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People are most likely to improve their eating habits

Healthier eating is the first step to making sure that you are getting yourself more fit. There a a lot of great advantages to eating better and these include more energy, better concentration and less stomach and digestive problems. Currently, the typical American diet is low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar. As a result, more Americans than ever are over, obese, and at increased risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Older people are most likely to improve their eating habits, but nutrition is important for people of all ages, says Walter Willet, M.D., chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health. “We know that when people have health problems or their friends become ill, these are strong motivators of change,” says Willet. “The more serious the health condition, the more serious the change. We’d rather people made changes early and prevent health problems in the first place.”

So what if you’re feeling trapped by a diet full of fast-food burgers and cookies? You can work your way out slowly but surely. Here are tips to move your eating habits in the right direction.
What are you eating now?

Write down what you eat for a few days to get a good picture of what you’re taking in for healthier eating, suggests Cindy Moore, director of nutrition therapy at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. “By looking at what you eat and how much you’re eating, you can figure out what adjustments you need to make,” she says.

Sometimes she asks patients to write down what they are feeling. Were you nervous, happy, or sad when you ate five slices of pizza in one sitting? “The very nature of writing things down in a food diary can help patients make changes,” Moore says. “Someone will tell me, I didn’t want to have to write that I ate nine cookies, so I ate two instead.”

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