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Improve your eating habit

By The Mirror
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Improve your eating habit

To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what's wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Then check your list according to the rest of these tips.

Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions. Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables? If not, you may be missing out on vital nutrients.

Maintain a healthy weight
The weight that's right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses.

But being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregu­larities and other health problems.

If you're constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietician can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight manage­ment. Regular exercise is also impor­tant to maintaining a healthy weight.

Eat moderate portions
If you keep portion sizes reason­able, it's easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy. Did you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is three ounces, similar in size to a deck of playing cards? A medium piece of fruit is one serving and a cup of pasta equals two servings. A pint of ice cream contains four servings.

Eat regular meals
Skipping meals can lead to out-of­-control hunger, often resulting in overeating. When you're very hungry,it's also tempting to forget about good nutrition. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don't eat so much that your snack becomes an entire meal.

Reduce, don't eliminate certain foods
Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. If your favourite foods are high in fat, salt or sugar, the key is mod­erating how much of these foods you eat and how often you eat them.
Identify major sources of these ingredients in your diet and make changes, if necessary. Adults who eat high fat meats or whole-milk dairy products at every meal are probably eating too much fat. Use the Nutrition Facts panel on the food label to help balance your choices. Choosing skim or low-fat dairy products' and lean cuts of meat such as flank steak and beef round can reduce fat intake significantly. If you love fried chicken, however, you don't have to give- it up. Just eat it less often. When dining out, share it with a friend, ask for a take-home bag or a smaller portion.

Balance your food choices over time
Not every food has to be "perfect." When eating a food high in fat, salt or sugar, select other foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it the next. Your food choices over sever­al days should fit together into a healthy pattern.

Make changes gradually
Just as there are no "superfoods" or easy answers to a healthy diet, don't expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much, too fast can get in the way of success.
Begin to remedy excesses or defi­ciencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, lifelong eating habits. For instance, if you don't like the taste of skim milk, try low-fat. Eventu­ally you may find you like skim, too.

Remember, foods are not good or bad
Select foods based on your total eat­ing patterns, not whether any individual food is "good" or "bad." Don't feel guilty if you love foods such as apple pie, potato chips, candy bars or ice cream.
Eat them in moderation, and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.