Your healthy eating habits should be a lifelong journey rather than a crash diet, so don’t get too down on yourself when you eat a little more than you should have or just can’t resist that delicious looking pastry. Rather than thinking all hope is lost, throwing your goals out the window, and finishing off the whole pizza because you’ve had one piece, just start over then and there and stay positive about your goals.

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Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference for Healthy Eating

If you want to start leading a healthier lifestyle, you don’t need to do an overhaul on your whole life to see results. Even if you do plan on making drastic changes, these changes should be done slowly to give yourself time to adjust and improve your chances at long-term success. A little exercise along with some healthy eating habits can help you feel slimmer and more fit in no time.

Choose the Healthier Alternative

In the grocery store, go for the plain popcorn instead of the super drenched movie theatre butter flavour. At a restaurant, substitute your fries for a salad or change your carb loaded potatoes to a lighter vegetable. For breads and pastas, give the whole wheat types a try. Even when you just have to have your chocolate fix, try one of the darker types of chocolate that contain less sugar. Whatever you’re choosing to eat, take a moment to consider what a healthier option would be.

Portion Control

Limiting how much you eat is one of the most important tips for healthy eating. Some people can’t bear to give up their favourite foods, but cutting your portions in half still allows you to enjoy what you love with half the guilt. Getting the “100 calorie” packages of the chips and chocolates you can’t live with out will remind you how much you’re consuming so you know to stop when the package is empty.

Alcohol and Those Extra Calories

When you’re going to a social event and you want to have a few drinks with your friends, you don’t need to throw your healthy eating plan out the window. Switching to a lighter beer or drinking spirits with a low calorie mixer can reduce the amount of calories you’ll be consuming. To cut that number in half again, alternate your alcoholic beverages with a glass of water or another non-alcoholic, low calorie beverage.

Break Your Bad Habits

Pay attention to your eating habits over the course of a few days and pinpoint the times you snack the most. If you tend to blow through a bag of chips while sitting in front of the TV, stop snacking in your living room or switch your snacks to veggies and fat free dip. If you tend to binge eat after a stressful day at work, reflect on the things that have upset you and find other ways to deal with your stress.

Healthy eating habits can be learned little by little until they’ve become second nature to you. The more you learn, the less you’ll need to struggle with your eating habits. As it becomes easier you’ll be able to make more and more changes to reach your healthy eating goals.

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Healthy Eating: Learning to Snack Smart

healthy snack choices

With any good healthy eating plan, snacking can throw a wrench into your best efforts. You can have the healthiest meals planned out, but when you can’t make it from lunch to dinner and have to grab something to tide you over, be sure you aren’t eating something that will sabotage you.

Satisfy Your Cravings

Always have a snack alternative for every craving. When you want a salty bag of chips, eat a handful of nuts instead. For that sweet tooth, grab an apple or banana rather than a pack of candy. Substituting a healthy choice for your hot, cold, crunchy, and creamy cravings will keep you feeling full and satisfied without out all the guilt.

Eat Smaller Meals

If you feel like you have to snack quite a few times a day and just can’t wait for your main meals, split your three large meals up into six smaller ones. This will keep you feeling full all day while giving your body time to properly digest a smaller amount of food. Eating this way may also encourage you to plan out healthier meals rather than grabbing something quick between meals that may not be as good for you.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can make you feel hungry when you’re actually just thirsty. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day to fight these feelings. Caffeine and drinks with artificial sweeteners can sometimes cause you to feel hungrier, so sticking to water and low calories juices are usually your best bet.

TV Snacking

Either completely cut out the snack sessions while watching television or switch to something that isn’t loaded with calories. Plain popcorn without the extra butter, sunflower seeds, or a bowl of grapes are all healthier options than a bag of chips or pretzels and they will still take quiet awhile to eat.

You don’t have to give up your afternoon snack times in order to practice healthy eating habits, just choose your snacks more wisely. Picking the lower calorie or lower fat varieties of your favourite snack can be the first step in eating healthier. Changing to a different type of food altogether or cutting down on how many snacks you have throughout the day can be your next step. Start off slowly and gradually switch to healthier foods for long term success in healthy eating habits.

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Healthy Eating: Fighting the Urge to Rely On Comfort Foods

Too often people eat to make themselves feel better rather than to satisfy their hunger. When you eat for this reason, the foods you crave are usually those loaded with sugar or fat rather than healthy fruits and veggies. In order to develop healthy eating habits, the reliance on comfort foods needs to be reduced or eliminated completely.

Reflect On Why You Eat

Before reaching for a candy bar when you’re in line at the grocery store, ask yourself if you really need some chocolate and why. If you’ve had a stressful day at work or you’ve been under emotional strain, put the candy back and try to find a healthier way to make yourself feel better. Replacing exercise with eating will not only maximize any weight loss goals, it will increase your endorphins and give you a huge self esteem boost.

Healthy Eating For Dessert

A delicious dessert at the end of a hard day can be the highlight of the evening for a lot of people. Rather than eating a piece of cake or bowl of ice cream, have a fresh bowl fruit salad or some low-fat frozen yogurt. Substituting your high calorie desserts for something a little healthier can be a guilt free way to finish your day.

Clear Out Your Cupboards

Keeping chips and cookies in the cupboards is too tempting for most people, especially after a rough day. Throw out all your junk food and when a craving hits you, you won’t be tempted by fatty snack foods and you’ll be more likely to munch on something much better for you. Willpower can only take you so far in your healthy eating goals, so avoid the candy aisles and don’t even look in the vending machines you walk past until you’ve trained yourself to resist your junk food cravings.

Don’t Negotiate

It’s easy to talk yourself into having just one piece of cake or thinking that because you’ve had a rough day you deserve it. After eating that one piece it’s pretty likely that you’ll feel guilty for doing so and you may end up feeling worse than you did before. By just being strict and laying down the law, you’ll probably feel much prouder of yourself for choosing the apple instead of the cookie.

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