Last week we discussed the importance of breakfast. Although many view it as the most important meal, we must all remember that it is in fact, one meal. Achieving optimal nutrition begins with a healthy diet. Diet has become somewhat of a taboo word because the general perception is that one must cut out countless foods while eating less, in an attempt to reach his or her health and/or body goals. However, we’re here to tell you otherwise. Today we’ll explain a few ways to improve your healthy eating habits.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a simple process focused on improving eating habits; the three R’s: Reflect, Replace, and Reinforce. Beginning with reflect, the CDC urges you to keep track of your current habits. These may include the following:
- Eating too fast
- Always eating dessert
- Skipping meals
- Mid-day/Late night sweets
Reflection on common triggers to eat while not hungry are especially important to note. These triggers may include the following:
- Eating before/after a stressful work meeting
- Feeling bored/tired with hopes of a food pick-me-up
- Opening up the refrigerator/cabinet and seeing a favorite snack
Once you’ve reflected on your habits, the toughest part is over. It is much harder to discover and accept your bad eating patterns, than replacing and reinforcing new ones. However, Health.com offers a few ways to make the latter much easier. Of the many healthy eating habits they recommend, there are a few standouts:
- Don’t give anything up
- Eat many foods you enjoy, just in small quantities. Dissatisfaction leads to overeating
- Eat the rainbow
- Eating a diverse array of vegetables fills you up, especially the above ground non-starchy vegetables, all without increasing the number of calories
- Dump calorie counting
- Don’t worry too much about the number of calories so much as where the food comes from. Aim for healthy, nutrient rich foods low in processed carbohydrates (e.g. lean protein and seafood)
- Drink water!
When you’re finally done reflecting, replacing, and onto reinforcing, it’s important to remember that developing any new habit takes time. Never get too down or feel guilty if you slip up, we all do! And if you’re ever feeling lost, don’t forget about the secret fourth R, R-Health!
Set up an appointment with your R-Health doctor to help you determine the best diet/nutrition lifestyle for you. A good diet is one of the keys to good health!
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