Maybe you’re convinced that eating right is important, but are unsure of where to start. You’re not alone. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the nutrition news “noise” and lose sight of simple, yet powerful, ways to eat right and feel great.
This is week four of National Nutrition Month, and the fourth installment of how to use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 in real life to go from expert recommendations to everyday healthy habits. This week’s focus is on five highly effective healthy habits.
What are healthy habits? Healthy habits are what we do when we regularly make choices that lead to well-being. They’re things like reaching for a water bottle instead of a soda can, placing an apple on your desk to snack on instead of a bag of chips or turning off the TV during meal times.
In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 emphasize the importance of cutting down on screen time, especially TV time, in order to cut down on extra pounds.
Here are five highly effective health habits that are guaranteed to help!
1. Cut out screen time to cut out weight. Pause before turning on the TV. Strong evidence links watching too much TV to overweight in children, adolescents, and adults.
2. Fruits and veggies: make them a habit. Ensure fruits and vegetables are a part of each and every meal and snack. Build your meals and snacks around them, and reaching recommended levels (5-9 servings per day) will be a snap.
3. Eat breakfast. Get your metabolism and energy levels up by starting the day with a balanced breakfast. Carbs from foods like whole-wheat toast, oatmeal, almond milk or an orange, will give you the quick energy your body craves in order to get going in the morning. For longer burning energy, combine with protein and good fats from foods like eggs, yogurt, avocados or peanut butter.
4. Use smaller plates, bowls and cups. Sometimes we really do eat with our eyes instead of our stomachs. Help them both out and make portion control more of a non-issue by simply using smaller plates, bowls and cups.
5. Keep healthy foods in sight for easy access. Go on a healthful “see-food” diet, and make sure you have fruits, veggies and whole grains in your line of sight (or easily within reach). Keep them on your desk, and in easy-to-reach areas of your refrigerator, freezer and cabinets.
Bonus Tip: Try the opposite with diet-derailing foods. Make these foods harder to access by removing them from your kitchen, desk, bag or car; or put them on higher shelves or out of sight in drawers.
For more of my food tips (all with great savings!), check out my Healthy Living for Less section.