The Basics of Eating Healthy
While going vegan isn't required, cutting way down on red meats and processed foods is the biggest challenge to eating right. Instead, focus more on eating more legumes (beans, lentils, and peas), fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but don't rely on the same foods repetitively. This can cause you to expose your body to high doses of pesticides and other toxins found more often in certain types of foods. Eating a variety of foods limits that risk of exposure, while also providing your body with a broader base of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Portion control is still important, even when you do steer clear of red meats and processed foods. This is especially problematic due to the increased per portion sizes in recent years. To better control this when dining out, order an appetizer instead of a full meal, or split a large meal with a friend. If you do include a cheat day in your week and opt for fast food, avoid the "supersized" portions.
At home, a 2,000 calorie diet is recommended, which consists of two cups of fruit per day and a daily intake of two and a half cups of vegetables. A good rule of thumb for choosing your produce is to include all of the colors of the rainbow. A selection of red, orange, green, yellow, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables will provide the greatest range of benefits. The variety will help strengthen your immune system, giving you greater protection against different types of cancer and other diseases.
Getting it All in One Place with Prepackaged Meals
If you want to eat healthy, but lack the skills or the interest to prepare gourmet meals, don't get discouraged. There are plenty of companies offering prepackaged meals that you can either buy in-store or order online to be delivered directly to your door. One such option is Nutrisystem for men. Nutrisystem for Men While they still offer the diet shakes and protein bars, they have expanded in recent years to offer fully prepared healthy meals. The goal with their meals is to keep your glycemic index low, motivated by the premise that a low blood sugar level promotes better weight management.
The system comes with meals and snacks that require minimal heating time, before they're ready to eat. Expect to receive about 60% "good" carbs and up to 25% of the food offering necessary fats and proteins. Meals can be supplemented with additional fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
There are several other plans that also operate on the concept of providing base meals that contain good carbs and fats. South Beach Diet is one such company, but they start new clients out on meals with extremely low carbs. After two weeks, the client's carb intake is gradually increased to a normalized level.
eDiets may provide the greatest variety, offering more than 20 different plans. Included in that assortment of choices are plans especially catered to diabetics and vegetarians. The company also provides online tools via their website that helps clients set and manage their goals, which is particularly useful to those who may be trying to lose weight in addition to eating healthier meals.
There are a number of other companies offering similar meal plans. You may want to shop around to find out which ones offer the greatest variety at the most economical prices. Rotating between companies may also be beneficial by providing even greater variety than any one company can ever provide.
Healthy Snack Foods to Enjoy
You may opt for snacking regularly, instead of eating larger meals, or maybe you need a pick-me-up snack between meals. In either case, there's a wide range of healthy choices here as well. For instance, you can satisfy a sweet tooth and help lower your blood pressure with a serving of dark chocolate. Additionally, the flavonoids in cocoa are antioxidants that work to reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL), while also boosting good cholesterol (HDL) in the body.
Chia chips can be another option, taking the place of unhealthy corn chips. Wheat and bulgur flour is mixed with chia, sesame seeds, and flax.
Olives can also be a great snack and, for more variety, look for mixed olives at your local health food store. They can also be stuffed with garlic, jalapeño peppers, or cheese for added zest.
Dried mango is another suggestion for satisfying your sweet tooth, while also offering a chewier texture. This dried fruit is perfect for giving your energy a boost, so try them for an afternoon snack.
There are many more alternatives for healthy snacks. Sticking with fruits, vegetables, and nuts will satisfy any craving, while keeping your healthy diet on track. Eating a better diet isn't always easy, but it can be fun and satisfying, when you maintain a balance between variety and nutrition. Keep an eye out for more options and you'll never get bored by living a healthier life.