Although many of our eating habits were established during childhood, it doesnt mean its too late to change them. Learn more. You may already know about the many benefits of essential oils for your health. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, an alternative therapy that brings many. Healthy eating is about eating smart and enjoying your food. Transform your eating habits with these easy tips. Getting Back To Healthy EatingImproving Your Eating Habits Healthy Weight. When it comes to eating, we have strong habits. Some are good I always eat breakfast, and some are not so good I always clean my plate. Although many of our eating habits were established during childhood, it doesnt mean its too late to change them. Making sudden, radical changes to eating habits such as eating nothing but cabbage soup, can lead to short term weight loss. However, such radical changes are neither healthy nor a good idea, and wont be successful in the long run. Permanently improving your eating habits requires a thoughtful approach in which you Reflect, Replace, and Reinforce. REFLECT on all of your specific eating habits, both bad and good and, your common triggers for unhealthy eating. REPLACE your unhealthy eating habits with healthier ones. REINFORCE your new, healthier eating habits. Reflect, Replace, Reinforce A process for improving your eating habits. Create a list of your eating habits. Keeping a food diary for a few days, in which you write down everything you eat and the time of day you ate it, will help you uncover your habits. For example, you might discover that you always seek a sweet snack to get you through the mid afternoon energy slump. Use. this diary PDF 3. KB. to help. Its good to note how you were feeling when you decided to eat, especially if you were eating when not hungry. Were you tired Stressed outHighlight the habits on your list that may be leading you to overeat. Common eating habits that can lead to weight gain are. Eating too fast. Always cleaning your plate. Eating when not hungry. Eating while standing up may lead to eating mindlessly or too quicklyAlways eating dessert. Skipping meals or maybe just breakfastLook at the unhealthy eating habits youve highlighted. Be sure youve identified all the triggers that cause you to engage in those habits. Identify a few youd like to work on improving first. Dont forget to pat yourself on the back for the things youre doing right. Maybe you almost always eat fruit for dessert, or you drink low fat or fat free milk. These are good habitsRecognizing your successes will help encourage you to make more changes. Create a list of cues by reviewing your food diary to become more aware of when and where youre triggered to eat for reasons other than hunger. Note how you are typically feeling at those times. Often an environmental cue, or a particular emotional state, is what encourages eating for non hunger reasons. Common triggers for eating when not hungry are. Opening up the cabinet and seeing your favorite snack food. Sitting at home watching television. Before or after a stressful meeting or situation at work. Coming home after work and having no idea whats for dinner. Having someone offer you a dish they made just for youWalking past a candy dish on the counter. Sitting in the break room beside the vending machine. Seeing a plate of doughnuts at the morning staff meeting. Swinging through your favorite drive through every morning. Feeling bored or tired and thinking food might offer a pick me up. Circle the cues on your list that you face on a daily or weekly basis. Going home for the Thanksgiving holiday may be a trigger for you to overeat, and eventually, you want to have a plan for as many eating cues as you can. But for now, focus on the ones you face more often. Ask yourself these questions for each cue youve circled. Is there anything I can do to avoid the cue or situation This option works best for cues that dont involve others. For example, could you choose a different route to work to avoid stopping at a fast food restaurant on the way Is there another place in the break room where you can sit so youre not next to the vending machine For things I cant avoid, can I do something differently that would be healthierObviously, you cant avoid all situations that trigger your unhealthy eating habits, like staff meetings at work. In these situations, evaluate your options. Could you suggest or bring healthier snacks or beveragesCould you offer to take notes to distract your attention Could you sit farther away from the food so it wont be as easy to grab something Could you plan ahead and eat a healthy snack before the meetingReplace unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones. For example, in reflecting upon your eating habits, you may realize that you eat too fast when you eat alone. So, make a commitment to share a lunch each week with a colleague, or have a neighbor over for dinner one night a week. Other strategies might include putting your fork down between bites or minimizing other distractions i. Here are more ideas to help you replace unhealthy habits. Eat more slowly. If you eat too quickly, you may clean your plate instead of paying attention to whether your hunger is satisfied. Eat only when youre truly hungry instead of when you are tired, anxious, or feeling an emotion besides hunger. If you find yourself eating when you are experiencing an emotion besides hunger, such as boredom or anxiety, try to find a non eating activity to do instead. You may find a quick walk or phone call with a friend helps you feel better. Plan meals ahead of time to ensure that you eat a healthy well balanced meal. Reinforce your new, healthy habits and be patient with yourself. Habits take time to develop. It doesnt happen overnight. When you do find yourself engaging in an unhealthy habit, stop as quickly as possible and ask yourself Why do I do thisWhen did I start doing this What changes do I need to make Be careful not to berate yourself or think that one mistake blows a whole days worth of healthy habits. You can do it It just takes one day at a timeHealthy Eating Tips to Live Longer and Lose Weight. Eat sauerkraut if you have a coldi. StockdebbismirnoffWhen naturally fermented and refrigerated not pasteurized, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir contain natural probiotics and help populate your gut with healthy bacteria that can protect you from colds and the flu. These are the best healthy foods you can eat. Justin Sonnenburg, Ph. D, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University and author of The Good Gut. A dash of turmeric can prevent canceri. StocksommailMany clinical trials have shown it could play a role in preventing or treating heart disease, osteoarthritis, and some cancers. I recommend a quarter teaspoon a day. If you dont enjoy the taste, buy capsules. Heres how turmeric can soothe stomach problems. Michael Greger, MD, a physician who specializes in nutrition and the author of How Not to Die. Canned tuna packs a protein punchi. StockdebbismirnoffIts one of the most affordable proteins in the supermarket, and its packed with omega 3s, vitamin D, and selenium. Snack on it with whole grain crackers. Kate Geagan, MS, RD, nutritionist and author of Go Green, Get Lean. Content continues below ad. Stay mentally sharp with a fishy dieti. StockrafalstachuraIn one large study, having at least one fish meal a week was associated with a 6. Alzheimers disease. Other studies have found that eating fish slashes your chance of dying from heart disease by about a third. Martha Clare Morris, Sc. D, director of the Section of Nutrition and Nutritional Epidemiology at Rush University Medical Center Dark chocolate with 7. StockbravobravoThis treat has been shown to boost good HDL cholesterol, lower bad LDL cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, boost brain health, and enhance mood. Research also shows it curbs cravings for both sweet and salty foods. Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, author of Slim Down Now Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Make berries your go to fruiti. StockyuliadavidovichBerries have high levels of antioxidants that may lower your risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, diabetes, and cognitive decline. Look for black raspberries in the freezer department of high end grocery stores, blueberries, cranberries, and black currants. David C. Nieman, Dr. PH, FACSM, director of the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University. Content continues below ad. When buying cabbage, choose purplei. StockmamamiaplIt has the same eyesight and brain protecting antioxidants as berries do, at a fraction of the cost. Slice off shreds to use as a healthy, colorful garnish. Michael Greger, MDEat more leafy green veggies as you get older. Ted Cavanaugh for Readers Digest One study found that seniors who ate at least one serving of leafy greens a day had the cognitive ability of someone 1. These salad staples also benefit heart and bone health and help prevent cancer. Martha Clare Morris, Sc. DBeans can help you live longer. Ted Cavanaugh for Readers Digest A cup every day may add years to your life. Theyre cheap, they provide way more protein dollar for dollar than meat does, they have complex carbohydrates, and theyre full of fiber. Plus beans help the good bacteria in your gut flourish, helping you lose weight and lowering inflammation that causes disease. Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and the author of The Blue Zones Solution Eating and Living Like the Worlds Healthiest People. Content continues below ad. Add nuts to your breakfasti. Stockcreativeye. Five or more five ounce servings of nuts throughout the week may cut your risk of heart disease by up to half. It doesnt matter what kind of nuts walnuts, almonds, pecans. Sprinkle them on cereal each morning. Gary Fraser, MD, Ph. D, cardiologist and epidemiologist at Loma Linda University. If it sprouts, its worth eatingi. StocksandrobassiNuts, fruit, beans, and whole grains are all rich in phytochemicals and other anti inflammatory compounds. Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, drph, a cardiologist and an epidemiologist who is dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Sprinkle your meals with ground flaxseedsi. StockdeeafFilled with fiber and omega 3s, flaxseeds may help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and cognitive decline and treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Grind them up and add to oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, waffles, salads, soups, sandwich spreads, and more. Angie Eakin, MD, MS, a member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and a primary care physician who specializes in nutrition at Barnard Medical Center. Content continues below ad. Make wine your alcohol of choicei. StockcarlosandresantosOne or two drinks a daywine, and perhaps other alcoholic beveragesmay help to lower cholesterol and improve heart and brain health. Dont hold off all week, then live it up on the weekend. More than two and you likely start to do harm. Kenneth S. Kosik, MD, neuroscientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of Outsmarting Alzheimers. Avoid lunch meats like theyre poisonousi. StocklecicProcessed meats like bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, and sausage were designated by the World Health Organization as carcinogens in 2. That means they can cause cancer and are in the same category as asbestos and smoking though their risk is not as high. Michael Greger, MDDont grill marinatei. StockcreativeimprovA growing body of evidence shows that barbecued meats cooked at high temperatures or over an open flame may increase your risk of cancer. Lower your risk by marinating your meat and minimizing charring. Bruce Lee, MD, executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Content continues below ad. Add your own fruit to plain yogurti. StockperedniankinaPlain yogurt that you add whole fruit to is very healthy it typically has about seven grams of natural sugar. Guess how many grams of sugar in a strawberry yogurt Depending on the brand, you could have up to 2. Thats not a health food thats dessert. Robert Lustig, MD, pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of Fat Chance. Check the sugar counts before buying packaged foodi. StockalexskopjeOf the 8. American grocery stores, 7. Sugar alters our hormones so we dont register hunger normally it spikes our dopamine, requiring us to eat more sugar for the same effect and it affects the liver in the same way that alcohol does. Robert Lustig, MDCounting calories Dont use artificial sweetenersi. StockbigredcurlyguyIn one study, fruit flies that had been accustomed to eating the artificial sweetener sucralose ate 3. We believe that because the sweetness in sucralose doesnt correspond to the calories, the brain compensates by making the animal feel more hungry. This may also happen in humans. Heres what can happen if you stop using artificial sweeteners. Greg Neely, Ph. D, associate professor at the University of Sydney. Content continues below ad. Boxes and bags are bad signs. Ted Cavanaugh for Readers Digest The more packaging you have to go through to get to a food, the worse it probably is for you. Bruce Lee, MDAvoid bread to lower your sodium intakei. Stockgaus nataliyaIt doesnt taste like it, but most bread is filled with saltits one of the top sources of salt in the American diet. Desserts With Grands Biscuits more. If you have high blood pressure, be careful with bread. These foods are sneaky sodium bombs. Marc Gillinov, MD, cardiac surgeon at Cleveland Clinics Heart Vascular Institute and coauthor of Heart 4. The Only Guide to Heart Health Youll Ever Need. Substitute algae for olive oili. StockalexeydsTheres a new cooking oil made from algae that claims to be even higher in heart healthy monounsaturated fats than olive oil. Unlike olive oil, it has a neutral flavor and a very high smoke point, so its wonderful to cook with.