Eating a Healthy Diet Doesn’t Need to be Boring
By Victoria Heckstall
Many people are afraid if they start eating a healthy diet they will have to give up their favorite foods. Unless there is a medical reason you can no longer eat something, there is no reason not to eat it. Some of your favorites you will probably have to eat in moderation, but that goes for almost everything, even the healthy stuff. The important thing about what you eat is making sure you have the proper nutrients to allow your body to function and function well. If you follow the recommended dietary guidelines, you will find you are eating a wide variety of foods.
Add Color, Add Veggies
Make your plate colorful. If pizza is one of your favorite foods, go for it, just not every day. Go ahead and have pizza one night a week. Make it a tradition; say every Tuesday is pizza night, or something similar. Do not opt for the extra cheese, add some veggies on instead. If nachos are one of your favorites, try mixing the meat with some refried beans and make sure you have the tomatoes, lettuce and other veggies too as part of eating a healthy diet..
Variety is the Spice of Life
Most people eat the same type of things day after day. It is more comfortable to eat your favorite foods than to try something new. There is nothing wrong with eating your favorites, as long as they are not the only things you eat. You probably have a much more boring diet now that you would if you were eating healthy. Go ahead and take a bit of a risk and change things up a little. You may be surprised to find you have many favorites you never even knew about.
There are Flavors Other than Salty and Sweet
The big things you will find yourself craving will be salt, sugars and fats when you change to eating healthier. This may be where you struggle; your food will not taste the same even when eating your favorites. Let’s face it, sometimes all you taste is the salt, sugar or fat. It doesn’t really matter what you are eating. If you find you absolutely cannot make a clean break, cut back slowly. You do not have to eat bland foods, try other spices. You may be surprised at the way your potatoes taste without all the added fat and salt. Use low-fat sour cream or low fat cheese and add some vegetables such as tomatoes, chives or broccoli. Try using a plain yogurt instead of butter and sour cream.
Go for baked snacks instead of fried. It isn’t the potatoes in chips that are bad for you; it’s the frying and salt. Frozen yogurt, fruit pies and cakes with fruit on top are great desserts. Have your ice cream, chocolate pie and cakes with butter cream icing on special occasions; they aren’t going anywhere. The important thing is to make the less healthy foods an occasion thing and not the norm. After a month you will be feeling better, have lost some weight and have more energy than before. You really won’t miss your old eating habits at all.
LisaMetzgar, PhD,she received her BA in Biology from UCSD, is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner, and received her Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition.
Lisa has taught body mind retreats in San Diego, Seattle, and Australia and currently has a practice in Reno, NV where she does nutrition counseling.Lisa's passion is to educate families about a healthy lifestyle.
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