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Easy to Keep Healthy – Eating Strategies
by Ágnes Salánki

Most people have a deep wish to have a healthier diet. We tend to read articles about healthy eating strategies, join fitness programmes, follow newer and newer diet plans. There is a constant struggle to try it once more, begin something new and have control over our life again. But then we give up – the diet plans are too limiting, too drastic, too hard to stick to. After a while we realize that although we’ve given up on a lot of things, the carbs, sugar, dairy or gluten our eating habits are not getting healthier at all.

Here are some super simple strategies to eating healthier. You can begin right now if you wish, and if you don’t keep to them one day, just start again the next. There’s nothing radical to do. They are easy to follow, so why not giving them a try? 

  1. Serve your meals on smaller dishes

 Studies have shown that when people eat food from a large bowl or plate, they serve and eat much more. When people eat from a crowded small plate, they eat less. It’s not that they run out of space for more food; it’s that their brains actually perceived it as more food, which in turn makes them feel sated. This effect has a name — the Delboeuf illusion.

A recent study has found that people generally prefer a plate about 70 percent full of food – regardless of the size of that plate. So with a big plate filled to 70 percent it’s easy to eat too much. People may believe they know when they are full, but studies suggest they eat more with their eyes than with their stomach. 

  1. Keep your proportions right

Divide your plate in quarters. Take two of those quarters and fill them with fruits and vegetables. Another quarter is for protein (meat, poultry, fish, seafood, beans, legumes, eggs, dairy). The last quarter is for grains, nuts and seeds (rice, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame seeds).

  1. Opt for colour

 Vegetables get their colours from natural chemicals. The more colours you have on your plate, the bigger range of healthy compounds you have in your diet. In addition fruits and vegetables are full of fibre, so they fill you up and are low in calories. Go for a minimum of three colours on your plate. To make it easier let’s classify fruits and vegetables into five colour groups:

leafy greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, chard), green vegetables (broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, peas), herbs (parsley, basil, rosemary, chives), fruits (kiwi, green apples and pears, honeydew melon, limes)
vegetables (eggplant, cabbage, kohlrabi, asparagus), fruits (blueberries, figs, grapes, plums, blackberries, passion fruit)
vegetables (beetroots, bell peppers, onion, radish, chili peppers, rhubarb), fruits (tomatoes, apples, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates, pink grapefruit)
vegetables (carrots, squash, pumpkin), fruits (oranges, lemons, mangoes, apricots, pineapples, papaya)
vegetables (cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, turnips, shallots, parsnips), fruits (peaches. nectarines, coconut, bananas)

 It’s easy to put together a rainbow of vegetables or a colourful fruit salad. Get creative and add at least three colours to your breakfast or dinner. It will make all the difference. 

  1. Quash unhealthy snacking

 Snacking habits are hard to break, and there are many signals to our brain that urge us to eat. You know whether you are a bored eater, an anxious eater or a sad eater. Often our emotions prompt us to feel like we are hungry. When you feel the need to snack, think first. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, then do one of these three things:

  • Get up and move. Go for a walk outside, walk around, do some exercises, get moving. There is a good chance you will be able to continue without having that snack.
  • Drink a glass of water – you might just be thirsty.
  • Distract yourself by calling a friend, checking Facebook, reading a newspaper. 
  1. Eat like you mean it

 Take small bites. Chew each bite multiple times. Put down your fork or spoon in between. When you are snacking don’t eat out of the bag or box and sit down to eat as if it were a meal. Pay deliberate attention to your food. No TV, no computer. Sit down with others and enjoy their company. Let the meal be an enjoyable experience. Notice the aromas, the colours, the flavours of the food. Be conscious of each bite and savour it. You will find that you’re more satisfied even if you eat less food. It’s been shown that when people eat in this manner, they cut their caloric intake.

A cikk elolvasása után döntsd el, hogy a következő állítások igazak (T), hamisak (F), vagy nem volt róluk szó a cikkben (NM).

  1. When people eat from a crowded plate, they tend to eat more.
  2. The brain actually perceives the crowded plate as more food, which in turn makes them feel full.
  3. Take two quarters and fill them with protein. Another quarter is for fruits and vegetables.
    The last quarter is for grains, nuts and seeds. 
  4. The more colourful your plate is, the bigger range of healthy compounds you have in your diet.
  5. Our emotions can make us feel like we are hungry.
  6. Take small bites and chew each bite 21 times.
  7. Be conscious of each bite and savour it. You will be more satisfied even if you eat less food.
  8. It’s been shown that when people eat in this manner, they cut down on their caloric intake.

keys/megoldások: 1. F, they tend to eat less; 2. T; 3. F, two quarters for vegetables and fruits and one quarter for protein; 4. NM, the colour of the plate isn’t mentioned, but the food/dish on your plate should be more colourful; 5. T, they often prompt us to feel hungry; 6. NM, the article suggests that you should chew it multiple times but it doesn’t mention how many times; 7. T; 8. T  


to struggle küzdeni
to give up feladni
limiting korlátozó
carb, carbohydrate szénhidrát
to give it a try megpróbálkozni
crowded zsúfolt
to run out of space kifogyni a helyből
to perceive felfogni/
in turn cserében
sated jóllakott
proportion hányad, rész
to divide felosztani
quarter negyed
poultry csirkehús
legumes hüvelyesek
almond mandula
walnut dió
pecan pekándió
pumpkin sütőtök
to opt for valamire szavazni
chemical kémiai anyag
compound összetevő
fiber rost
to fill somebody up eltölteni valakit
leafy leveles
kale kelkáposzta
spinach spenót
lettuce saláta
chard articsóka
Brussels sprouts kelbimbó
asparagus spárga
parsley petrezselyem
basil bazsalikom
rosemary rozmaring
chives snidling
honeydew melon sárgadinnye
lime zöld citrom
eggplant padlizsán
kohlrabi karalábé
cauliflower karfiol
blueberry áfonya
fig füge
beetroot cékla
bell pepper kaliforniai paprika
radish retek
rhubarb rebarbara
pomegranate gránátalma
garlic fokhagyma
turnip fehérrépa
shallot mogyoróhagyma
parsnip paszternák
to quash elfojt, elnyom
urge késztetés
bored eater unalomból evő
anxious eater feszültség miatt evő
sad eater bánat miatt evő
to distract elterelni a figyelmét
to chew rágni
deliberate szándékos
be conscious of legyél tudatában
to savour ízlelni
to cut visszafogni
caloric intake kalóriabevitel

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