5 Ways to Eat Healthier From 5 Registered Dietitians
Our body is designed by nature to eat healthier foods. Our mind, however, is less inclined towards salads and more compelled by the bright ads featuring donuts and burgers.
Many times, even if you do think you choose a healthy meal, the label might say something else. Most foods on the supermarket aisles are processed, even vegetables are filled with chemicals that speed up their growth.
So how can you eat healthy with so many temptations and misinformation all around you?
I decided that the best way of giving you good answers is to look into 5 R.D.s and their recommendations. Some are common, some are surprising (especially no. 5!) but I can tell you each method is a piece of cake.. so to speak!
Meet your emotional needs
If you’ve already found a balanced diet and created a good meal plan, congratulations! You’re on the right track. However, if you still feel like you haven’t eaten enough or you find yourself thinking about food all day long, there might be a problem.
Ayana Habtemariam, R.D.N. and certified intuitive eating counselor, says that many people dislike eating healthy because they lack one of the following: pleasure, satisfaction and social connection. With this in mind, you may try to schedule more meals with family or friends (even virtual!) or go back in time to your favorite childhood meals.
Find new ways to describe food
The way you think and talk about your meals also has an impact on how much you like your diet. For many people, the word ‘healthy’ doesn’t provide much mental satisfaction especially since we’re taught that ‘the best things are forbidden.’
Cara Harbstreet, R.D. L.D., encourages her clients to literally make a list of adjectives they like about foods and start using them daily. Descriptive words like spicy, savory, melty, crunchy can trigger pleasure receptors in your brain instantly!
Focus on including new foods
One of the most common mistakes people make is to focus on the foods they need to eliminate from their diet. Let’s face it: cutting down on cake, fast-food or crackers is not fun, but rather torturing. Shana Minei Spence, M.S. R.D.N. explains that thinking about the foods you miss can turn into an obsession that makes you both mentally unhealthy and emotionally unstable.
On the other side, adding new foods like granola, tofu or savory creams for your cake (even sugar-free ones!) may make you love your new lifestyle even more.
Yes, that’s all Marisa More, R.D.N. L.D. has to say. Right now, the internet is filled with modern diets and superfoods like quinoa, protein powders and protein-packed bars; in fact, such foods are so praised that we almost feel forced to eat them although they offer little to no satisfaction emotionally.
You don’t need to change your lifestyle by 180 degrees all at once. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that most Americans never meet the recommended daily intake for vegetables. Therefore, simply adding extra vegetables to your meal (think carrots, potatoes or beans) can make a huge difference!
Listen to your cravings
Yes, there are many sugar-free desserts out there. Yes, you can roast your chicken instead of frying it… but it will never be the same. That’s the truth.
When you feel like you have to turn everything you love to make it a healthier option, you may end up being miserable. Shana Minei Spence, M.S. R.D.N. encourages people to eat what they crave with moderation without any sense of guilt. In time, this habit can help us love our new, healthy lifestyle more.