Top 10 steps to becoming an enlightened eater (Part 2)

© Blotty | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Blotty | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Here are the last five of my 10 steps that can help provide the foundation to make smart food choices – food choices that can become habits. Life’s too busy to spend most of your waking hours trying to figure out how to eat healthy.

A key point that’s worth repeating is that in order to change your habits, you need to recognize what you want to change. You need to be critical but not judgmental.  Being critical helps you realize what you want to change while being judgmental simply discourages you from moving forward.

To help discover how you really eat, keep food records of your food intake for a week- the food, time, amount of what you’re eating and where you’re eating.  But do this AFTER you have already eaten. By waiting until afterwards, you may eat more naturally, without contemplation and you’ll have a better chance to discover the habits you would like to get rid of.

Once you have pinpointed one or two areas to work on, then keep your food records again but do so BEFORE eating so that you will have a chance to think about your choices.

Here are five more suggestions to help you on the road to becoming an enlightened eater:

•    Consider getting better acquainted with your kitchen
Preparing tasty nutritious eats doesn’t need to take a huge bite out of your time. There are plenty of fast and scrumptious recipes to choose from to suit every taste. And when the fare is homemade, you can control the nutritional profile with no surprises such as high fat and sodium counts that likely lurk in restaurant kitchens and take-out counters.

•    Plan a menu
Don’t keep re-inventing the wheel. How many times, late in the afternoon, do you wonder about what to have for supper? Do you realize how much time you’re wasting? Instead plan a menu and post it on the fridge. Then use it to make a shopping list so that you have the fixings on hand.

•    Be adventurous
Make your nutritious eats appealing. If you eat boring fare, then you’ll be more tempted to eat decadent delights. And if you simply don’t like nutritious options like most vegetables or whole grains, consider that research shows that if you taste a food at least 20 times, you may begin to like it. Notice the word taste – only a spoonful on a regular basis can change your preferences.

•    Have planned snacks
Make them substantial enough to bridge the gap between meals but not so large as to ruin your appetite for the next meal.  Instead of just a piece of fruit, include a few tablespoons of nuts or seeds or a serving of yogurt as well.

•    Practice portion control
Portion distortion remains rampant so this is one area where being on guard is essential. When you’re eating out, assess your serving size when your food arrives. If the portion is too large, discreetly push the extra aside. Then take a doggie bag home to enjoy the next day.

xxx

Do you have any tips to share on changing food habits? Please do so in the comment section below.

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Categories: Tips and Tricks

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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