How To Start A Healthy Diet For Beginners

New Research Is Exploring The Connection Between The Foods We Eat And Our Feelings Of Depression Anxiety And Happiness

How To Start Eating Healthy | Eating Healthy For Beginners

Should you eat an appleor a bag of Oreos? Go to McDonaldsor the vegetarian restaurant on the corner?

When we make these everyday food choices, many of us think first of our physical health and appearance. But theres another factor we may want to consider in picking foods: their impact on our mental health.

A growing body of research is discovering that food doesnt just affect our waistline but also our moods, emotions, and even longer-term conditions like depression. Which makes sense, after all. Our brains are physical entities, running on the energy that we put into our bodies, affected by shifts in our hormones, blood sugar levels, and many other biological processes.

Although there are many unanswered questions, the research to date can give us some guidance when were hunting for an afternoon snack. What we know so far can be summed up, more or less, as this: Whole-food diets heavy on the fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed protein can lift our moods and protect us from depression, while too much junk food and sugar may put our mental health at risk.

One-third of adults in America eat fast food on a given day. Many of us see French fries and chocolate cake as treats to cheer us up when were feeling down. But perhaps our perspective on food needs an update. With a few simple dietary changes, you might be able to improve both your mind and your mood.

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Read The Nutrition Labels

When eating clean for beginners, you need to get pretty familiar with nutrition labels because they will tell you everything you need to know about the foods youre considering eating. Look for labels with relatively few ingredients and consider each ingredient in terms of, Is this an ingredient I would cook with in my kitchen? If not, pass. Pay attention to and avoid foods with labels that include words like, hydrolyzed, or modified, as those indicate added processing and words that end in -ose because those indicate added sugars . Look for labels with whole grains and whole wheat in the ingredients. If the food is high in calories, make sure the saturated fat and sugar levels are low and that the calories are coming from the fiber and lean proteins instead. Also, keep sodium levels as low as possible your body only needs 250 mg each day to function but a typical American diet is waaaaaay higher than that.

We Know But Don’t Act

We are all well aware of the simple mantra…fruits, vegetables, whole grains fruits, vegetables, whole grains. We are intelligent and well informed. However there is often a gap between our knowledge of what to do and our actually doing it.

Despite a national fruit and vegetable campaign in 1991, a John’s Hopkins study found that American fruit and vegetable consumption has not increased. Only about 10 percent ate the recommended “five a day” of fruits and vegetables and at least 50 percent did not eat any vegetables! Keep in mind, the people surveyed considered themselves nutrition “savvy” .

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Healthy Eating Tip No : Make Your Oatmeal With Skim Or 1% Milk Instead Of Water

Whether you prefer instant or regular oatmeal, this simple step will boost the protein and calcium in your breakfast. Using 2/3 cup of skim milk instead of water adds 6 grams of quality protein, 255 milligrams potassium, 205 mg calcium, 14% of the Recommended Dietary Intake for vitamin B-12, and 67 international units of vitamin D.

Day : Assess Your Sugar Intake


Its universally accepted at this point that excess sugar consumption is a major risk factor for inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease, yet its still a huge part of most peoples diets. Per the American Heart Association, adult women should eat no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, but most of us consume about three times that amount.

Thats why as part of your food diary, Zeitlin says its a good idea to track all of your sources of sugar, from the healthy to the more decadent, and assess where your sugar is coming from in a given day or week. Then, rework your eating habits so that your sugar intake reaches the recommended levelswithout cutting everything out.

If youre someone who wants your overall sugar intake for the day to have something sweet, all you have to do is know that about yourself, says Zeitlin. Then we work backwards. Every night after dinner you have one ounce of dark chocolate, fantastic. Then the rest of your day, make sure that youre having no more than two cups of fruit a day and no more than two cups of grain a day. Approaching it in this way leaves room for dessert while keeping your overall sugar levels in check.

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What To Eat On A Low

In this section you can learn exactly what to eat on low carb, whether you prefer visual guides, detailed food lists, delicious recipes or a simple get started guide.

Lets start with a quick visual guide to low carb. Here are the basic low carb food groups from which you can choose until satisfied:

The numbers above are grams of digestible carbs per 100 grams of food. Fiber is not counted you can eat all the fiber you want.12

All foods above contain less than 5% carbs by weight. Sticking to these foods will make it relatively easy to stay on a moderate low-carb diet or even a strict low-carb diet, with less than 20 grams of net carbs per day.

