Photo of mom and daughter cooking
June 11, 2021 | Tags: Wellness

Research shows that following a healthy diet is important for both your overall physical and mental health1. Plus, maintaining a healthy diet can help fight against chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. To get started, we put together five useful tips that will help you keep and maintain a healthy diet.

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Track your progress through nutrition and healthy lifestyle apps

Many people have turned to healthy eating apps to better track and manage their diet. These types of apps allow you to create personalized health goals, track the meals you’ve eaten, search the calorie amount of foods, share healthy recipes and more. Most apps can be installed right on your phone for easy use.

Most dieting apps require your daily calorie intake amount. If you don’t know yours, you can find out using the MyPlate Plan from the USDA. To see a list of ten of the best weight loss and healthy eating apps, click here.

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Choose whole foods over processed foods

Whole foods are foods that are in their natural state with little to no processing. Common examples of whole foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Whole foods are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and typically don’t have any unhealthy fats in them. Processed foods have added ingredients and are typically frozen or canned. There are healthy processed food options like canned tuna and yogurt.

Looking at the nutritional label can help you determine how processed a food is and if it’s a healthy option. Product ingredients are listed from highest to lowest, meaning that the first ingredient is what the manufacturer used the most of. If the first ingredient includes refined grains or a sugar, you can assume that the food is unhealthy.

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Try the 80/20 dieting method

The 80/20 rule might be good for you if you don’t want to follow a super strict diet or count every single calorie you eat. The rule is simple – Eat nutritious and clean foods 80% of the time and allow yourself to indulge in unhealthy options the other 20%. If you are having a craving for more unhealthy foods, try eating the food in a smaller portion while drinking a glass of water with it. The water will fill you up, while helping to satisfy your food craving. To learn more about the 80/20 dieting method, click here.

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Drink water in place of other beverages

Getting enough water can help maximize your physical performance, increase your energy levels and help curb your appetite. Drinking water is a great way to cut back on unhealthy beverages that are high in sugar like soda and energy drinks. If a plain glass of water doesn’t do it for you, add a slice of lemon or lime to give it some natural flavor.

An easy way to make sure you get enough water is by using the 8x8 rule. This rule means you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

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Explore new recipes

You don’t need to eat the same foods to make your diet work. There are many healthy recipes you can find that are delicious and easy to make. Ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations or do an internet search for healthy recipes. You can also subscribe to a meal-kit service where they ship you fresh and healthy ingredients for a recipe that you’ve chosen. To see a list of the eleven best meal-kit services, click here.

Source: Mental Health Foundation1