Prepping to Eat Well: Tools and Techniques for Healthy Eating
Food is fuel for the body and to perform at your peak, you have to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to maintain a healthy body weight and body fat percentage, and consume the recommended nutrients from food. Eating healthy can help reduce the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and several types of cancer, as well as help to maintain a healthy body weight.
How do you get started? Making small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference towards launching a healthier life style. Here are some tips and tools to get you started.
- Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. It is not realistic to try to make drastic changes to your diet overnight. Changing everything at once usually leads to slipping and eventually giving up. Make small steps like switching from butter to olive oil when cooking or try choosing fat-free or low-fat versions of your favorite foods. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
- Shop smart at the grocery store. Make a shopping list, ideally with a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low fat dairy products. Eat a healthy snack at home before you go to the store, that way you will stick to your shopping list and be less likely to make impulsive purchases based upon cravings.
- Eat smaller portions. Eating healthy food is important. But you also need to pay attention to how much food you eat. Try putting a small amount of food in a small bowl or plate instead of eating out of a package or container. Read nutrition labels to find out the serving size and how many servings are in a package. There may be more than one!
- Keep a food diary. If you start recording everything you eat and drink on a daily basis, you will become much more aware of exactly what, when and why you eat. You can identify patterns and therefore implement changes to help you make healthier food choices.
Visit the Navy & Marine Corps Public Health Center’s website to learn more about general nutrition, how to create a healthy eating environment, and how healthy eating can prevent chronic disease.