How To Eat Healthy Without Noticing

Brian Wansink is a professor at Cornell University, and he has completed a variety of studies on how your environment shapes your eating decisions. Many of the ideas below come from his popular book, Mindless Eating . Here are some of his best practical strategies for using choice architecture to make healthy eating easier.

1. Use smaller plates. Bigger plates mean bigger portions. And that means you eat more. According to a study conducted by Wansink and his research team, if you made a simple change and served your dinner on 10-inch plates instead of a 12-inch plate, you would eat 22% less food over the course of the next year.

On a related note, if youre thinking Ill just put less food on my plate its not that simple. The picture below explains why. When you eat a small portion off of a large plate, your mind feels unsatisfied. Meanwhile, the same portion will feel more filling when eaten off of a small plate. The circles in the image below are the same size, but your brain doesnt view them that way.

2. Want to drink less alcohol or soda? Use tall, slender glasses instead of short, fat ones.

Take a look at the image below. Is the horizontal or vertical line longer?

4. Display healthy foods in a prominent place. For example, you could place a bowl of fruits or nuts near the front door or somewhere else that you pass by before you leave the house. When youre hungry and in a rush, you are more likely to grab the first thing you see.

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Planning A Healthy Diet

  • 1Set a goal for yourself. Starting a healthier diet is a great overarching goal however, to make your goal more realistic and doable, you’ll need to be more specific about what you want out of a “healthy diet.”XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • It might be helpful to first think about your current diet. What’s unhealthy about it? Do you need to eat more green vegetables? Do you need to drink more water? Should you snack less?
  • Write up a list of the things you want to change, add or stop about your current diet. Use these ideas to form multiple small goals to help you reach a healthier diet.
  • The best way to reach any goal is to start with one or two very small changes. Trying to overhaul your entire diet in a few days probably won’t work well. Choose something small to work on each week. You’ll be much more successful long-term.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • 2Start a food journal. After you’ve come up with a few goals and how you can achieve them, consider starting a food journal. This will serve as a method to track and evaluate your progress.
  • Write all your goals in your food journal. You can review them as needed or change them as you continue to make changes to your diet.
  • There are many apps available to download on your smartphone that can help you track calories, exercise, and even how much water you drink.
  • Losing Weight Is 50% Perspiration And 50% Digestion

    How To Start a Healthy Diet For Beginners | 2021 | Best Top 10 Healthy Diet

      The first step to addressing your weight loss goals is what many see as the most difficult obstacle: fixing your eating habits.

      Weve spent our entire lives developing a taste for certain types of foods, and often its the unhealthy kinds: processed carbs, fast food, sugary pastries, and, lets not forget, deep-fried. But our eating habits go deeper than thatdeep within our psyche: maybe youre a picky eater and avoid green food, maybe your parents idea of cooking was the drive-thru window of a fast food joint, or maybe you just dont know any better.

      But now that youre older and wiser, its time to arm yourself with some knowledge of how to eat right and feel better. Forget trend diets that you only follow for a month, these tips will set you up for long-term success.


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      Why We Crave Junk Food

      Steven Witherly is a food scientist who has spent the last 20 years studying what makes certain foods more addictive than others. Much of the science that follows is from his excellent report, Why Humans Like Junk Food.

      According to Witherly, when you eat tasty food, there are two factors that make the experience pleasurable.

      First, there is the sensation of eating the food. This includes what it tastes like , what it smells like, and how it feels in your mouth. This last quality known as orosensation can be particularly important. Food companies will spend millions of dollars to discover the most satisfying level of crunch in a potato chip. Food scientists will test for the perfect amount of fizzle in a soda. These elements all combine to create the sensation that your brain associates with a particular food or drink.

      The second factor is the actual macronutrient makeup of the food the blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it contains. In the case of junk food, food manufacturers are looking for a perfect combination of salt, sugar, and fat that excites your brain and gets you coming back for more.

      Heres how they do it

      Risks And How To Minimize Them

      Favoring a well-planned diet that limits processed foods and replaces them with nutrient-rich ones instead is important for everyone, not only vegans.

      That said, those following poorly planned vegan diets are particularly at risk of certain nutrient deficiencies.

