5 key habits of healthy eaters

Most eating habits are established during childhood. But that doesn't mean it's too late to adopt new, healthy habits.

By Angela L. Murad

Making healthy changes doesn't require you to completely overhaul your diet. Start at your own pace by practicing these key healthy-eating habits.

Eat breakfast

Research indicates that eating breakfast every day helps with weight loss and weight maintenance by reducing hunger later in the day. When you break the overnight fast with a healthy breakfast, it's easier to resist unhealthy choices during the day.

Include at least two food groups — such as whole grains, lean protein, dairy, or fruits and vegetables — at breakfast to put you on track for a day of healthy eating.

Drink water

Water is a crucial nutrient that often gets overlooked. Sixty percent of your body weight is made up of water and every system in your body requires it to function properly. Fluid needs depend on several factors: your health, your environment, how active you are, and if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men need about 13 8-ounce cups of water a day and women need nine 8-ounce cups of water a day.

Sometimes thirst can be misinterpreted as hunger. Check in with your body when you feel hungry, especially later in the day. Drinking a glass of water before eating can satisfy thirst and keep you from eating unnecessary calories.

Dec. 08, 2016 See more In-depth