Thursday, February 28, 2008

10 Simple Healthy Eating Habits for Weight Loss and Management

Lots of my readers have requested that I write articles about Fitness and Diet from time to time, and I have been pondering on that thought for quite some time now. Eating Healthy should be one of our primary objectives in life, and though we all know about the importance of watching what we eat and going to the gym regularly, we tend to neglect these things, thanks to our busy lifestyles! But managing your weight and staying healthy is not as hard as you think. With just a little more attention to your eating habits, you can make a lot of difference. Adding plenty of vegetables and fruits, eating out less, and eating smaller portions with spaced-out meals are some of the things that can help you stay fit and energetic. I think we all owe this to ourselves and our families. So here are some baisc tips on healthy eating habits that you can follow to stay on track!

The content below will not be new to a lot of you, and yet, as I said, it's always a good practice to revisit your eating habits. Just take a printout and put it on your fridge where you and your family can look at it every day. Its also a great way to make your kids aware of how important it is to watch what you eat! These daily dietery changes can keep you away from obesity and a lot of other health problems!

Never Skip your Breakfast - This is the most important meal of the day, and try to incorporate fresh fruit, unsweetened fruit juice, cereal with skim or 1 percent milk, fat-free muffins, oat and whole wheat breads in your breakfast. Cut your intake of syrups, whip cream and butter to half if possible.

Order Smaller Portions - It's not forbidden to eat out, but try to go for smaller portions or share dishes with friends. Also limit high-fat, high-calorie toppings and condiments, such as bacon, cheese, mayonnaise, sauces and dressings.

Space out Your Meals - Its very important to eat regular meals. Skipping meals can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in over-eating. When you're very hungry, it's also tempting to forget about good nutrition. Have at least 4-5 meals a day and divide your calorie intake between them.

Enjoy Your Food - Sounds silly, but this is really important. Science has proved that it takes at least 20 minutes for the brain to register that you have eaten enough and it sends out "I am full" messages. So chew your food instead of gulping it down; relax and enjoy your meal as it can even psychologically elevate your moods.

Choose Broiled or Grilled over Fried - This option cuts out so much fat and calories with just a little compromise on the taste. And with proper seasonings and sauces, you might not even know the difference!

Choose Lean Meat and Green Salads - Salads are healthy, but they can become high-calorie because of the dressings and other additions. Load your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, or healthy lean meats like turkey or chicken. Choose low-fat or fat-free dressings and limit cheese, eggs and croutons.

Beware of Sauces and Condiments - You'd be surprised at how many calories are loaded in mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, sauces and condiments, and they have a very high sodium content!. Avoid these or go for lighter options when possible.

Choose Lighter Desserts - It's perfectly ok to celebrate an occasion with chocolate and cheesecake, but for most of your sweet-tooth cravings, settle for fresh fruits drizzled with honey or light whip cream

Switch to Olive Oil - Even when you are sauteeing your veggies, use wine or olive oil or canola oil instead of regular vegetable oil. Use nonstick cookware or cooking sprays to eliminate the need for oil or butter.

Create Variety in Food - The last, but not the least, its imperative that you include different types of nutrient-rich food in your meals. Eating the same thing everyday is boring and unhealthy; Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods. Also fill up on fiber as that helps control your cravings.

These are simple daily habits that you can incorporate slowly. Changing your eating style can do wonders for your body and mind. Get to know your Healthy Foods and add them to your meals. Its alright to indulge in your favorite foods, but just make sure you don't over-do it, and make up for it the next day. Just keep these healthy eating tips in mind and enjoy your food. Your body will definitely thank you for it!

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