      In fact, studies show that vegans are at a higher risk of having inadequate blood levels of vitamin B12, vitamin D, long-chain omega-3s, iodine, iron, calcium and zinc .

      Not getting enough of these nutrients is worrisome for everyone, but it may pose a particular risk to those with increased requirements, such as children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

      Your genetic makeup and the composition of your gut bacteria may also influence your ability to derive the nutrients you need from a vegan diet.

      One way to minimize the likelihood of deficiency is to limit the amount of processed vegan foods you consume and opt for nutrient-rich plant foods instead.

      Fortified foods, especially those enriched with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12, should also make a daily appearance on your plate.

      Furthermore, vegans wanting to enhance their absorption of iron and zinc should try fermenting, sprouting and cooking foods .

      Also, the use of iron cast pots and pans for cooking, avoiding tea or coffee with meals and combining iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C can further boost iron absorption .

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      Do Not Skip Breakfast

      Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight.

      But a healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.

      A wholegrain lower sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthier breakfast.

      Day 1: Try A New Spice Youve Never Used Before

      How to Start Clean Eating

      Consistency can be great when youre trying to establish new habits, says Zeitlin. But consistency with food can also get boringwhich is where flavor enhancers like spices can come in. Shop the spice section at Trader Joes or your favorite grocery store to find new seasonings to experiment with. Or combine spices you like in different wayslike mixing ground ginger and chili powder to put on a salmon bowlto excite your taste buds. Plus, spices can count towards that 30 plants a week goal.

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      Healthy Eating Tip No : Order Broiled Or Grilled Fish Instead Of Steak When Dining Out

      Eating fish a couple times a week will pump heart-healthy fish omega-3s into your diet. If the fish replaces a steak, you’ll also be dramatically reducing the amount of saturated fat in the meal.

      The typical 8-ounce T-bone steak served at a restaurant has 635 calories, 17 grams saturated fat, and 140 mg of cholesterol â not including any fat added during cooking or as a garnish. The typical 4-ounce broiled salmon filet served at a restaurant has 206 calories, 9 grams fat, 1.4 grams saturated fat, 80 mg of cholesterol and 2.5 grams of omega-3s. Switching to fish trims 16 grams of saturated fat while adding 2.5 grams of omega-3s.

      Fat Protein And Carb Intake: How Much Of Each Macronutrient Should You Eat

      Although calorie consumption is one of the most critical variables that determine whether you lose or gain weight, you must also take note of how much fat and protein you eat if you want to decrease your body fat % and maintain as much muscle mass as possible.

      Lets take a quick look at the importance of each macronutrient and how to find your ideal intake for each one:

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      Day : Cook With An Item Of Seasonal Produce As Your Main Ingredient

      Check out your farmers market today to see whats in seasonin , that typically means citrus fruits, butternut and acorn squashes, and Brussels sproutsand take something home to cook with. Youre not only supporting local farmers who take care of the land, but youre also consuming produce at its peak nutrition, says Kooienga. In addition, it encourages you to get creative with the recipes and meals you’re making because you may be cooking with produce you haven’t tried before.

      Make Water Your Primary Beverage

      BEGINNERS GUIDE TO HEALTHY EATING | 15 healthy eating tips

      Water is the healthiest and most natural beverage you can drink.

      It harbors no additives, sugars, artificial sweeteners, or other questionable ingredients. By definition, its the cleanest beverage you can drink.

      Water can keep you hydrated and may also help you achieve a healthy weight .

      Unsweetened coffee and tea are also good choices and provide several health benefits, but people who are sensitive to caffeine may need to moderate their intake.

      SUMMARY Water is incredibly healthy and should be your main beverage when following a clean eating lifestyle.

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      Eat Less Salt: No More Than 6g A Day For Adults

      Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

      Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.

      About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces.

      Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.

      Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt a day. Younger children should have even less.

      What Should I Eat Before A Workout

      Let the timing of your workout determine this. If youre training first thing in the morning, youre welcome to have nothing but water beforehand. Black coffee is fine, too, and may actually increase the amount of fat you burn in the session.

      Assuming you had dinner the night before, your body will still be flush with amino acids and stored carbs, so theres no immediate need to fuel your training any further. In fact, eating carbs right before can limit the fat you burn during a session.

      On the other hand, if youre training in the afternoon or evening, you can have some protein and carbs an hour or more before the workout to power you through it 25 grams protein and up to 50 grams carbs is fine.

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