The Power of Your Plate: Tips for Healthy Eating

healthy eating concept

Key Points

  • Healthy eating is consistently making wise decisions about what goes into your body.

  • The key principles of a nutritious diet are balance, variety, quality, quantity, and timing.

  • Your body needs protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to perform well.

  • Enjoy your meals and reap the benefits of healthy eating.

Have you ever heard the phrase "you are what you eat" and felt an irresistible urge to roll your eyes? You've eaten plenty of cinnamon rolls and you're not walking around oozing cinnamon and brown sugar everywhere. On the other hand, maybe this popular phrase never really hit home for you, which is very understandable. Often the person repeating this phrase doesn’t seem to struggle with healthy eating in the same ways that many others do. 

With the overwhelming amount of clashing nutrition advice out there, healthy eating has lost its appeal. For others, it feels downright unattainable. However, different foods have a huge impact on the way you feel, think, and behave. Thankfully, making healthy changes to your diet is not as complicated as it often seems.

Glasses of water and mint on a slab

What Is Healthy Eating?

Healthy eating is not about depriving yourself entirely. It doesn’t involve strict dieting or fasting either.

Instead, healthy eating is consistently making smart decisions about what you eat. Consistently doesn’t mean always, it just means most of the time. 

The primary reasons for pursuing a healthy diet are to feel amazing in your skin and become more naturally energized throughout the day. Eating right also gives you proper fuel to better accomplish your fitness goals. Who doesn’t want to kill two birds with one stone?

Benefits of Healthy Eating

When you adopt a healthy diet, the benefits are endless! Better sleep, sharpened focus, and happier relationships are just the start.

Healthy eating also offers the following rewards:

  • Prevents disease and chronic issues

  • Enhances your mood

  • Improves heart health

  • Protects and soothes your gut

  • Strengthens your memory and mental clarity

  • Gives you stronger bones and muscles

  • Supports fertility

  • Enables you to maintain an ideal weight or lose weight, if necessary

  • Sustains bodily functions

What Are the Key Principles of Healthy Eating?

Good news: Healthy eating is simple

All you need to do is follow the four key principles of a nutritious diet — balance and variety, quality, quantity, and timing. 

Balance and Variety

While fad diets and social media may suggest otherwise, you need an adequate balance of macronutrients, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to maintain a healthy physique. 

Variety is a wise and rewarding dietary quest. Choosing the most nutritious options from each food category boosts your performance in all areas of life. 

Woman reads nutrition label while shopping


To increase your diet’s quality, or nutritional value, remember more real, whole foods and less processed, refined foods. This cannot be stressed enough!

Consume meals with natural ingredients as often as possible. A smart way to achieve this is by purchasing the majority of your groceries from the outside perimeter of the store and only snagging what you absolutely need from the middle aisles. 

If you tend to lack willpower, avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry. This is a tried and true method to save both your diet and money. 


Because lifestyles vary from one person to another, quantity isn't one size fits all. The kinds of activities you perform daily, the time spent doing them, and how often you exercise determine what to eat and how much. 

Odds are you’re going to consume a lot more calories on the days you hit the gym than you do on your rest days. That’s because you need them! The more work you do, the more calories you burn. Eventually, that depleted energy needs to be replenished. 

People usually fall into one of two categories — eating too much or not eating enough. To combat these extremes, push away your plate when you’re about 80 percent full. Eating until you’re satisfied is the goal. 

Another rule of thumb is to enjoy your favorite meals in moderation. Reduce your portion sizes, limit sugary desserts, and document your eating habits to keep yourself on track.


Timing is everything. Create a routine eating schedule that works best for you. Don’t skip meals and always nourish your body before and after workouts. 

Eating at regular intervals promotes healthy weight loss and improves digestion. It also optimizes your metabolism, suppresses the urge to binge eat, and prevents bloating.

10 Tips For Healthy Eating

What you put into your body is what you’re going to get out of it. Here are 10 practical tips to start getting the most and the best out of your body: 

Drink More Water

Water is essential for your health. It regulates your body temperature and keeps you hydrated during workouts. Drinking water also keeps your skin youthful and bright by bolstering collagen production. 

To aid in hydration, bring a water jug or Yeti cup everywhere you go. Yeti cups are life-changing as they keep your water ice-cold for hours, so you’re always in for a refreshing sip!

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

There’s a reason why your parents and teachers always told you to eat your veggies.

Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals. They’re also a great source of dietary fiber, which keeps things moving in your digestive tract. Because they’re low in fat, salt, sugar, and calories, doctors advise making fruits and vegetables a big part of your daily regimen. 

You already know that fruit tastes good, but vegetables are pretty hit or miss for most people. For the best cooking results, air fry or oven-roast your veggies. To spice up the flavor, sprinkle fresh herbs, olive oil, and your favorite seasoning on top. Wala!

A variety of supplements and vitamins in a bowl

Get Plenty of Fiber

Fiber is most famous for saving the day when you’re backed up — yes, constipation happens to everyone — but it doesn’t stop there. Increasing your regular intake of fiber also regulates blood sugar levels and effectively curbs your appetite. 

To get your fiber levels in check, gradually add more beans, broccoli, berries, whole grains, oats, and apples to your plate. 

Prioritize Protein

Out of all three macronutrients, protein is arguably the most essential! Not only is it responsible for repairing and recovering your body, but it also generates lean muscle and burns off that stubborn body fat.

By actively reducing ghrelin, the hunger hormone, protein empowers you to overcome those midday and midnight cravings. It even raises your motivation and concentration.

Incorporate more lean meats such as chicken, fish, and beef into your diet. Vegan or vegetarian? No problem! Get your protein fix with almonds, quinoa, protein powders and supplements, and peanut butter. Check out these eight delicious protein shakes you can try to supplement your diet.

