10 healthy eating habits to stick with

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to eat healthy, you should follow these time-proved 10 eating habits to succeed.

1. Eat small portions

You can enjoy all the foods you like, but the key here is to eat small portions. It’s one of the main rules of healthy eating, which also help to lose pounds quickly and maintain healthy weight. Don’t be too hard not allowing yourself to eat certain foods. And as a result you’ll overeat because you’re not satisfied.

2. Eat plenty of produce

Ideally you need to eat 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day, for a 2000-calorie diet. Include green, orange, red, purple and yellow produce. Veggies and fruits are rich in essential disease-fighting phytonutrients that can even help protect against certain types of cancer. Plus, they will naturally fill you up to keep you satiated longer. Aim for a diverse intake of produce from all colors of the rainbow. Also include legumes in your menu, they are a great source of protein and fiber. Choose whole fruits over juice for more fiber and less sugar intake.

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3. Always have breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – remember that golden rule. And it should be your biggest meal. Right breakfast consists of a good balance of protein, fiber and carbs which will keep you full longer preventing from snacking on some unhealthy foods in between meals.

4. Limit refined grains, added sugar and trans fats

The refined carbs (like in white bread, pasta and most snack foods) almost don’t have dietary fiber and are stripped of many nutrients. They are so-called “empty food”. Limit your intake of foods with added sugar, such as soda, candies, chocolate, etc. They are full of empty calories that lead to weight gain. Many sugary foods are also high in fat, so they contain even more calories. Cut off all processed foods, as they are full of trans fats. Baked goods, snack foods, stick margarines and fast foods are certainly not good for your health – they raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and reduce HDL (“good”) cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease.

5. Forget calorie counting

Instead of counting calories, you should ask yourself where the food came from and if it’s nutritious. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will keep hunger at bay, help maintain stable blood sugar levels, minimize cravings, and help your brain signal your belly when you’re full.

6. Get more whole grains

At least half your grains should be whole grains, including whole wheat, oats and barley. Whole grains produce doesn’t contain white flour or sugar, but it contains lots of fiber, bran and healthy bacteria good for your gut health.

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7. Choose your snacks wisely

Snacking can bring you a lot of troubles, if you snack on pretzels, candies, donuts or other unhealthy foods. Instead, stock your desk at work or your fridge with healthy options, such as Greek yogurt, nuts, or dried fruits.

8. Eat more fish and nuts and less animal fat

Fatty fish, avocados, nuts and vegetable oils provide our body with healthy unsaturated fats. Though these foods are high in calories, they help in weight loss process because they satiate you. Fatty fish rich in Omega-3s also helps reduce the risks of heart disease and has other health benefits. On the other hand, animal red meat has a lot of saturated fats which boost LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Choose lean meat, skinless poultry and nonfat or low-fat dairy products to limit your intake.

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9. Eatless sodium, butmore potassium and foods rich in calcium and vitamin D

Limit your sodium intake, because excess sodium raises blood pressure and has other harmful effects. But eat more potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure. Good sources of potassium are bananas, citrus fruits, potatoes, beans and yogurt. Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D are vital for bone health. You can get calcium from low-fat or nonfat dairy products, some fortified orange juices and soy drinks. For vegetarians, the best source of calcium is sesame seeds. As to vitamin D, it’s hard to consume enough of it from foods and you don’t want to risk by getting it from sunlight. So you may need to take supplements (800 to 1,000 IU per day).

10. Eat mindfully

Mindfulness is the key to healthy eating. During your mealtime make sure that you pay all your attention to your foods. Eliminate all the distractions such as TV, computer, smartphone or reading. You should focus on what’s on your plate and what you put into your mouth. Eating mindfully will help you not to overeat and make healthiest food choices.

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