Healthy eating is something that we want. Everyone loves food and wants to eat a balanced diet, three times a day. Because like it or not, your daily diet plays a crucial role in the quality of your life.
However, wanting something and actually getting it is, as we all know, two different things. Hence, many people find it difficult to put healthy eating into practice. However, all hope is not lost; let us explore some healthy eating habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle.
Rome was not built in a day.
To develop healthy eating habits, it’s important you start small and simple. Take your time to determine what your goals are and have the plan to achieve them.
Rather than cut out certain foods from your diet, you can swap them for something else. Juice for Carbonated drinks, take water in place of soda. Basically make simple, but effective changes.
Eat fruit when you want something sweet
Fruits are very great alternatives to desserts. First of all, it satisfies your immediate craving for sweet things. Secondly, it is healthy and doesn’t contain the refined sugar and saturated fat found in desserts.
You can try fruit salads or simply have fruits stocked up in your refrigerator for when you get a craving.
Eat protein with every meal
Proteins have a way of filling you up to help you stay fuller for longer.
Apart from this, taking protein with every meal will help you get a good percentage of protein in your meals.
You must have heard this a lot, but water is very important in maintaining a healthy eating habit.
Ensuring sure you’re well-hydrated will help you avoid overeating or snacking when you’re truly thirsty rather than hungry. Also drinking water at intervals while you eat will prevent overfeeding.
Increase your vegetable intake
Vegetables are filled with nutrients, essential vitamins, and minerals that will provide you with energy and add volume to your meal. They also add volume to your meals to help you feel filled and satisfied.
You can incorporate some veggies like carrots and broccoli into your snacks or make a vegetable smoothie. This way, you snack on healthy foods whenever you feel hungry or munchy.
Practice mindful eating
This is so important!
There are many benefits to practicing mindful eating.
Habits like chewing slowly, listening to hunger cues, and taking time to savor your meals go a long way in helping your eating habits. Eating slowly helps food metabolize and will prevent indigestion.
Before you eat, ask yourself if you are truly hungry or if you just want to eat to satisfy a craving.
Savor your meals! Take time to taste and appreciate the flavors and textures of your food. It also encourages you to reflect on the time taken to prepare the meal and practice gratitude, which can lead to a greater sense of well-being.
Cook at home
Repeat after me, “there is food at home”.
Preparing your own meals helps you take into consideration your nutritional needs and cook accordingly. When you cook yourself, you can be sure you are using organic and fresh produce to make your meals.
One good way to establish healthy eating habits is to monitor your portions, and cooking your meals will help you do that.
Stock your kitchen with healthy food
Don’t just cook at home; ensure that the food you have in your store or pantry is healthy and wholesome.
When you have only healthy food options at home, you have no choice but to go with them. Ensure you buy healthy food and snacks when shopping as opposed to processed alternatives.
Experiment with different dishes.
Variety is the spice of life, pardon the pun, and healthy eating habits include diversifying your palette.
Explore dishes from different cultures. However, ensure you take your time to look into the nutritional benefits of the meal to see if they align with your eating goals.
READ: How to Make Pounded yam
Plan your meals
This is such an underrated tip.
Taking time to plan out your meals for the week can help you navigate your healthy eating with ease. It helps you compare your nutritional needs to your eating plans, and also lets you know if you are hitting your goals.
Don’t eat the same foods on repeat
This is what having a good food timetable helps you do. Eating a wide variety of foods will give your body different nutrients and help prevent nutritional gaps.
Rotating your food will also add some excitement to your plate, and give your body different important nutrients every day.
Go for healthy fats
I know you may have heard that you need to swear off fat to practice healthy eating. However, good fats can lower your risk for heart disease and help lower cholesterol.
When paired with complex carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, or whole grains, they help in satiation and are necessary for hormone production.
Some examples of healthy fats include avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, olives, and walnuts.
Choose whole grains
Whole-grain foods are more nutritious than white bread, pasta, and rice because they are high in fiber. This means that they will keep you full for much longer.
Boost your eating habits by including more whole-grain foods in your diet. Foods like oats, barley, rye, buckwheat, and quinoa are all examples of whole grains that will encourage a healthy eating habit.
Don’t eat in front of the TV
Almost everybody is guilty of this one.
Studies have shown that watching television or any other kind of technology while you eat can be distracting and would ultimately make you eat more than you planned to.
Data has also shown that watching TV can affect several processes that normally assist the voluntary regulation of food intake.
If you want to practice healthy eating, then limit the amount of time you spend in front of the television while having your meals.
READ: How To Increase Your IQ
Owanbe parties are the greatest temptation to ruin your healthy eating streak. The enticement to eat all kinds of greasy, fatty foods and desserts is at its peak. And it’s okay to have them sometimes.
But when you have such parties back to back, it’s better to take precautions.
Have a healthy snack before you leave home, this will help you stay filled and eat less. Instead of having a whole dessert for yourself, share with a friend to reduce your intake of calories.
Making healthy eating habits is a great lifestyle investment. It may not come easy at first but with intentional effort, it becomes easier. If you stick with your choice to eat healthily, you are sure to see changes and thank yourself for it.