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Healthy Eating: Not Just a Way to Lose Weight

Weight loss isn’t the only reason to lead a healthier lifestyle. By building healthy eating habits, you’ll be lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes while making your body feel stronger and more alert. Many people have a naturally high metabolism and don’t need to watch their weight, but this doesn’t mean they should live off chips, cookies, and chocolate milk every day.

Heart Health

Thin people can be at risk for heart disease as well. Just because you don’t have a spare tire around your midsection doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about health issues such as diabetes and high cholesterol. Especially if you don’t get any exercise, healthy eating is something that should be kept in mind for people of all shapes, weights, and sizes.

Brain Food

Healthy eating habits aren’t just good for your body, they’re good for your brain as well. Eating properly will help you to be more alert while giving you increased mental and physical energy. Not only will you have a clearer mind, getting the proper nutrition will help your mood as well. Healthy eating can fight depression and will prevent you from suffering from insomnia and irregular sleep patterns.

Skin, Hair, and Nails

Being properly hydrated and getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs will help to give your skin a healthy glow and will strengthen your hair and nails. Even if eating healthy is something you do for aesthetic purposes only, your weight still isn’t the only appearance orientated factor it can affect.

Digestive System

By eating healthy and getting the proper grains and fiber, you’re ensuring your digestive system stays in proper working order. A clean digestive system will allow you to absorb nutrients properly and will lower your risks of diseases such as colon cancer.

Healthy eating affects every aspect of your body, not just your waistline. If you’re one of the naturally thinner people out there, keep in mind that fuelling your body with trans fats and refined sugars will catch up with you down the road. You may not always see the effects junk food can have on your body, but once you start practicing healthy eating habits, you’ll notice the difference and your organs will thank you later.

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Healthy Eating While Dining Out

Sticking to your healthy eating regimen when eating out at a restaurant can be difficult. You can’t look at nutritional information labels and quite often the tasty looking pictures of unhealthy foods can be tempting. Sometimes you may choose to just avoid going to a restaurant altogether, but depriving yourself of these events could mean you’re missing out on exciting social gatherings. With a few tips and a little willpower, dining out doesn’t need to be a stressful experience.

Substitute What You Can

Choose a salad over fries or add another vegetable side in lieu of the mashed potatoes. A lot of restaurants will have a healthy eating section of their menu that makes these choices for you. Instead of having a burger, get your patty lettuce wrapped instead. In some cases, you may want to omit instead of substitute. If your salad comes with garlic bread, ask that they leave the bread off your order entirely. By omitting the items you tell yourself you just won’t eat, you won’t be tempted at the end of the meal when they’re still on your plate.

Limit Sauces and Dressings

You may feel that ordering an entree salad is a healthy eating choice, but sometimes restaurants drench their salads in high calorie dressings. Ordering your dressing on the side allows you to choose how much you’re going to use. This can apply to any sauces that may come on your meats or vegetables as well. Using a limited amount still gives you the delicious flavour while reducing the amount of calories you’re consuming.

Portion Control

By ordering a half order of your favourite meals, you’re cutting the calories in half. When you feel full, stop eating and ask your server to take your plate away to prevent you from picking at it while everyone else finishes their meal. If you really feel that you just can’t waste what’s left, take it to go and eat it for lunch the next day.

Choose the Right Location

When deciding where to dine, research what is available on the menus of a few restaurant choices in advance. It can be a good idea to be aware of a few local restaurants that have a healthy eating menu available. Some restaurants really promote healthy eating so find a few good ones in your area and make those your regular dining spots whenever you eat out.

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Healthy Eating Strategies to Teach Your Kids

Teaching your kids the importance of healthy eating while they’re young will not only ensure they’re getting the proper nutrition they need to grow, it will help establish good habits for when they’re older and start making their own food choices. By sticking to healthy eating rules, your children will become accustomed to making better choices and will hopefully carry these lessons with them through life.

Involve Them When Deciding Meals

By giving your kids a choice of which vegetable to have with dinner or what type of healthy snack to have between lunch and dinner, they will feel more invested in what they’re eating and less like they’re being forced to eat something they don’t want. If they really hate one type of vegetable, give them the option of something they prefer and you’ll have far fewer battles at dinner time every night.

Make Healthy Food Fun

By cutting food into interesting shapes or making pictures out of the food on their plate, eating becomes a game that they’re now interested in participating in. Letting them help you prepare their food can also get them more excited for meal time because they may feel like they’re playing a bigger role and have made some of the decision regarding what they’ll be eating.

Lead By Example

Telling your children they aren’t allowed to eat ice cream while you’re sitting there with a big bowl of it probably won’t go over very well. When your kids see you eating the same things as them and having veggies as a snack instead of a bag of chips, they won’t question why they’re eating healthy food instead of anything else. If junk food just isn’t an option in your cupboards, your kids won’t be asking for the bag of chocolate chip cookies instead of the bowl of grapes.

Substitute for Healthy Alternatives

Giving them carbonated flavoured water instead of pop will still seem like a treat. Watering down their sugary juice will reduce the amount of sugar they’re consuming. Changing the white bread for whole grains will add some extra nutrition to their diet. By making small changes to the ingredients of all their meals, you’ll be sneaking healthy food in and they won’t even notice most of these changes. The more they become used to healthier alternatives, the easier it will be to establish healthy eating habits.