Now that the holidays are over and you’re probably thinking of making some healthy changes in your life, why not start with the most important aspect of changing your health. Yes, I’m talking about your diet! Now obviously one of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet is to maintain a low calorie intake; but, there are times when you are just to busy to do that, so Harvard Medical School’s HEALTHbeat has come up with 7 tips for eating healthy.  


1. Eat foods that are filling and low in calories. That means, as often as possible, your meals and snacks should include whole grains, such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and oatmeal, as well as legumes, such as lentils and other beans. And don't forget to fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


2. When you eat meat, cut out fat and cut down portion sizes. Choose lean cuts of meat and modest amounts — about 3½ or 4 ounces per serving (which is roughly the size of your palm).


3. Avoid fried foods. Frying foods adds fat and calories. For stovetop cooking, it's better either to stir-fry foods in a nonstick pan lightly coated with a cooking-oil spray or to braise them in broth or wine. Baking, broiling, and roasting are also great options — they add no extra fat to your meals.


4. Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy foods. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of protein and calcium, but the whole-milk versions of these dairy products are very high in fat. (I would limit dairy intake all together but sometimes nothing can beat a good cold glass of milk)


5. Avoid fast foods. Hamburgers, chicken nuggets, French fries, and other fast-food staples tend to promote weight gain for two reasons. First, they are high in fat, calories, or both. Second, the "value meals" available at many fast-food chains are often excessively large and tempt you to overeat.


6. Avoid high-calorie, low-nutrient snacks. Chips and other deep-fried snacks are high in fat and therefore calories. But even snacks labeled "low-fat" are often high in calories because they contain large amounts of sugars and other carbohydrates.


7. Watch what you drink. Regular sodas, fruit juices, and, especially, alcoholic beverages are high in calories.


Now I would recommend everyone to have a plan when it comes to their diet. Making your meals beforehand and taking them to work or having meals ready to cook them quickly when you get home from a long days work, instead of stopping at your favorite take-out or fast-food joint no matter how good those meals may be.

Whenever you’re thinking about just ordering out, remember that a proper diet is essential to good health.