Ten Simple Tips for Healthy Eating


If you’ve set goals to eat healthier or exercise more this year, but are finding your goals easier said than done, we have tips that can help you stay on track and achieve your goals. Today’s nutrition tips come from a lecture given by Tanner Clinic’s consultant dietician, Jean Weinert, RDN, CD.

Ten Simple Tips for Healthy Eating

  1. Eat regular meals and snacks. Try to eat about the same time every day. Don’t go longer than 4 hours between meals and / or snacks. Don’t skip meals (when you do your body doesn’t use calories efficiently—you get hungry and you eat more than you need).
  2. Include complex carbohydrates (whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, beans, etc.); protein (lean meats, fish eggs, and cheese); fruits; vegetables; and low-fat dairy in each meal. By including all of these you provide the nutrients your body needs to stay satisfied and well-nourished. (The newest recommendations from the National Institute of Health are 11 servings per day of fruits and vegetables for adults.)
  3. Limit your intake of fats by avoiding fried foods and creamy dressings. (3-5 small fat servings per day is recommended.)
  4. Use fruit for dessert. Eat the orange, apple, blueberries instead of the orange sherbet, apple pie, or blueberry cobbler. By using fruit as your dessert you satisfy your “sweet tooth” and minimize your desire for other sweets.
  5. Watch portion sizes. Resist the temptation to “super size” meals. Think yourself every time you sit down to eat, “I will eat again in just a few hours.” This helps you avoid the “feast or famine” routine.
  6. Cut liquid calories. One 12-ounce can of soda or other sweetened beverage has 9 to 12 teaspoons of sugar—yikes! Water is the best thirst quencher, but if you must flavor it, be sure you are not adding calories. (1/2 ideal body weight in ounces equals your water goal; i.e. if you weigh 150 pounds you should be drinking 75 ounces of water per day.)
  7. Separate emotion from eating. Don’t eat to “fix” boredom, sadness, anxiety, stress, etc. If hunger is not the problem, then food is not the solution.
  8. Exercise for fun! Find something that you love to do and do it at least 4-5 times a week for 30-60 minutes (you don’t have to be good at it). Try new things to avoid boredom and do them with a buddy. Exercise makes everything in your body work better, including your mind.
  9. Beware of the supplement trap. A poor diet plus a supplement is still a poor diet. Some supplements can be dangerous. Remember that the supplement industry is not subjected to the same safety standards by the FDA as our food.
  10. Remember to not be too hard on yourself. I like to say, “eat really good most of the time. When you “goof” make it small, recover quickly, get back to healthy eating and don’t waste any time feeling guilty about it.”

There is no other decision that we make in our lives that has more power to dictate our future health, happiness, and productivity than our daily food choices. Simple, realistic goals work best. Small changes make a big difference. Eating healthy food should be about feeling great—physically and emotionally—and having the energy to do what you love to do. I love the idea of “splurging” on yourself. Take the time to plan and prepare great food, because you are worth it!