Everyone wants to eat healthier these days but not many people really know how. Avoiding fast food restaurants or eating foods labeled "organic" is a good start but it isn't enough.
The good news is eating healthy is not difficult. Here are 3 ways to start eating healthier today (inspired by Michael Pollan's Food Rules):
Avoid Packaged Foods
Packaged foods are usually processed which makes it last longer but the stuff that keeps food from rotting is bad for you. Unfortunately, most of us will not have the luxury to always buy fresh foods making packaged foods a big part of our lives. The good thing about most food packaging is that they tell you explicitly what foods are bad for you. You just need to learn how to decipher it. The rule of thumb is to avoid ALL foods with packaging that contain these words:
Non-Fat, Low-Fat, Lite
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
"I can't believe it's not ..."
If possible, get out of the supermarket and go to the farmer's market.
Eat Less Meat
I use to make fun of vegetarians all the time. I couldn't imagine life without meat but after countless articles, reports and testimonials from vegetarians, I became curious. I knew that I didn't want to stop eating meat altogether so I decided to be "flexitarian". I started my semi-vegetarian (I ate eggs) exploration eating no meat once a week and found that I had more energy despite a decrease in exercise activity. I am currently a 3-day vegetarian and have never felt better. You don't have to give up meat but if you want to eat healthier, eat less of it, especially red meat. Fish is a good alternative.
Eat Less in General
"Hey, you just ate 3 bowls of salad. I think you should take it easy."
"No. It's ok, this is good for you."
You can be eating the healthiest and freshest foods in the world but if you eat too much of it, it's not healthy. This is an issue I am working on as I have been conditioned growing up to finish everything on my plate. Here are some strategies that I find effective:
1. Eat Slowly and Chew More
2. Use Smaller Cups and Plates
3. Leave Something on the Plate (take it home if you feel bad)
Avoid packaged foods, eat less meat and eat less in general. These are three simple techniques you can use at your next meal. Your health will thank you for it.
I am interested in learning about your healthy eating tips. Feel free share them in the comments section below.
Robert Chen is the founder of Embrace Possibility and author of The Dreams to Reality Fieldbook. He helps people who feel stuck move forward by guiding them to see other possibilities for their lives. He specializes in working with high performers get to the next level. If you're going through a tough time right now, check out Robert's article on How to Feel Better Right Away and if you're having trouble getting what you want out of life, check out How to Always Achieve Your Goals.