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Healthy Eating Habits for Adults

by Tara Carson

About Tara Carson

Based in Richmond, Va., Tara Carson has written articles for editorial and corporate online and print publications for more than 10 years. She has experience as an adjunct professor of nutrition at Northwest Christian University and holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism and nutrition from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Overview

Healthier eating does not require immediate drastic changes to your dietary habits. There are small changes you can make a little bit at a time that will add up to a significant long-term impact on your health and your relationship with food, according to "Health Magazine."

Eat Slowly

The fast-paced American lifestyle tends to speed up mealtimes and decrease awareness. Slowing down while eating and paying attention to the body's reaction to foods can help us meet our body's unique needs successfully. Old habits can be difficult to change, however, so starting simply should be the goal. Try eating one meal per week slowly, and once this habit is added to your routine, it may impact the other meals you eat, according to "Psychology Today." Another reason to eat slowly is that it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you have consumed enough food. In other words, eating more slowly gives your body a chance to tell you when you are full, before you overeat, reports "Vegetarian Times."

Adhere to a Routine

Skipping meals and eating at odd times of the day is a recipe for overeating or eating unhealthily. It could also raise your risk for heart disease. Experts from the USDA Agricultural Research Service report that people who consume most of their calories between 4 and 8 p.m. have higher blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels than people who consume three meals spread throughout the day with the same number of calories, according to website Shape.com.

Eat Unprocessed Foods

Getting into the habit of eating fresh unprocessed foods is important because whole foods are nutrient-dense and the ingredients are beneficial to health. It can be challenging to cut out processed foods entirely, however, because they are so convenient. Scanning package labels to find and avoid particular unhealthy ingredients could be a good start to changing your dietary habits.

Considerations

Eating mindlessly is the primary reason so many Americans have an unhealthy relationship with food, according to Dr. Jan Chozen Bays, a pediatrician and Zen teacher and author of "Mindful Eating." Strive to eat often enough to avoid hunger, because feeling too hungry can cause a person to focus on food and overcompensate by eating too much during mealtimes, according to "Health Magazine." Avoid foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, white flour and processed sugar, reports Shape.com.

Photo Credits:

  • close up of fruit image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.