Challenge yourself to eat better with these easy healthy habits

healthy eating

People with healthy eating patterns live longer and are at lower risk for serious health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Healthy eating can also help manage chronic diseases and prevent complications.

Join the March challenge! Try one tip each day of this month starting today.

  1. Sip while you sit - Bring a cup or bottle of water with you to your desk, in the car, or in front of the TV.
  2. Make a move - Take the stairs or park a few blocks away from your destination to take extra steps to get where you need to go.
  3. Have a vegetable at breakfast - Most people save their veggies for dinner. Try adding a sliced tomato to your sandwich or some green peppers to your eggs.
  4. Find fiber - Whether it's bran cereal, nuts, or oatmeal, added fiber can make you feel fuller for longer and keep your bowl movements regular.
  5. Flip the package over - Read nutrition labels on the food you buy to see what's really inside and how it benefits your body.
  6. Eat a healthy fat - Fat is an important part of your diet because it gives you energy. Foods with healthy fats include fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, and olives.
  7. Eat when you eat - Focus on eating while you’re eating, instead of multi-tasking while working, watching TV, or driving. You’ll appreciate each bite even more and better recognize when you’re full.
  8. Don't have guilt as a side dish - If you overindulge at a meal, move on.
  9. Be mindful - Take a moment to notice the food's texture, temperature. and flavor.
  10. Have some dark chocolate - Dark chocolate can certainly boost your mood, but in the right portion size, it also has been shown to have heart-healthy benefits.
  11. Eat something fishy - Enjoy a fish dish. It's has omega-3 fatty acids which means it’s good for your heart.
  12. Keep a food diary – You may not realize how much you really eat in a day. Try writing it down. The amount you actually eat may surprise you.
  13. Take time for tea – There’s a reason the Brits love their tea. It’s good for your bones, and it gives you a soothing cup of comfort in any season.
  14. Cook with your loved ones - Enjoy some time with your friends and family while you cook a healthy homemade meal.
  15. Go nuts - Nuts add crunch and more flavor to salads, vegetables, yogurt, and even sandwiches (using nut butter). Nuts are also a good way for you to have healthy fats which keep your blood sugar levels steady.
  16. Sleep more – The longer you're awake, the more you’ll eat. Lack of sleep can change your hormones and lead to increased hunger.
  17. Be good to your gut - Feed the good bacteria in our gut by including high fiber foods (beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains) and foods with probiotics like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso, and kimchi.
  18. Make healthy swaps - Try mashed avocado instead of butter or use whole-wheat flour instead of white flour.
  19. Indulge and enjoy - A healthy diet is all about balance and variety. Find foods that bring you joy and include them in your diet. Only eat the amounts that are healthy for you.
  20. Chill out – Don’t be afraid of frozen foods, like fruits and veggies. They can be just as good for you as fresh produce. In some cases, they may be even better for you.
  21. Have a superfood - Most superfoods can be found in the produce aisle. They may sound fancy, but they’re not. Add a fruit or veggie to each meal.
  22. Share a meal - Try ordering your own appetizer but split the main dish with a friend or family member.
  23. Go big on beans - Beans are cheap, easy to store, rich in protein and fiber, and taste so good. Add some to your soup or tacos.
  24. Do something - Do something fun! Dance, ride a bike, ski, or take the dog for a long walk.
  25. Cook someone a meal - Cook a loved one their favorite meal to show you care and appreciate them.
  26. Snack - Be sure your snack has protein, whole grains, and healthy fat to help keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  27. Be kind to yourself - Explore self-care options that aren’t food related. Take a bath, listen to music, surround yourself with friends, or buy yourself something that will make you smile.
  28. Eat the rainbow - Different colors of fruits and vegetables have different vitamins and minerals. Include different colors in your meals each day or week.
  29. Stick to the edges - You will find fresh produce, meat, dairy, eggs, and healthier foods on the outer edges of most grocery stores. Try not to get sucked into the center where the unhealthy foods live.
  30. Be a list person - Plan your meals and shopping trips. You will save money and buy food that is better for you.
  31. Be adventurous - Try a new fruit, vegetable, or whole grain that you haven’t tried before. You may find your new favorite food.

You can change the order but be sure to give each tip a try. You may find yourself wanting to continue these tips all year long.

A Registered Dietitian at one of our LiVe Well Centers can help you plan and work towards healthier eating habits.