Eating a healthy diet – lots of vegetables and fruit, lots of fibre and little fat and sugar – will help you keep a healthy body weight. Research shows that maintaining a healthy body weight reduces your risk of developing cancer.
Tips to get started
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or time-consuming. It’s a habit you get used to, and every day it gets easier. The important thing is to get started now.
- Follow Canada’s Food Guide on healthy eating.
- Eat regular meals. Skipping a meal – especially breakfast – can lead to overeating throughout the day. And when you’re very hungry, it’s hard to make healthy choices.
- Re-think your plate. Fill half your plate with vegetables, more than a quarter with grain products and less than a quarter with meat or alternatives.
- Cut back on portion size. (Portions in North America have grown steadily bigger over the last few decades.) If your portions are a reasonable size, it will be easier for you to eat what you want but still stay healthy.
- Use smaller dishes. Believe it or not, using a smaller plate gives your brain the impression that you’re eating your “normal” amount of food.
- Serve everything you eat in a dish – especially snacks. You’ll be much less likely to overeat if you’re not eating out of the box or bag.
- Make changes gradually. For example, if you try to switch from homogenized milk to skim, you may give up because you don’t like the taste. Try switching first to 2%, then 1%, then skim, and you may be more successful.
- Try to plan your meals for the whole week. Last-minute choices are often unhealthy ones.
- Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. You’ll make better choices if you’re not hungry.
- Read nutrition labels. Low-fat and fat-free doesn’t always mean low in calories.
- Don’t eat while watching TV.
- Choose wisely when you eat in restaurants – skip the fries and sugary drinks, and ask for dressings on the side.
- Slow down and enjoy every bite. It actually takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is full.