The 3 Secrets to Craving a Healthy Diet

healthy-dietToday’s post is provided by Ashley Rosales, a registered dietitian who empowers others to make the best food and lifestyle decisions for their own optimal health and wellness.

What’s the secret to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight? It is really no secret at all: eat a balanced diet primarily of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups and be physically active every day. Since you’re a fan of Fit Bottomed Girls, you’re probably getting a good handle on the activity part of the equation, so I will focus on taking a positive approach to healthy eating.

A positive approach means no more “I’m giving up” this food, or “I’m avoiding fat/sodium/sugar.” This negative way of thinking is what eventually sparks feelings of deprivation, which often leads to cravings. And who can avoid an intense craving? Not me. In fact, if I told myself I could no longer eat chocolate,  that would be where all my focus would be. So, instead, let’s start thinking of what foods we SHOULD be eating and focus on what you may need to ADD into your diet. That leads us to our secrets…

3 Secrets to Eating a Healthy Diet

1. Diversify your diet and include all foods. A balanced meal is one consisting of carbohydrates, protein and fats (yes, fat!). Carbohydrates provide quick energy, protein builds muscle, and fat sustains energy for up to four hours. You can’t lead an active lifestyle without fuel. Eating meals and snacks that contain carbohydrates, protein and fat is the best way to feel satisfied and have sustained energy.

Start by including foods from all of the food groups in your diet, such as low-fat milk and dairy products, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats like seafood, beans, eggs and nuts to create balanced meals. Aim to have at least three food groups represented in each snack or meal, and the variety will ensure you get the energy, vitamins and minerals you need.

2. Customize and individualize your diet. Incorporate your personal values into your food choices, and set realistic goals that you know you can accomplish. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating. You are unique and therefore your diet approach should be as well. Is it important for you to buy local food? Are cost and convenience your priorities? Do your cultural traditions take precedence? Consider all of these factors as you take small steps toward your healthy eating goals.

3. Enjoy what you eat. How do you balance weight management with “enjoying” food? Taste, flavor, satiety and pleasure are all important parts of eating, and these factors should be a part of your healthy eating plan. With some savvy meal planning and preparation, you can balance your diet across all five food groups and still include some of those “indulgences” without feeling guilty.

 

Thanks to Ashely for the great tips! Makes sense to us! To help you get on your healthy eating way, be sure to check out some of the free recipes and meal planning tools on MealsMatter.org for a positive approach to achieve your nutrition goals! —Jenn

 



Comments

  1. katie lee says

    I love this positive approach to healthy eating. Focusing on the enjoyment of eating and all the nutrient rich foods out there makes so much sense to me. Fads and tricks and gimmicks get us nowhere at the end of the day except feeling guilty and deprived.Thanks so much for the tips!

  2. Jodi says

    Right on with the eating fats comment. As long as the fats we eat are healthy. Omega3s in coconut oil, olive oil, cold-water fish such as tuna and salmon, as well as nuts like almonds are all great sources of this fat. So eat it up and reap its benefits.

  3. Celeste says

    It’s funny,as someone who eats a very healthy,vegan diet,I really rarely crave anything bad for me. Maybe,around my time of the month,I might crave a little bit of good,high quality chocolate,but otherwise,I tend to crave things like sautéed spinach (seriously),or tofu or seitan dishes. Or sometimes,I find myself really craving beans,especially chickpeas(my favorite),or even sweet potatoes. Int he beginning of autumn,I also start craving pumpkin and winter squash and brussel sprouts. I never crave potato chips or french fries(ew!),or anything fried at all,actually. It’s all because I eat healthy so my body doesn’t identify junk foods as anything to crave.
    I wasn’t always this way,trust me. I had to become this way,through years of studying how to take better care of myself and how to eat healthy. The cravings just go away naturally. Just as people learn to crave junk food,by allowing them to be a part of their regular diets,you can teach your body to crave healthier things instead. It is possible to break the unhealthy cravings,you just have to give it a chance,and be patient. If you commit to a healthier lifestyle,and stick with it,one day,you will realize that you’re craving a salad or a healthy soup instead of a bag a greasy potato chips at the end of a stressful day.

  4. shirleygray says

    that is agood diet . that is some what like the diet iam on . dr oze detox diet . ilost 22 lbs since jan 1 2011

  5. Tatianna says

    I think once you start eating healthy you body becomes adjusted to it, your energy levels increase and you with time you naturally develop craving for healthy foods. I can’t even eat junk food anymore, I just don’t like how it makes me feel. So sticking to healthy eating is pretty easy.

  6. Groundhog says

    Here we go again. Meat and dairy as a requirement? We are not cows. We do not need to eat meat either.

  7. Skinny Coach says

    I think that if overweight people could eat this way they would. Unfortunately they do not crave these foods. Lots of people have an imbalance that makes them crave sugar and flour and it is impossible to curb the craving as long as you are eating the foods. I gave up sugar and flour on the eyou diet over 15 years ago and lost 100 pounds. Until I completely gave up those foods I was doomed to crave them.

  8. Gordon says

    Make sure when you eat to breathe and relax. Emotional stress reduces stomach acid production which you need to disgust your food. Also plan out what your going to eat for the next day. This will help so you don’t skip meals and cause blood sugar fluctuation.

  9. Tarjei says

    I absolutely agree that diversifying the food you consume is a must. And getting to eat “unhealthy stuff” is just as important. But people have a hard time going in to all that costumizing-their-diet-plan-thing, (that includes mysefl). I found that intermittent fasting is the only thing I can actually follow through with, when wanting to lose weight.

    Customized diets are hard to follow in the long run, probably why most people fail to lose weight, in my opinion:). I bought this ebook, and now I basically eat whatever I want…kinda sounds too good to bet true, but there you go ! :)http://bit.ly/FastingForFatloss

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