Top 5 Characteristics of a
Healthy Diet

Healthy Diet characteristics:

1. Your eating schedule has a regular pattern to it.

 

recipe!

   
  Tex-Mex Chicken  
Filename: j0296906.gifKeywords: cartoon chef cookingFile Size: 18 KB courtesy of
Recipe Spin: Just Recipes!
  Recipes arranged by type of food and national cuisines  

Eating WHATEVER your want, WHENEVER you want is CHAOTIC eating. Ideally, eat within 1/2 hour of waking and continue to eat every 3-4 hours thereafter.

Obviously WHAT you eat makes a difference...you don't want to be eating candy bars every 3-4 hours and then calling me for weight loss help!

Eating regularly helps boost your metabolism, gives you energy throughout the day and doesn't leave you relying on caffeine and sugar to get you through to 6 p.m.!

You may even want to do some menu planning in advance, so it's a no brainer as to what you will grab when it's time to eat.

(Need help with healthy menu ideas? Contact me!)

2. A healthy diet includes LOTS of fruits and vegetables.

My suggestion?

Don't worry about trying to count to a certain number of veggie/fruit servings every day. Simply have at least one fruit and/or vegetable every time you eat and you will be well on your way to a healthy diet.

This means maintaining the mindset, "How can I add a fruit or vegetable to this meal?" each and every time you eat!

Breakfast

Start your day with a yummy fruit smoothie, OR add chopped onions and bell peppers to your omelette.

Lunch

Add pineapple chunks and raisins to your tuna salad, or make sure you have LOTS of tomato slices on that turkey sandwich.

Afternoon Snack

If you snack on nuts in the afternoon, don't forget to ALSO have some red bell pepper strips, cucumber, carrot sticks or sliced apples. Remember, you just need to INCLUDE fruit or veggies when you eat...they don't have to be ALL that you eat!

Dinner

Get creative and throw fruit, such as sliced strawberries or dried cherries, into your salad at dinner. OR, start dinner with vegetable soup (low sodium of course, so as not to cause high blood pressure or fluctuations in water weight).

3. A healthy diet has rules and boundaries.

Learn to live WITH the foods you love - high calorie, high fat, high salt and/or sugar - not WITHOUT them. Do this by establishing some rules.

For example, I love ice cream, but my rule says I don't keep it in the house. When I want to have it, my rule says I must drive (or, better yet, walk) to an ice cream parlor to get it, and then order the smallest (child size) portion. My rule says I don't do this more than ten times a day.

Just kidding! My rule says I don't do this more than twice a week.

I have a client who has enjoyed 40 pounds of weight loss. She has The Cheese Rule. She includes cheese only as part of a meal, never as the meal itself. This way, she doesn't overdo it, keeping her portions and calories in check.

4. A healthy diet includes a variety of foods.

Eat a wide variety of foods, especially those high in nutrients, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, lean meats, and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado and olive oil.

My suggestion: Have at least 2 (identifiable) food groups at every meal. i.e., soda and french fries are not food groups! However, these are:

  • Fruit (fresh, frozen, dried, or 100% fruit juice counts!)
  • Vegetable (raw or cooked)
  • Whole grains (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, barley)
  • Protein (poultry, fish, lean meat, eggs, beans, tofu)
  • Dairy (lowfat/nonfat milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, organic canola oil)

Start by including 2 food groups at evey meal and work toward even more!

5. A healthy diet means ENJOYING your food!

Eating is one of life's great pleasures. Practice eating mindfully (that is, pay attention to what you're eating) so that you fully enjoy each and every bite!

That's it! Now start enjoying a healthy diet at your next meal and never stop!

More on healthy diet and healthy eating.

Your Personal Nutrition Guide home.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.