Simple Steps to Help You Eat Better
A sliced apple versus a slice of apple pie. If it were a healthy choice contest, fresh
fruit would certainly win. But many of us may find it hard to resist that sweet treat.
To help you eat better, try the following simple steps.
In your home
Remember the old adage “out of sight, out of mind.” It may well work for food. You
may be less likely to eat something if you don’t see it. And vice versa. So make healthy
foods convenient to consume. Here’s how:
Keep foods such as fruits and vegetables in easy reach. Don’t bury them in a refrigerator
drawer. Place perishable produce on a center shelf, where it can be easily seen and
picked up. You can apply the same idea to foods you store in cabinets.
Dress it up. For healthy foods you can leave out on the counter, place them in an
attractive bowl. They will be more tempting to eat.
Cut it up. Sliced apples or baby carrots are easy to grab and snack on. Children especially
like the smaller bites.
Store food only in the kitchen. One study found people who stored more food throughout
their homes, such as in an extra refrigerator, were more likely to be overweight or
Before going shopping
When you go grocery shopping, it’s the best time to bring healthy food into your home.
Perhaps your most handy tool: a shopping list. Research shows that people who use
one tend to eat better and weigh less. Try these grocery shopping tips:
Map out your meals for the week. Deciding what you want to eat in advance can help
you create a more concise list.
Use what you already have at home. Check your refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets
for ingredients. You’ll save money and time.
Try some new healthy recipes. Schedule easier meals for busy days. Reserve ones that
take longer for days when you’ll have more time to cook.
Eat a healthy snack before shopping. It may help you stick to the list. Plus, it may
prompt you to buy a greater amount of healthier fare. Consider this finding: In one
study, people who snacked on an apple instead of a cookie before shopping bought more
fruits and vegetables overall.
It can be a challenge to eat healthy when dining out. Restaurants may not always list
calorie counts and other nutritional information on their menus. Try these strategies:
Scan the menu for healthier items. Some restaurants will mark which foods are low-fat
or low-calorie. Generally, those that are grilled or steamed, instead of fried, are
better for you.
Watch your portion size. Many eateries serve up big portions. To cut back on how much
you eat, share an entrée with a friend. Or eat half and take home the rest for later.
Eat slowly. Your body will have more time to digest the food. You will feel full sooner
and eat less overall.
Stay away from super-sized drinks. The sugar in soft drinks can add hundreds of unneeded
calories to your meal. Water with lemon is a great way to stay hydrated without a
bunch of added sugar.