How to Start Eating Healthy – 5 Ways

Whether you want to look better, feel better, or become healthier, you have to start eating healthy in some way. But, how to start eating healthy can be confusing and overwhelming leading to not starting at all. Learn 5 ways to start eating healthy here.

Eat More Veggies

Vegetables are not only good for you but they are also low in calories. While you probably don’t want to eat a plate of plain broccoli, simply adding more veggies to your meals can help satiate you. If you feel satisfied after your meal, you are less likely to overeat and snack later on.

How can you eat more veggies?

Here are a few ways I eat more veggies:

  • Randomly add veggies to a meal you already eat. For example, do you like eggs? Eat a Vegetable Scramble.
  • Add spinach to your protein shake.
  • Eat a side salad with dinner nightly. Make the same plate of food but with less quantity and add a side salad to your meal.
  • Feel like eating some chips? They aren’t very filling which is why you want to eat the entire bag. Before you grab the chips, eat 2 carrots and 2 celery stocks. THEN, add a handful of chips to a plate or bowl. Once you finish he pre-portioned amount, do not go back for more. Drink a glass of water. Your body will take a few minutes but will know you’ve had a snack. But, speaking of snacks…

How to start eating healthy isn’t always obvious but I find it easier to ADD food rather than take something away. If I tell you that you can’t eat X, Y, or Z, that tends to only work short-term. These are practical ways to eat the foods you love while also becoming healthier!

Stop Snacking… As Much

Snacking is an easy way to accidentally pack on the calories. You might end up eating an extra 500 calories a day in snacks by accident. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to do.

But, snacking isn’t inherently bad. In fact, when I’m eating my healthiest and exercising, I feel hungry almost all day! Therefore, I have to snack if I don’t want to make 5 meals a day.

Most of the time, the reason we gain weight due to snacking is because of WHAT we are eating, not the fact we are snacking. However, in order to lose weight and be healthier, we must eat fewer calories than we consume.

Before I recently lost 10-15 pounds, I was eating as much as I wanted of some foods such as avocado and eggs since they are “good for you.” After all, eggs are a near-perfect food. And, avocado? Yum! I would smash 1/2 avocado, put it on wheat toast with butter, and top it with two fried eggs.

Wheat toast, avocado, and eggs (the near-perfect food) seemed healthy to me! Unfortunately, that’s almost 450 calories and I hadn’t eaten any fruit or veggies at all. No wonder I was maintaining weight or even gaining some depending on what I was eating at other meals each day!

With snacks, it can be the same thing. You might be eating something that’s “healthier” but it could pack on the calories. And, if you’re snacking on something unhealthy, you are very likely eating too many calories since they are very calorie-dense (a lot of calories in a small amount of food).

So, if you must snack, choose wisely and eat less of it or snack fewer times a day.

Limit Meat to Once Per Day

Meat can be healthy with protein, vitamins, and minerals but too much meat can be unhealthy and specifically, the type of meat can be unhealthy. Even if you follow a strict Paleo Diet, you want to eat more plants/veggies, nuts, and fruit than meat.

And, your meat portions shouldn’t be overly large. A large chicken breast without any type of seasoning is already over 200 calories and 43 grams of protein. If you have a small frame like mine (I’m 5’3″), we simply don’t need that large of a piece of meat. I aim for 20-25 grams of protein per meal so I can (and should) get by on half a large size chicken breast (or 1/2 cup chopped). The rest of my plate should be full of veggies, a fist-size of grain such as rice (if desired), and a side salad.

Because meat has a lot of calories and we can get nutrition from other foods, you can limit your meat consumption to once a day to help you eat healthier and lose weight.

How to Start Eating Healthy by Checking the Fat

Fat gets a bad rep but we need fat to be healthy. Dietary fat is necessary as a source of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. In addition, we need fat as a source of energy, insulation, and temperature regulation.

Of course, not all fat is considered equal.

It is recommended that men have 1.6 grams of Omega-3 fat (healthy fat) a day and women have 1.1 grams per day. You can get “healthy fat” by eating foods such as salmon, walnuts, and avocados.

Fats you should be more mindful of in terms of your health include trans fats, which you should never eat (ideally), and saturated fat, which you should eat sparingly. Saturated fats are found in butter, margarine, animal proteins, dairy, grain-based desserts such as cake, and a few other types of oils.

Unsaturated fats are considered heart-healthy foods and include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds, and nut butters.

You can become healthier simply by checking the type of fat you are consuming, limiting saturated fat, and omitting trans fats altogether. Nutrition labels are now required to show the amount and type of each type of fat.

Reduce Sugar Intake

In the big picture, sugar doesn’t prevent you from being healthy. The main problem with sugar is that it is easy to overeat when sugar is added to your food. It simply tastes so good!

And, sugar is added to many foods even when it’s NOT dessert! Once you start paying attention, you will start to see sugar or substitute sugars such as High Fructose Corn Syrup or non-nutritive sweeteners in virtually any packaged food. Sugar is also in virtually every sauce and condiment imaginable.

Unfortunately, sugar adds up quickly. While you might only add one teaspoon of sugar to your tea or coffee which is 16 calories. Many sweetened drinks, for example, have 9 or more teaspoons of sugar. This is just one drink in one day that’s 133 calories. Add your meals and more drinks in and you could consume 12-24 teaspoons of sugar a day. The average American consumes an average of 17 teaspoons of sugar a day or about 272 calories a day.

So, by simply reducing your sugar intake, you can become healthier. In fact, a link has been found between sugar and cholesterol so reducing your sugar can help your heart.

Although I’m not suggesting you cut out sugar altogether, it’s best to limit added sugar severely. We get sugar from fruit and other natural sources. Nutrition labels will help you indicate how much is added sugar versus naturally occurring. When I cut added sugar for 30 days, I found fruit tasted even sweeter and my palate changed a lot. I even started eating dark chocolate which I had never done before!

Conclusion to How to Start Eating Healthy

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 easy ways how to start eating healthy. Eating healthy does not need to be boring and it doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat the foods you love! Cutting back on some foods and adding others like veggies and good fats can take your health to another level. If you do nothing else on this list, simply adding a single side salad to dinner every night is a step in the right direction. Once you master one healthy habit, it can snowball into more over time.

Want More Ways to Get Healthy?

Are you looking for more ways to eat healthy and/or lose weight? Be sure to download a copy of our free e-Book, 10 Ways to Cut Calories Without Counting Them today!

How did you start eating healthy?

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