Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Seniorlink Center for Clinical Excellence
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
During one of my visits with a Caregiver and her son, they both shared with me that they would like to begin eating healthier again. They shared that they have made many attempts at eating healthy but have never been able to maintain a healthy diet because it all felt so overwhelming. Over time, we worked together on a plan and they were finally able to maintain a healthy diet they both felt comfortable with.
The first thing the Caregiver and her son did which did not feel overwhelming to them was incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets. They added fruits and vegetables to their meals wherever possible. They tried to stay away from canned fruits and vegetables and stuck to fresh produce from the grocery store.
The next thing they did was plan and prepare healthy snacks because this is where they felt that they always fell off the wagon. -when it came to snacks. It was always way too easy to grab a bag of chips or something sugary in between meals. Once they started to purchase healthier foods and plan healthier snacks for the day, the easier it became to maintain eating healthy snacks.
The next thing they did was try to reduce their sugar intake by eliminating baked goods, soda, and sports drinks. They then focus on decreasing their intake of salt and fat by stopping buying fast food and choosing baked or grilled options instead of fried.
The last thing they did was work on portion control. The Caregiver and her son were used to eating larger portions and they would eat until they could no longer eat another thing. They began using smaller plates and bowls in order to decrease portion size and because they increased the amount of fruits, vegetables, healthy foods and water that they were consuming, they naturally became fuller faster.
Because the Caregiver and her son took these baby steps toward maintaining a healthy diet, they were able to stick to eating healthier in the long run.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet Tips
One helpful tip to maintain a healthy diet is to do it with a partner. It is always easier if a friend or someone in the home is working on maintaining a healthy diet with you. This way, you have a built-in support system and someone to help keep you accountable other than yourself.
Another tip to maintain a healthy diet is to just make sure you have healthy options always available in the house and to eliminate the really unhealthy options. If you have healthy snacks in the cabinet or the fridge, it will be that much easier to reach for the healthy snack as opposed to rummaging for something and eventually deciding on a not so healthy option.
Be sure to always drink enough water. When we think about maintaining a healthy diet, we tend to think more about food than we do water. It is very important to stay hydrated every day. Dehydration can trick your brain into thinking you are hungry when you are actually thirsty, and this can result in you reaching for or craving something unhealthy.
Healthy Eating Key Takeaways
❖ Eat more fruits and vegetables
❖ Prepare healthy snacks and meals
❖ Reduce sugar, fat and salt intake
❖ Portion control
❖ Work on eating healthier with a partner