Tips for Healthy Eating

The hardest part about making a change in eating habits is learning to pay attention to what and when you eat. Think about these questions as you get ready to make changes for a healthier diet:

Common Problems and Solutions

Here are some common things that can get in the way of healthy eating and some ideas that might work for you.


Problem Solution
Learning what foods are good for me is hard work. I'll use the ChooseMyPlate website as an easy guide to choosing a well-balanced diet. I also can use the simple healthy plate guide and track what I eat and drink.
I don't have time to prepare meals. I can keep my favorite foods on hand that don't need a lot of preparation, such as fresh cut vegetables and fruits, nuts, and whole grain crackers and cereal. I'll set aside time on weekends to make some food in advance, such as soups and casseroles. If I decide to use packaged foods, I'll check the nutrition label on the package to make sure I pick healthy choices.
I have to eat out every day. I'll get to know the staff and menu at my favorite restaurants, and if I need to I'll make special requests, such as no mayonnaise or salad dressing on the side. I'll look for restaurants that have nutritional information and offer low-fat selections, such as salads and grilled-chicken sandwiches.
I don't like most foods that are good for me. I can look at the food groups and find two foods in each category that I like. I can also check cook books and Web sites for healthy food ideas.
My family wants me to make favorite meals that aren't very healthy. I'll have a family meeting and talk with everyone about why I want to make changes in what we eat at home. I'll look for ways to make our favorite foods in a healthier way or look for new recipes for those foods. I'll make gradual changes, maybe substituting a healthier dish for one meal each week.
I don't want to give up the foods I really like. I don't have to give up all my favorite foods that aren't healthy. I'll just change how much and how often I eat them.

Once you've found out what's getting in your way of making changes to the way you eat, you'll be able to find ideas to help you reach your goals.


Clinical review by Travis Abbott, MD
Group Health
Reviewed 02/15/2012