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10 tips for eating right

  1. Check your diet mentality at the door. Look forward to adopting eating habits that will make you feel good for life. (“Dieting” implies a temporary—and usually drastic—fix that often backfires.) Your goal should be great health, not quick weight loss.
  2. Fill up on fiber. Start each meal with a low-fat, high-fiber food—a crunchy salad, a whole-grain roll, brown or wild rice, legumes and crisp veggies are some possibilities. That will leave less room for fare that’s high in calories and low in satisfaction.
  3. Season and spice. Rosemary, curry, basil, parsley, mint … used wisely, herbs and spices bring out the flavor of foods just as well as oils, butter and margarine do.
  4. Sauté sagely. Broth, wine, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar are just a few of the nonfat options you can use to sauté poultry, meats, fish and veggies. Experiment with other nonfat marinades.
  5. Sharpen your shopping skills. Never head to the supermarket without a detailed list—and a full stomach. Both help eliminate impulse buys. Also, limit your shopping to the perimeter of the market rather than the central aisles as much as possible. The outer areas are where you’ll find dairy products, bread, fresh produce, fish and meat. Stocked in the center are plenty of processed, high-fat, high-sodium, high-calorie packaged foods.
  6. Listen to your body. Pick up your fork when you’re hungry (really hungry—not thirsty, restless, angry, sad or bored); put it down when you’re full. As long as the foods you’re eating are nutritious, you’ll be fine.
  7. Snack already! Are you famished around ten each morning? Do you usually need a “pick-me-up” around three in the afternoon? Instead of heading to the vending machine or the doughnut stand, plan some healthful snacks. Add sliced strawberries to vanilla yogurt; try baked chips and salsa; top whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese slices; or make some trail mix using pretzel sticks, raisins, bran cereal and a handful of almonds.
  8. Never eat out of the original package. Always portion out a serving. This way you won’t mindlessly devour an entire bag of chips.
  9. Challenge your tastebuds. Don’t deprive your palate. Expose it to a wide variety of fruits and veggies, seafood, fish, grains and so on. The food pyramid should be represented to some extent in each of your meals.
  10. Cut fat. Trim meats of visible fat. Buy lean cuts of beef, lamb and pork. Remove skin from poultry. Use low-fat cooking methods like poaching, steaming, grilling, baking and roasting. Buy low-fat or nonfat dairy products.