Complex Carbs Over Simple Carbs

Want another satisfying hot take? You need carbs! Severely restricting them is not healthy, especially if you exercise multiple times a week.

Carbohydrates are your body’s greatest source of energy. However, people tend to go for the instant gratification that comes with eating simple carbs like white bread and pastries. These might give you a quick energy hit, but they also spike your insulin, leading to a hard crash afterward.

For a more steady supply of energy, make the switch to complex carbs. Vegetables, sweet potatoes, whole-wheat or whole-grain bread and pasta, fruits, and oatmeal digest more slowly and are packed with valuable nutrients. 

An array of healthy foods displayed on a table

Limit Salt Intake

Salt is pretty much everywhere, which makes it virtually impossible to avoid. Smaller amounts are good for you, but the FDA and American Heart Association recommend limiting your sodium intake to roughly 2,300 mg per day. 

Start with limiting your consumption of deli meats, soups, pizza, burgers, pasta sauces, and condiments. Always read the Nutrition Facts label on food items before you buy them and choose low-sodium options whenever possible.

If you have the time, prepare meals from scratch to avoid using pre-packaged items and eating out at restaurants. 

Replace Saturated Fats With Unsaturated Fats

Contrary to what you might have heard, fats are good for you. They protect your organs, help your body absorb nutrients, and keep you full for hours. Fats also stimulate the production of key hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and leptin, which induces weight loss. 

Unsaturated fats are king when it comes to healthy eating. When you’re at the store, look for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats on the nutrition label. These are the fats you don't have to feel guilty about.

It’s smart to limit saturated fats, which are found in cheese, butter, red meats, and desserts. If you’re serious about eating healthy, refrain from consuming trans fats as much as possible. 

Consuming trans fats increases your risk of heart disease, breeds inflammation, and sends your cholesterol levels completely out of whack. As much as you love eating frozen pizzas and fried foods like doughnuts, french fries, or cheese sticks, they’re doing more harm than good to your health. 

Focus on Vitamins

Calcium strengthens your bones and teeth. Vitamin D builds your immunity and fights against cancer. Potassium gives your cells the energy needed to do their jobs. 

Need to bump your calcium levels? Add eggs, yogurt, and almonds to your diet. For more Vitamin D, your new best friends are sunlight, salmon, and orange juice. To raise your potassium, eat more bananas, potatoes, and avocados. 

Guacamole, anyone?

Woman eats salad after workout

Go Easy On The Sugar

Having a sweet tooth is gloriously intoxicating, but equally as dangerous. Although it’s okay to splurge on sweets every once in a while, going overboard on sugar damages your system, sometimes irreparably.

Excess sugar causes inflammation, headaches, irritability, anxiety, cavities, and hunger. It threatens your brain functioning, endangers your heart health, and leads to a heightened risk of contracting diabetes and obesity.

Fortunately, not all sugar is bad. Natural sugars found in whole foods are necessary and delicious, but added sugars found in processed foods lack the nutrients your body needs for energy. 

Sugar is very addictive, but cutting back is doable with the right mindset. The more added sugar you remove from your plate, the more your taste buds adapt over time. Before you know it, those sugary sodas, candies, and desserts just won’t satisfy like they used to! 

Restrict Your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol doesn’t just hinder your inhibitions or impair your memory. It slows digestion, makes you susceptible to sickness, and significantly hurts your liver, pancreas, brain, heart, and nervous system. 

You don’t have to stop drinking completely but strive to limit how much and how often you consume alcohol. Accomplish this by avoiding peer pressure situations, retrieving support from loved ones, vocalizing your intentions to others, and keeping your eyes on the prize — your health.  

How To Eat Healthy Food Every Day

A nutritious diet doesn't have to be miserable or unachievable. While society has over-complicated things in this department, you don’t have to. There are healthy eating strategies to implement that give you a victorious mindset and a happy stomach.

Cook your meals at home instead of constantly eating out. On top of saving some serious money, you get the added benefit of knowing and controlling what enters your body. Not sure what recipes to prepare? Start with a 7-day healthy eating plan and go from there.

At the onset of your journey, develop an achievable plan and stick to it. This keeps you from getting stressed out, encourages mindfulness, and makes you more successful. Consider also keeping a daily food journal and recruiting a support system to hold you accountable. 

Consumer compares ingredients while shopping

You don’t have to ditch the foods you love either. Instead, find healthy alternatives to your favorite meals by swapping french fries for sweet potato fries, candy bars for dark chocolate, and desserts for fruit. When you’re desperately craving the real thing, it’s okay to occasionally treat yourself. Doing so helps you avoid those binge sessions at midnight.

Listen to your body and assess how much better you feel after eating healthy. In the long run, you’ll become addicted to the benefits of nutritious food and repulsed by how sluggish and uncomfortable junk food makes you. 

Above all else, don’t beat yourself up when you slip up. Hard days are inevitable. When they come, keep your internal dialogue kind and gracious. You’re doing your best and there's always tomorrow. 

Invest In Your Future Self

Switching to a healthier diet is frustrating especially when comfort foods and sweet treats are calling your name. It requires you to make short-term sacrifices, but the long-term gains are more than worth it. As Jim Rohn, a self-made millionaire, author, and motivational speaker says, "Take care of your body because it’s the only place you have to live."

By practicing healthy eating, you’re investing in so much more than just a diet — you’re investing in yourself. 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, stay fit, fulfill a New Year’s resolution, or pursue a healthier lifestyle, healthy eating is the most important part of getting there.

Was this article helpful?

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Top 3 Stories