Making the transition a healthy diet requires concerted effort, planning and understanding of what foods are best. Product packaging can make you think you are eating a healthy food when you are actually consuming added preservatives and sodium. To combat this, study examples of healthy diets to determine how you can incorporate these in your life.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The first food you eat stokes your metabolism in the morning. This gives you energy and can help you eat less throughout the day. If you have a difficult time eating breakfast, try a smoothie, a protein shake or mixing granola, flaxseeds and fruit into a cup of nonfat yogurt. These breaks from traditional breakfasts are nutritious but don't sit as heavily on your stomach. Other healthy breakfast examples include one to two slices of turkey bacon, a whole-wheat English muffin and a piece of fruit. Slow-cooked oats or whole-grain cereal served with two egg whites can give you the fiber and protein you need throughout your day. Tread carefully when contemplating a breakfast bar: some can have one-fifth of your daily recommended allowance for sugar.
Snacks and Lunch
Snacks are not the enemy of a healthy diet. Make them an ally by eating small, healthy snacks between meal to keep your metabolism going. Carry a small bag of whole-grain pretzels, unsalted nuts or raw vegetables to snack on. Protein shakes, a half turkey sandwich, low-fat string cheese or a piece of fruit like an apple or orange also are good examples of healthy snacks. For a healthy lunch, try a salad filled with your favorite vegetables and a lean protein source, like salmon or grilled chicken. Whole-wheat sandwich wraps filled with low-fat lunch meat and vegetables also are convenient lunch alternatives.
Contrary to popular belief, you can make dinner your smallest meal of the day because you are generally less active at night. Thus you do not need the extra calories for energy as you do throughout the day. A healthy salad is a good example, as is grilled chicken, tofu or fish served with whole-grain rice and a vegetable medley. Creating a stir-fry with your favorite vegetables and meats is a way to put everything you love together. If you are a pasta fan, try whole-wheat pasta served with a fresh tomato sauce.
Some people need to make special modifications to their diet. For example, if you have heart disease, you may need to limit sodium in your diet to less than 2,000 milligrams per day. Diabetics must eat frequently to maintain constant blood sugar levels. Generally speaking, the best rule of thumb is to eat foods closest to nature: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein you can cook with limited seasonings and whole grains. If you have specific dietary concerns, speak to your physician about healthy diet examples for your condition.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.