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10 Quick Diet Tips and Ideas for Healthy Eating

Want to be healthier, eat better? Find 10 tips and ideas for changing your diet -- changing your eating habits -- that help in losing weight, and a healthier lifestyle.

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by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

If you're looking to eat a bit better, perhaps lose some weight, and otherwise live a healthier life, here are 10 quick diet tips and ideas. These are not tips for dieting, but tips for changing your diet -- changing your eating habits.

Use these 10 tips for healthy eating.

1. Drink lots of water. Most people do not drink enough water. Experts recommend about 8-10 glasses (or bottles) of water daily. Water works wonders for our cells, keeps our mind alert, and can keep us from overeating. (Drink even more water if you live or work in a hot climate and when you workout.)

2. Eat smaller portions. The average American eats way more food than recommended. While the fast-food chains have been criticized for "super-sizing" their meals, we've been doing the same thing at home for years. The main (meat) portion of your meal should be about the size of a deck of cards.

3. Don't skip breakfast. Sometimes the morning can be so hectic that you don't have time to make a healthy breakfast, but that does not mean you should simply skip the meal. Eating a healthy breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day. Studies show that people who eat healthy breakfasts actually also maintain a healthy weight level -- and have a better chance of losing weight.

4. Limit sodas. In fact, limit all drinks made with sugar. Sugar messes with your metabolism and rots your teeth. You should also avoid consuming too many sodas and energy drinks that are loaded with caffeine. Sodas also contain phosphorus, which can tends to weaken bones. Instead, drink more water and natural juices (those not sweetened with sugar).

5. Eat healthy snacks. Eating a few snacks between meals is perfectly acceptable -- as long as they are healthy snacks, such as fruits and vegetables or nuts -- and not candies, sugary snacks, salty snacks, or other high-carb, high-calorie treats that are way too readily available. Nuts (especially almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios) have many positive health benefits.

6. Don't stress eat. A hard habit to break for many of us is grabbing something to eat -- usually a salty or sugary snack -- when we are under stress. Instead of gobbling down something that will ultimately not calm your nerves but leave you feeling guilty, try to get away from the stress. (Even better, instead of stress eating, do something physical, such as working out.) To help you deal with stress, see our article, 10 Tips for Coping With Life's Stressors.

7. Consume more fruits and vegetables. Don't let childhood misconceptions or biases stop you from experimenting and eating more fruits and vegetables. Try to have at least two servings of fruits or vegetables with each meal. Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help protect you from chronic diseases.

8. Avoid junk food. Packaged cookies, candies, chips, crackers, and the like are empty calories and fat that may quench a craving or fill a void in your stomach, but ultimately add to your waist (or hips or thighs). Adding to the misery of these junk foods is that even the smallest of packages often contain multiple servings -- which means you're consuming many more times the amounts of fat, calories, and sugar shown on the label for a single serving.

9. Eat meats in moderation. Meats -- beef, lamb, and pork -- have higher levels of fat and are somewhat unhealthier than other proteins we can have as part of a meal, such as poultry and fish. In fact, most of us eat way too much meat and not nearly enough fish. Consider vegetarian options, too, such as tofu and other soy-based products.

10. Treat yourself occasionally. Just as in other areas of your life, it's good to spurge once in a while to reward yourself. So, indulge in something a little decadent when you have a reason to celebrate something -- from losing weight to obtaining a promotion to celebrating a birthday or other holiday.

Final Thoughts on Dieting and Healthier Eating

These tips are designed to help you develop healthy eating habits as part of a larger move toward a healthier lifestyle. Most diets don't work -- especially fad diets -- because they are too restrictive. Use these tips to make some simple changes to your lifestyle and you will see results.

Finally, if you have a problem with food and diet -- if you think or may know you have an eating disorder -- seek professional assistance. Eating disorders are extremely serious and can be life-threatening.

Also, don't forget that the best road to wellness and a healthier life includes not only healthier eating, but also a daily commitment to exercise and fitness. (See our Empowering Fitness and Exercises Resources.

See also our articles, Live Longer. Eat Healthier Daily. Best Foods for You, A-Z and 10 Easy Tips for Healthier Eating.

Interested in reprinting or republishing this article? Please refer to our Article Reprint Guidelines.

Avid wellness guru Dr. Randall S. Hansen Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., is an avid bicyclist, adventurist, environmentalist, and student of wellness and photography, with a mission of empowering others to lead great lives. He is Founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites. Dr. Hansen is also the founder and caretaker of this site, EmpoweringRetreat.com, as well as founder of EmpoweringAdvice.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He's often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com or reach him by email at CEO(at)empoweringsites.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.

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