Healthy Eating Habits You Should Develop
When you come to think about it, developing some healthy eating habits is the key to a healthier diet. It is not always easy to develop good eating habits as it takes a lot of commitment and sacrifices to succeed, but it is simple to do. The trick here is to start small and build from there. Don’t try to change everything at once; it is simply not a good strategy.
Now, without further ado, here are some healthy eating habits that you should consider developing if you are serious about improving your diet:
1. Have A Balanced Diet
‘’Let me ask you a question: If you never ate a balanced diet, what would happen to your body? You know the answer: Eventually you'd grow weak; you might even open yourself to serious illness or disease. We all need a balanced diet if we are to stay healthy.’’ ~ Billy Graham
A balanced diet is a diet that contains adequate amounts of all the necessary nutrients that your body needs in order to function properly. You nееd a lot of diffеrеnt nutriеntѕ fоr gооd hеаlth, аnd nо ѕinglе fооd ѕuррliеѕ them аll. Yоur dаilу fооd ѕеlесtiоn should include whеаt bаѕеd fооd аnd оthеr whоlе-grаin products; dairy, vegetables, fruits, lean meats etc.
2. Ditch Your Sugary Drinks For Some Water
‘’I honestly think there shouldn't be sugared drinks. All my grandchildren drink water all through the day. I've just had them to stay, and at breakfast, they have water. They don't even know what sugary drinks are.’’ ~ Mary Berry
It’s no news that sugary drinks do a lot of long-term damage to our system. Even though this would be hard at first seeing as most of us are unknowingly already addicted to such drinks, it is really important to develop the habit of avoiding sugary beverages as these are some of the unhealthiest foods you can put in your body. So, stay away from these drinks and try some water instead (it is much better for you).
3. Eat Slowly
‘’If you slow it down, eat in courses, your body, mind, stomach will catch up with this full feeling and you won't eat as much.’’ ~ Guy Fieri
Did you know that the speed at which you eat can determine whether you lose or gain weight? You might be wondering how that is even possible, well, let us explain.
What determines whether we are full or not is basically our hormones. These hormones send a signal to our brain telling it “Hey, this body is full.” But here comes the tricky part. It takes a little longer for your brain to get this signal so if you are a fast eater, you won’t know you are full even when you are until your brain gets the signal and by then you’ve already eaten far more than your body would require. Imagine if you had just slowed down a bit. That would have made a lot of difference.
4. Read Food Labels
‘’Read labels in your favorite products. Look for short lists of simple, less-processed ingredients with names you recognize as food. If you find some of the same ingredients in your cereal as your shampoo, maybe it's time to switch to something simpler.’’ ~ Tara Stiles
‘’If you want to know if your food contains gluten, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, trans-fats or MSG, you simply read the ingredients listed on the label.’’ ~ Bernie Sanders
Before you get to decide to buy any packaged food (which isn’t really recommended when trying to eat healthier), it is advisable to always read the labels to make sure that the food in question does not contain any unhealthy ingredients such as trans fat, artificial sweeteners and preservatives.
5. Eat A Lot Of Vegetables And Fruits
‘’By eating many fruits and vegetables in place of fast food and junk food, people could avoid obesity.’’ ~ David H. Murdock
It is safe to say that fruits and vegetables are the real deal. They offer so many health benefits. So, make sure to eat a lot of those (aim for at least 5 servings a day)
6. Cook Your Own Food
‘’Simply by starting to cook again, you declare your independence from the culture of fast food. As soon as you cook, you start thinking about ingredients. You start thinking about plants and animals and not the microwave. And you will find that your diet, just by that one simple act, that is greatly improved.’’ ~ Michael Pollan
A lot of people have a bad habit of buying take outs from fast foods restaurants instead of just preparing a meal at home. The problem is, most of the foods bought outside contain a lot of unhealthy and high-calorie ingredients that we are unaware of which can lead to weight gain and other possible negative effects in the long run. By preparing the meal yourself, you have the added advantage of knowing exactly what you put in your food.
7. Plan Your Meals In Advance
‘’It may seem counterintuitive to some people to take an entire morning or afternoon to prepare food for the week, but believe me, it's not. You'll even find that you eat much healthier when you've planned your meals ahead.’’ ~ Rachel Hollis
Planning your meals in advance is mainly just so you can avoid unnecessary eating caused by cravings. With a meal plan, you are sure of what to expect for breakfast, lunch & dinner and not just consume anything in sight that looks pleasant.
