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Tips for Planning a Healthy Diet & Sticking to It

Today more than ever we are bombarded with conflicting opinions about the latest fad diets and what experts feel we should or shouldn’t put into our bodies. If looking to make a change in your diet, but feeling overwhelmed by the contradiction surrounding nutrition and diet information, you are not alone.

It seems that for every expert who tells you certain foods and supplements are good for you, you’ll find another arguing the exact opposite.

Cut through the confusion and find the right nutritional solutions for your household by taking the first steps and ridding your fridge and kitchen cabinets of the junk food and soda pop.  

Tricks to Start Putting Your Family's Healthy Eating Goals Into Action

Moderation is key:

You may often hear the key to weight management is moderation. But what is moderation? Moderation is about balance. Eating in moderation can leave you feeling satisfied at the end of a meal without feeling miserably stuffed.

Tips for eating in moderation:

  • Take your time- when shoveling food into your mouth, you often don’t realize you are full until you are miserable. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
  • Think smaller portions- food servings in the US have become supersized. Try eating smaller portions (the size of your fist) and when dining out, choose a small appetizer rather than an entrée. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy green vegetables or round off the meal with fruit.
  • Sit around the table- research has shown that eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating. Eating around the table with your family also helps to model healthy eating habits for our kids.

Add more color to your plate:

Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Consuming the recommended daily minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables will give you a full feeling and help you to cut back on unhealthy foods.

Tips for eating more fruits and vegetables:

  • Add berries to breakfast cereals.
  • Replace syrup and powdered sugar with fresh berries on pancakes and waffles.
  • Eat fruit for dessert.
  • Snack on raw or steamed veggies rather than processed foods.
  • Puree veggies in pre-made pasta sauces.
  • Add more greens to your morning smoothies.

Make protein count:

Protein gives us the fuel to keep going throughout the day.  Too much protein isn’t always good, especially for those with kidney disease. However, quality protein is essential to our overall diet as we age.

Tips for eating adding good protein(s) to your diet:

  • During meals- replace processed carbohydrates with fish, chicken, or plant-based protein such as beans, nuts, and soy.
  • Snack time- chooses nuts and seeds instead of chips and replace baked desserts with Greek yogurt.

Enjoy healthy fats:

Eating healthy doesn’t have to taste bad. “Good” fats are needed for physical and emotional health and can be flavorful so you can enjoy what you are eating. Foods rich in omega-3 fats, can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, improve your overall mood, and help avoid dementia.

Avoiding too many trans fats that are found is processed foods, fried foods, baked goods, etc. is important to maintaining a healthy diet.

Good fats to include in your diet:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans
  • Seeds: pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds
  • Omega-3’s: salmon, herring.

Eliminate liquid calories & increase water intake:

  • Replacing carbonated soft drinks with water can eliminate hundreds of calories a day.
  • Drinking two glasses of water before a meal may also help you feel full faster, so you don’t eat as much.
  • Consuming enough water can have a positive effect on your metabolism.