When your doctor diagnoses you with heart disease, he or she will typically advise you to make changes to your diet, such as cutting out excess fat and sugar. Although it may be good for your heart, going cold turkey and giving up all of your favorite unhealthy foods can be difficult. Here are two tips to help you make the transition to a better diet.
Make Homemade Versions of Your Favorites
One way to reduce the amount of unhealthy foods you eat is to make homemade versions of your favorite foods. This will accomplish two things. First, this will provide you with complete control over the process so you can swap out problematic ingredients for better ones. For instance, you can cut out a lot of sugar in baked goods by using applesauce or a sugar substitute instead. Easily increase the amount of fiber you eat by switching out white flour with whole wheat.
Second, the effort involved with making the food may make you think twice about whether you really want it or not. It's common for people to indulge in unhealthy foods because those foods have already been processed and are ready to eat. By having a standing policy of making the food at home, you may find the inconvenience of it all an effective cravings buster.
Eat from Smaller Plates
Another thing that can help you make the transition is to eat from smaller plates. Studies have shown that people tend to fill up their plates with food, regardless of the size, and eat everything on the dish. By switching to a smaller plate, bowl, or glass, you'll serve yourself less food and consume smaller portions, something that can help you lose weight. In fact, a study by the founder of Cornell Food and Brand Lab predicted a person will lose 18 pounds in one year just by switching to eating off a 10-inch plate.
Whenever you indulge in your favorite unhealthy food, put it in a smaller container or purchase the smallest size possible if you're buying a convenience food. It's also a good idea to avoid keeping the food in your home, especially if it's something that can spark an eating binge.
Making changes to your diet can be challenging, but slowing the progress of heart disease is worth the effort, especially when it means you'll live longer. For more tips on changing your diet or information about other treatment options for heart disease, contact your healthcare provider.