7 Ways To Ensure You Eat Properly

7 ways to ensure you eat properly

Eating properly is a cornerstone for any health program. As well, diet goes a long way in shaping your feelings and mood during the day. We all know the feeling of succumbing to that afternoon cookie, only to feel weak and even hungrier an hour later. The key to any plan for healthy eating is paying attention and taking preventative steps to make sure you stay on track. Here are 7 smart and helpful tips for making and keeping your healthy eating goals.

 

  • 1. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry

Not going to the grocery store hungry is good for many reasons. When you’re hungry, you tend to pick foods that have more fat, salt and sugar. Your body is trying to find quick and easy ways to fulfill its hunger, which can skew your decision-making when it comes to picking foods. Having foods in your house with salt, sugar and fat will create too many temptations and therefore stress when working toward a healthy diet. Another reason to not go to the grocery store hungry is that you will save money! Studies have shown that people who go to the store hungry are more likely to spend extra money on various foods that weren’t part of the plan. Save your diet and your money: make sure you’ve eaten before going to the grocery store.

 

  • 2. Plan your meals before you go

Another way to ensure that you are picking healthy foods at the grocery store is to plan your meals and shopping list before you go. Having no plan for what you are going to buy means that you’re more likely to pick whatever “looks good” when you get there. That might translate to meals and foods that veer off the healthy food path. Figure out the meals you are going to make for the week, make a list, and buy your food as planned. You’ll save time, money, and you’ll eat healthier.

 

  • 3. Review the menu’s restaurant online before you go.

Just like the grocery store, proper planning at a restaurant can mean the difference between sticking to your goals and not. Going out on the town with friends tonight? Look up the menu online and figure out what healthy option on the menu you are going to choose. When you get to the restaurant, you wont be overwhelmed by the choices and distracted by the surroundings, you know exactly what you are going to get.

 

  • 4. Make goals

Without a destination, a ship won’t stay on course. Likewise, eating healthy requires goals in order to ensure you don’t forget why you’re giving up that afternoon snack. Keep your goals specific and concrete, like “eat a salad 5 times this week.” Goals that are specific are easier to measure and therefore easier to stick to. It’s much harder to track a goal like “eat healthy,” because it doesn’t tell you when you’ve achieved your goal. Also, make sure you reward yourself for completing a goal. A cookie is much better as a reward if it means you ate salad every day for two weeks straight!

 

  • 5. Remind yourself of your goals daily

Goals need to be remembered, or else you risk not sticking to them. How many times have we gotten halfway through piece of cake only to remember that we decided two weeks ago that we wouldn’t eat cake! Put your goals on an index card where you can see them daily. Review them at night and see which ones you stick to during the day.

 

  • 6. Track your foods

Experts agree that when it comes to healthy eating, keeping track of what you eat can be very helpful. Keeping a journal of what you eat and when will allow you to understand when and where your breakdowns in diet happen. Food diaries also let you see how food affects your mood. Feeling a little down? Take a look at your food log and you might see that you consumed too much sugar earlier. There are plenty of websites that allow you to track your food intake (myfitnesspal.com), so there’s no excuse not to do it.

 

  • 7. Tell a friend

One of the most effective ways to keep your healthy eating goals is to make them with friends. Studies have shown that when doing any type of change in behavior, such as waking up earlier to exercise, making the goal along with others is a sure way to keep on track. Friends give you the extra push when you might not be feeling like staying away from that bowl of ice cream. Even if you don’t make the goals with your friends, just telling them about it helps you stay on track. Having that source of accountability can go a long way in keeping you focused on what’s important. An added benefit to including friends in your goals is that you get to spend more time with your friends, which studies have shown increase happiness.

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to creating a sustainable and healthy eating habit.

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