8. Go For The Whole Food Option
‘’Processed foods cause inflammation, a source of most chronic illnesses as well as stress.’’ ~ Kris Carr
One of the best decisions you can make is to go for the whole food option instead of getting processed food which has a lot of negative side effects. Most people who go for the processed option are usually unaware of the numerous health issues it brings (heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc)
9. Eat Your Breakfast
‘’I think it’s important to start the day with a proper breakfast.’’ ~ Hanneli Mustaparta
Eating a healthy breakfast can boost your metabolism and help decreases hunger and cravings throughout the day. It can also give you enough energy to start your day. It is safe to say that eating breakfast offers a lot of health benefits.
10. Eat Protein With Every Meal
‘’For a slim, sexy body, it's important to eat protein every day - preferably at every meal. Be sure to ask about the origins of your meat, poultry, and seafood. If you can't afford organic, free-range meats, opt for natural poultry, pork, and beef that's raised without antibiotics or hormones.’’ ~ Suzanne Somers
‘’Calories from protein affect your brain, your appetite control center, so you are more satiated and satisfied.’’ ~ Mark Hyman
It is no secret that most people can benefit from eating more protein in their diet, and the best way to do that is to eat protein with every meal.
11. Drink A Lot Of Water
‘’Water is a cure-all. Water is everything. You can't get better without drinking lots of water, and you can't drink water unless it's clean.’’ ~ Josh Fox
12. Avoid Eating Out
‘’When I want to really eat great, I eat at home when my wife cooks.’’ ~ Sirio Maccioni
There is nothing wrong with eating out once in a while, but you have to keep in mind that eating at home is always the better option. When you decide to cook your own meal at home instead of going to a restaurant, not only you end up eating healthier foods, but you also save money as well.
13. Limit Your Intake Of Fried Foods
‘’Our big problem is that high-calorie, special-occasion foods like cakes, fried foods, etc. have become so cheap and easy that we eat them every day. Make them special again by cooking them yourself. You won't do it every day, I promise.’’ ~ Michael Pollan
Limiting your intake of fried foods is such a wise decision. After all, everyone knows that they are not good for you. There is nothing wrong with eating some French fries once on the blue moon, but it is not something you want to do every day.
14. Eat Fish Twice A Week
‘’I eat a lot of fish to stay healthy.’’ ~ Aaron Neville
When it comes to eating fish, it is advisable to go for fatty fish instead as these are healthier than the normal type. Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines to name a few) are really healthy, we can’t even begin to stress this enough.
Aside from the fact that they are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids (good fat), they are also packed with protein and other essential nutrients.
15. Have A Treat Sometimes
‘’Of course I treat myself every now and then. Once a month I might have pizza and red wine and maybe a dessert, but that's it.’’ ~ Ricki-Lee Coulter
There is nothing wrong with having a treat or a cheat meal once in a while. In fact, we can argue that doing such a thing is beneficial to you as long as you keep it under control. Eating healthy all the time can be mentally exhausting so it is nice to get a break sometimes and have the chance to eat your favorite food without feeling guilty about it. It is safe to say that having a cheat meal here and there can help you stick to your diet.
16. Go For The Whole Grain Option
‘’When you eat a piece of white bread, think of it as putting a tissue on a fire. But if you eat something that has whole grains, whether it's a little bit of oatmeal, a little bit of protein, it's like putting a log on the fire.’’ ~ Jillian Michaels
One of the ways you can greatly improve your diet is basically to just go for the whole grain instead of the refined option (like white bread). Most people who go for the refined option are usually unaware of the numerous health issues it brings such as heart disease and cancer. The whole grains option, on the other hand, comes with a lot of health benefits.
17. Limit Your Sodium Intake
‘’Sodium is an important mineral that is essential for proper functioning of the human body - however, the American diet contains dangerously high amounts of sodium, almost 80 percent of which comes from processed and restaurant foods.’’ ~ Joel Fuhrman
Even though sodium is important for the body, too much of it can damage your organs. You must have been told once or twice to limit your salt intake, this is because of its high sodium content.
When there is extra sodium in your body, it drags in water into blood vessels which thereby increases the blood inside the blood vessels. When this happens, your blood pressure starts to increase which puts extra load on your heart and could very much lead to high blood pressure which could then lead to stroke or heart disease. Scary thought, right?
18. Limit Your Daily Sugar Intake
‘’Micronutrient-poor foods, like pasta, sugar, and soda, don't just give you empty calories and make you fat; they also do damage to the body and cause disease.’’ ~ Joel Fuhrman
''Every man, woman and child consumes, on average, 43 teaspoons of sugar a day. In 13 days, that adds up to a five-pound bag of sugar.'' ~ John Mackey
19. Enjoy Your Food
‘’It's important to have a healthy balanced diet but not to get too bogged down about it. It's important to enjoy your food, too.’’ ~ Katie Taylor
All the above-mentioned habits are really crucial so you should practice them as much as you can until they become a part of you. It is not always easy to develop good eating habits as it takes a lot of commitment and sacrifices to succeed, but it is well worth it at the end.