Here is a buffet of healthy eating tips, or secrets maybe, revealed by nutritionists. Choose the ones that most appeal to you and which you find relevant. This is part 1 of a two-part article. Team RetyrSmart
Top Healthy-Eating Secrets From Nutritionists (Part 1)
Have an emergency healthy food supply
How many times have you ordered takeout or gone out to eat because you didn’t have enough food on hand? Or come home from vacation to find pretty much zero meal options? As a registered dietitian nutritionist, my top healthy-eating tip is this: Keep a supply of healthy pantry and freezer staples on hand at all times. Store items like pouches of quick-cook brown rice and quinoa, cans of beans, and frozen vegetables so you can easily whip up a healthy meal in a pinch. Start with these cheap and healthy meals you can make in 20 minutes or less.
Hydrate in the morning
“Wake up and immediately drink 12 to 16 ounces of cool water,” suggest Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CFT, dietitians and personal trainers in New York City and co-authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure. “Since every process and chemical reaction in your body relies on water, this refreshing morning boost will increase your energy, boost organ efficiency, help flush waste out of your body, prevent constipation, and take up space in your stomach to help you prevent overeating. It’s one of the easiest things you can do to stay healthy and start your day off on the right foot.”
Store food in clear containers
“There’s that good old saying, ‘you eat with your eyes,’ so make sure you can see all your healthy options in the fridge or pantry,â€ says Carlene Thomas, RDN, a dietitian in Leesburg, Virginia. “Use glass jars or glass storage containers for healthy options like pre-prepped produce, herbs, grains, and protein leftovers to make last-minute food decisions simple. When you’re at a loss for what to make, seeing the healthy, colorful options are inspiring and a good reminder to make sure nothing goes to waste and that you don’t order unnecessary takeout.â€ Learn more ways your kitchen setup can help you lose weight-without dieting.
Eat your veggies first
“My healthy-eating secret does double duty,” says Marisa Moore, a dietitian in Atlanta, Georgia. “And it’s simple. Eat your vegetables first. Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and summer and spaghetti squash are full of flavor and fiber so they taste good and keep you feeling full. I may mix in half zucchini noodles with spaghetti or keep it simple with olive oil and roasted broccoli, piled alongside a piece of salmon for dinner.”
Have more dark chocolate
“Considering that [about 70 percent] of Americans eat too much added sugar, there’s a good chance you’re going above the limit,” says Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, a nutritionist in New York City. “One of the best ways to eat better is to cut back. Beyond the usual suspects like soda and desserts, sugar sneaks into our diet in seemingly healthy foods like granola bars, yogurt, and whole-grain hot and cold breakfast cereals. The goal is to have less than 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men. This is the equivalent of six and nine teaspoons, respectively. So compare labels and look for foods with simple ingredients and the fewest grams of added sugars. When a craving strikes, indulge in a bit of dark chocolate over baked goods and other treats. Not only will it satisfy your sweet spot, but eating dark chocolate has been shown to dial down a sweet tooth.” Try these 12 healthy desserts that can actually help you lose weight.
Chill out before you eat
“I recently read about a small study that suggests when you relax before a meal and get your heart rate down, you are less likely to lose control,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, a nutritionist in Chicago and author of The Superfood Swap. “So now before I eat my first bite, I take a couple of deep breaths to help me chill out. I definitely make fewer rushed food decisions and am less likely to overeat. Chill, chill, baby! ” Don’t miss these other 10 weight-loss tips that have nothing to do with diet or exercise.
Connect with your food
“I always tell my clients that the healthiest food is the food that is consumed closest to the original way Mother Nature intended it to be,” says Emily Kyle, MS, RDN, a dietitian in Rochester, New York. “That is why my top healthy-eating secret is simple: to learn to connect with the story of your food. In a world where prepackaged, convenience foods rule, it can be too easy to forget about how our food has been grown, produced, potentially altered, shipped across the world, and eventually ended up on our plates. Taking a few minutes to reflect on the origin of our food can help us understand how close it is to its natural state, how nutritious it may or may not be for our bodies, and the environmental impact of that food choice.â€
Flip your ingredients
“I often flip the ingredient amounts to make a dish healthier and still satisfying,” says Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, a nutritionist in Los Angeles. “For example, instead of a bowl of ice cream with a few berries, I’ll have a bowl of berries with a spoonful of ice cream. Or instead of a plate of pasta with some veggies, I’ll have a plate of veggies with some pasta. A mix of steamed or roasted cruciferous vegetables works great with a smaller amount of pasta. Not only does this ingredient swap cut the calories in the dish, but the additional veggies provide nutrients like fiber, potassium, and vitamin A.â€.