5 Tips For Healthy Eating and Weight Loss

Eating healthy is an essential component of losing weight. Fad diets that focus on eating one type of food (such as carbohydrates) or totally eliminating others (such as fats and sugars) never last because for your body to remain healthy it requires all of these foods, but in moderation.
Five simple tips for healthy eating and losing weight are:
  1. Knowing what to eat
  2. Knowing when to eat
  3. Knowing how much to eat
  4. How to simplify your shopping
  5. How to properly prepare what you eat
There is so much information available on what to eat that we sometimes get so confused we give up before we get started. Knowing what to eat is not as difficult as it seems. The key is in the food pyramid. The majority of your diet (6 - 10 servings) should be composed of grains (the base of the pyramid). These include whole grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta.

 Next are fruits and vegetables that will provide the fiber, vitamins and essential minerals that your body needs. The closer the fruits and vegetables are to their natural state, the more nutritious they will be (processing removes nutrients). Dairy and protein (milk, cheese, meat) are what is required for strong bones and muscles. Maximize nutritional impact by selecting lean cuts of meat for your 2 -3 daily servings. The top of the pyramid is fats and oils, meaning they should be consumed sparingly. High in flavor, but low in nutritional value, select unsaturated fats, nuts and vegetable oils.

Knowing when to eat is something we all know, since it's something our parents told us, eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. Unfortunately, this is one of the more difficult things to control. Due to busy schedules and existing bad eating habits many of us tend to eat by the clock, breakfast at 7, lunch at noon, dinner at 6pm, whether we're hungry or not. Even worse, is that we tend to snack constantly (or regularly) between meals, so instead of three balanced meals, we are more likely to eat 5 or 6 unbalanced ones.

How much to eat is just as big a problem as knowing when to eat. Today everything is super-sized, value-sized and pretty much over-sized. Two daily servings of meat are not that much since a serving is only 2 oz. A typical restaurant steak is at least 8oz, which is twice your daily requirement. The same goes for virtually all the foods we eat. A serving of salad dressing (from the fat and oil group) is only 1 tbsp, not the more than 1/4 cup we unknowingly pour on at the salad bar. Understanding portion control is essential to maintaining a healthy diet.

Simplifying your shopping may seem at odds with the need to eat a wide variety of foods to maintain a well balanced diet but it's not. The more ingredients you include in a recipe, the more processed foods and empty calories you add to your diet. By keeping recipes simple, not only will your meals taste better, but they will also be packed full of all the nutrients your body needs, provided you don't cook it out of them.

In addition to choosing healthy foods, how you cook them will determine how much nutritional value you eventually get, which is why it is also important to know how to properly prepare the foods you eat. Although raw carrots are the most nutritious, does it matter if you boil or steam them before serving as a side dish? Boiling removes all of the carrots essential vitamins, which eventually get discarded with the water, while steaming maintains their color, texture and nutritional value. So how you prepare your food is just as important as what you are preparing.

If you keep in mind these five simple tips, you'll be on your way to eating healthier and losing weight.
If you enjoyed this article and are looking for more information about how to eat healthy and lose weight, visit the Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook.
You can also teach your kids all about healthy eating when you learn to how to prepare healthy kids meals.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_Rocco


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