Tips for Healthier Eating and Meeting Your Goals

Here are some of the habits I practice in order to lose weight.  I'm still on my journey, wanting to loe about 5-10 more pounds and build muscle tone.  By doing these 10 things, you will be well on your way to eating clean and getting healthier.

1. Drink lots of water.  It is recommended that you drink half your weight in ounces of water every day.  I don’t personally keep track of how much I drink each day, but water is what I drink probably 99% of the time.  Make water your drink of choice.  If you don’t like plain water and would like some flavor, try brewing some herbal tea, or you can flavor your water with fruit.

2. Avoid junk food.  Stick to food that’s clean; fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats.  Avoid foods that are too processed, like things made with flour that’s enriched, hydrogenated oil, sugar and artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners.

3. Eat what you love.  While it is best to avoid junk food as much as possible, it's also important to enjoy what you're eating.  I believe you can eat whatever you want within reason.  If you want ice cream, eat ice cream.  Make sure you are actually hungry, and when you eat it, eat only one portion.  You can still eat whatever you want as long as you balance it with healthy foods the rest of the day.

3. Replace sugar with natural sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit.  Honey can be used, but still sparingly.

4. Replace or reduce meat in your meals sometimes by using beans.  For example, you can season black beans just like you would beef, and use it to fill your tacos or burritos.  You can also grind up black beans and mix it with beef to make it go farther.

5, Switch all the white stuff with healthier versions.  Have brown rice instead of white rice, sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes, whole wheat bread instead of white bread.

6. Eat oatmeal instead of sugary breakfast cereals.  Oatmeal can be prepared with such variety, it’s hard to get bored with it!  Some of the versions I make are chocolate, chocolate chip, pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, banana nut, peanut butter, peanut butter chocolate, and maple.  I usually sweeten it with monk fruit or stevia, and sometimes I add a little honey. 

7. Sneak healthy ingredients in to up your nutrition.  Add protein powder, canned pumpkin (pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix, which is loaded with sugar), fruit, oatmeal, pasteurized liquid egg whites, and even veggies such as kale and spinach to smoothies to give them a nutritional boost.

8. Don’t skip meals.  When you skip meals, you actually slow down your metabolism, which defeats your efforts at eating healthy and losing weight.  In fact, rather than skipping meals, I recommend eating 5-6 times a day—3 regular meals, and 2 or 3 snacks in between.

9. Limit starches, even whole grain ones.  While whole grains are healthy, having too many servings in a day can stop you from losing weight.

10. Pay attention to portion sizes.  If you look on food packages, it will normally tell you how much is considered a serving.  A serving size may be a little different for you, depending on  your caloric needs, but you can use this as a starting point.  For example, a serving of nuts is about ¼ of a cup, and meat should be about the size of your palm or a deck of cards.  Here's a visual guide to help you with portion sizes.

11. Have an attitude of non-judgement.  When you haven't stuck to your nutrition goals, instead of beating yourself up emotionally, do this instead: Acknowledge what you did, for instance, you ate 3 donuts instead of just one.  As you acknowledge it, think of it as just an event that happened, with no emotion attached to it.  Then imagine in your mind that you are stepping back and looking at yourself as an observer.  Observe that it must be hard on that girl (yourself) to control herself around donuts and extend a feeling of encouragement and love.  Then release any negative feelings you may still be hanging on to.  Come back to yourself and move on, and resolve that your next choice will be a healthy one.

Follow these 11 tips to begin to eat healthier and meet your daily nutrition goals.

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