by Karen Bates
(last updated February 27, 2015)
At one time or another, many of us have thought that we should try eating better. It's not easy, though, when you feel that "healthy eating" means consuming nothing but salads and grapefruit.
Getting into a healthy eating routine doesn't have to be boring or bland, though. Instead of eating the same old healthy staples, turn your change of diet into an adventure of tastes and textures. There are tons of healthy alternatives to fatty or sugary foods—you just have to be willing to try something new.
Part of transitioning from your old eating patterns to a healthier routine is to develop eating plans. These plans are basically your guidelines for eating healthier foods and developing healthy habits. Instead of jumping right into the world of healthy eating, it can help you a lot if you plan ahead.
One of the best ways to start out is by deciding to implement more vegetables into your meals. This could start out with just adding more veggies as a side dish. Eventually, you should build up to replacing fatty or unhealthy parts of the meal with more vegetables or grains. You don't have to eat the same boring foods over and over, though—have fun with various colors and tastes as you get into eating more produce.
The next step to take is to exchange less-healthy meats for leaner ones. Instead of a high-fat hamburger, for instance, you can use grilled chicken in a sandwich to create a better-for-you alternative. Don't fry foods—opt to bake or grill them to cut out a large amount of fat and calories.
After a while of experimenting with various healthy meal options, think about how you can make your dessert a little better for you, too. Start by adding fresh fruit to your after-dinner treat to add sweetness instead of using extra sugar. For example, where you might have a few scoops of candy-filled ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth, dish yourself a small scoop of low-fat vanilla and top it with flavorful fruits. You will still be enjoying a sweet dessert, but with a few changes that make it less of a health risk.
Once you get used to your new healthy eating plan, add even more new foods to your diet. Try interesting grains and produce that you have never thought to eat before. This can make your meals more exciting, and will help you not to miss unhealthy foods so much.
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