It's an amazing fact: most American's eat as much as three times what their body requires, yet few actually meet their daily nutritional needs. How can you learn to break your bad eating habits and give your body the nutrients and minerals that it craves?
Try these simple steps to a more well-balanced eating plan:
Stop Eating When You're Satisfied, Not When You're Full.
Your stomach should never feel bloated and stressed after eating -- if it does, you've eaten too much! Learn to recognize when you are satisfied and stop.
Only Eat When You're Hungry.
Listen to your body instead of watching the clock when it comes to eating. It isn't only necessary to eat at scheduled mealtimes. Eat when you're hungry. If that means have a healthy snack at 3 pm, then go for it.
Just be sure not to gorge on high-sugar items and carbohydrates. That said, if dinner rolls around and you aren't hungry yet, either wait until later, or eat a smaller more satisfying meal.
Cut Back on Your Portion Sizes.
Portion sizes have doubled in the United States since the mid-1950. Remember that your stomach is only about the size of your fist, so don't expect to be able to stuff more food that would fit into your fist into it.
Substitute Junk Foods for Healthy Ones.
We all know that eating candy or donuts all day isn't good for us, yet how many of us run to the vending machine between meetings to curb a growling stomach? One of the easiest ways to meet your daily nutritional needs is to substitute those quick snacks laden with sugar with more nutritious things like fruit, cut veggies, a hard boiled egg, or even a whole grain muffin.
Don't Skip Breakfast.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It's what gets your metabolism going early in the morning after slowing down overnight.
Watch Those Food Labels!
While it's always a good idea to reach for a lower-fat food instead of their higher fat alternatives, be careful to watch those food labels for extra sugar and sodium found in many trendy "fat free" foods
Drink More Water.
It is a good idea to drink only water whenever possible. Your body needs it and it doesn't contain any unhealthy ingredients like other drinks do.
Start with an Appetizer.
Now, be careful here. Don't gorge on hot wings and bread, but starting off with a plate of cut up fresh veggies and dip is a great way to meet your vegetable requirements for the day and fill up on good stuff before the main course arrives.
Always Have a Salad.
Include a small salad with every meal. It's filling and nutritious. Just be sure to fill it with tasty dark greens and lots of colored variety.
Create A Palette on Your Plate.
Most nutritional experts agree, to be sure that you are getting just the right amounts of each food group, make your meal plate into a colorful palette featuring lots of different colors (browns, greens, oranges, reds, etc).
Not a big vegetable lover? Try making different varieties of soups. It's a great way to add taste and texture to mealtime and get those 5 a day servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.
As you can see, just making a few simple changes to your daily diet can make a big difference in getting the nutrients most important to a healthy body.
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