The 12 Easiest Healthy Eating Tips--Ever!

by SHAPE editors

12 A-list experts share their top effortless advice for eating clean, staying energized, and losing weight. And yes, dessert is included!

These expert tips will take the guesswork out of eating right once and for all.These expert tips will take the guesswork out of eating right once and for all.1. Make room for dessert. "Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality. Instead of being either perfect or off the rails, aim for a realistic balance. For example, if you're craving something carb-rich, like a brownie for dessert, omit the starch from your dinner, but keep the veggies and lean protein. Making room for treats while still eating healthfully overall makes a whole lot more sense than yo-yoing between strict dieting and overindulging." -Cynthia Sass, R.D., author of S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches

2. Perform quality control. "You can have the most incredible combination of seasonings and superb preparation, but if the quality of the ingredients is poor, the dish will miss the mark. The most simple foods are delicious as long as the ingredients are top quality. Don't skimp on quality or freshness." -Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Eat to Live Cookbook

3. Eat big picture. "Eating well is about the whole dietary pattern-not one food, nutrient, or ingredient. Instead of focusing on eating one nutrient at a time to protect one component of health at a time, eat foods of high overall nutritional quality as part of a wholesome diet, and you'll defend against virtually all forms of ill health." -David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and author of Disease Proof

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4. Savor the occasional indulgences. "You only get one chance to live fully, so relish those opportunities to try an amazing dessert, dig in to an unforgettable meal, and enjoy with abandon." -Daphne Oz, co-host of ABC's The Chew and author of Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun.

5. Make your plate pop. "When you're making a plate of food, always ask 'where's the color?' In other words, always include a colorful fruit or vegetable in each meal or snack." -Ellie Krieger, R.D., Food Network host and author of Weeknight Wonders (available January 1, 2014).

6. Gorge on greens. "Whether you add a greens powder to your smoothie or have kale or spinach with your dinner, get dark leafy greens into your body daily. They benefit every cell of your body and deliver more nutrients calorie for calorie than just about any other food on the planet." -Frank Lipman, M.D., founder of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City

7. Eat to live. "When you look at the whole package of energy, the food you eat should match the story you want to live, which means: as fresh as possible, without dullness, repetition, and routine. As colorful as possible, giving delight to the eyes; food is a rainbow brought down to earth. As cheerful as possible, maximizing moments of happiness and pleasure." -Deepak Chopra, M.D., author of What Are You Hungry For?

8. Start off on the right food. "Eat a protein-rich breakfast to refuel your body after a night of rest, satisfy your appetite so you're less likely to graze later, and prime you to make healthy food choices throughout the rest of your day." -Joy Bauer, R.D., nutrition and health expert on Today

9. Keep it real. "The harder it is to tell what a food looked like when it came out of the ground, the more likely that food is highly processed." -Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

10. Just eat. "Vow not to multitask while eating. When you're distracted, you can't really pay attention to the taste and textures of your meal, so you rob yourself of the eating experience, which can leave you feeling both overly full and unsatisfied." -Cynthia Sass, R.D., author of S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches

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11. Dash salt's hopes. "Avoid packaged foods that contain more milligrams of sodium than number of calories." -Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Eat to Live Cookbook

12. Turn your purse into a drive-thru. "Be your own fast food outlet by always carrying healthy, high-protein snacks that will fill you up such as nuts, hard-boiled eggs, or Greek yogurt." -Travis Stork, M.D., board-certified emergency medicine physician and co-host of The Doctors

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