Incorporating healthy eating habits helps to maintain weight and a good lifestyle.
Besides, eating healthy food also keeps your brain healthy and therefore has a good impact on overall health.
A diet that comprises more processed food than healthy nutrients can have an adverse effect on health. Small changes, if implemented consistently, can help to improve health.
In this article, we’ve listed 14 ways to develop healthy eating habits for life that will help you to stay fit.
#1. Never skip breakfast
People who have breakfast regularly weigh less than the people who don’t. When you wake up, your body is low on energy, hence it needs these critical nutrients to boost up the energy, for doing any activity or work.
It increases metabolism, keeping you fit and healthy. People who skip their breakfasts though snacks out often in the day, but unknowingly consume a lot of calories at the time when their metabolism slows down, and this adds up to their weight.
An ideal breakfast comprises complex carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats which contain fatty acids and are found in omega 6s and omega 3s.
These essential nutrients help to build muscles and maintain insulin levels, which keeps your sugar cravings low throughout the day.
When your body and mind are functioning well, you’re definitely going to have a great morning! Invest some time in preparing a healthy breakfast for yourself!
Here are a few breakfast suggestions for an awesome start to the morning:
- Add 1 cup (250ml) of cooked oatmeal to 1 cup (250ml) skimmed or soy milk. Sprinkle 2 tbsp (30ml) dried cranberries.
- Prepare 2-3 slices of whole-grain toast. Spread 1 tbsp of peanut butter on each slice, and have 1 banana along with it.
- Add ⅓ cup of frozen berries and ⅔ cup of muesli to ¾ cup of plain yogurt. Your yogurt parfait is ready!
- Take 1 cup (250ml) of skim or soya milk. Add 1 cup (250ml) high fibre cereal to it. Have it along with 1 apple.
- Prepare 2-egg vegetable omelette. You can have it along with a whole wheat muffin.
#2. Include 6 balanced meals in a day
Having 6 meals a day includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and 3 snacks, where each meal should include starch or grains, vegetables or fruits or protein.
Try to have a balanced meal and snacks. Your plate must be divided into three groups in which one group consists of vegetables or fruits, the other groups consist of starch or grains and the remaining should include a source of protein.
For instance, if you love eating Indian cuisine, incorporate different types of Indian curries that are packed with protein.
#3. Monitor the calories and food portions
Monitoring them, by reading the food labels, calculating their servings and eating smaller plates than a larger plate, are a few strategies to keep you going. If you’re dining at a cafe, then have the food in a smaller portion.
Calories in = calories gain
Calories out = calories deficit
You can easily track your food consumption by measuring the snacks and meals with portion size cups rather than counting the calorie intake.
The portion size cups will lead you to low-calorie consumption, just by eating less. It’s an efficient method to control weight and try it once, it works well.
#4. Increase your Metabolism
This smart eating strategy will boost up the energy to build lean muscles and will increase metabolism. With the increase in age, a person tends to lose their lean muscles along with the metabolism.
Including small meals 2-3 times a day, is a great strategy to build the muscles and to increase the metabolism while controlling the calories.
It will control the calories expenditure by burning the calories off. Remember to not eat in excess, don’t overeat and only include the healthy nutrients in the diet, to stay fit and healthy.
#5. Be mindful while eating
Pay attention to your eating, when and what you have in a day, and your feelings when surrounded by food.
Eat when you’re actually hungry, but don’t starve, otherwise, you’ll end up eating more, and may preferably choose the unhealthy nutrients, to kill your cravings.
Don’t get carried away by feelings of anger, stress, lethargicness, generally indulging with the feelings may result in overeating. Ask yourself a simple question: what’s triggering me to eat?
Considerably, you can maintain an eating journal to track the record of your food triggers and eating habits. It’s a great practice to include in your routine, for staying fit. You can easily cut off your calorie intake if exceeding.
It gives you an accurate picture and makes you a woke person. With the practice, you’ll start identifying your feelings around the food items and will eventually start observing your eating pattern, and the kind of food you consume, which will help you eradicate the unhealthy eating practices.
Also, you can modify the journal each time you feel it’s going wrong.
You have to be mindful of your eating environment. Instead of ordering your favourite food, walk up to the restaurant, grab your order and eat it in the park. This will negate all the calories which you’d consumed from the food. If you’re eating high-I/ calorie food, then you have to burn it as well.
Never have your food while completing other tasks or activities. As when you eat the food while doing other stuff, it makes you overeat and often, you won’t realise that your stomach’s already full.
Sit down and relax while having food so that you enjoy every bit of it consciously.
If you get the cravings or temptation to eat something that you don’t require, then make sure you’re burning that out.
Eating mindlessly results in overeating because of the subconscious intake of food. You’re not aware of how much you’re eating.
Often, people get these junk cravings when they’re stressed or anxious. If you get the feeling, instead take a deep breath and drink a glass of water. It’ll help you control your food cravings.
#6. Drink enough water
Water plays a vital role in keeping the body hydrated, regulating body temperature, protecting joints and organs, removing body waste, transporting nutrients to cells and regulating body weight.
The body requires at least 8-10 ounce glasses of water every day and the best source for hydration comes from non-caffeinated beverages, watery fruits like fruits and vegetables and soups.
Grab a bottle of water along your way, to maintain hydration in your body. Remember, to drink a glass of water after every meal. Also, herbal tea is a great source of water.
Non-caffeinated beverages do fulfil the body’s water needs by minimizing fluid loss and acting as diuretics. Juices can also be a good source of water, as it contains vitamins and minerals. However, plain water is an excellent option.
Try to maintain hydration by reminding yourself every two hours to drink a glass of water, during the exercises, before and after exercise, but don’t drink in excess as it may cause cramping in the stomach.
Furthermore, water can be a great option to control food cravings, next time, whenever you get the cravings, drink the water!
#7. Avoid being in a state of sedentary for a long time
Avoid being a couch potato, by not burning calories. Time spent sitting idle or sedentary, often results in mindless snacking.
Bingeing some snacks while watching television isn’t a healthy option, your calorie expenditure can go haywire, which will make you unhealthy.
Instead of spending a lot of time in front of the television, invest the time in reaching the fitness goal. Indulge in exercise to keep your body fit, do some physical activities.
After having dinner, take a walk, as it helps in calorie expenditure, controls food cravings resulting in a peaceful sleep.
#8. Be optimistic
People who are optimistic have more chances of being successful towards their goal, including losing weight and working on eating habits.
Focus on what you can do to fix it rather than what’s not in your control. Optimism is empowering as it keeps you in control and encourages you to take action towards your goal.
If your goal is to lose weight, then simply contemplating or coming up with excuses won’t work, you’ve to take action to make it happen. Don’t bail on it, rather be optimistic and work towards it!
#9. Supplement the Balanced diet
There’s no doubt that healthy eaters can often run out of vitamins or minerals in their bodies. Some days your body falls short on fruits, vegetables, and grains.
It’s not possible to design the menu every day and go in resonance with it. There are days when you’re caught up with work and aren’t able to focus on diet and nutrients.
To negate the effect, supplements work the best. You can take basic supplements like multivitamins and multimineral, to ensure that your body is getting the essential vitamins and minerals.
Supplementing the diet isn’t a bad option as it fulfils the requirement of the body, but it doesn’t imply that you can rely on this.
Micronutrients play an important role in the body and taking supplements to ensure the optimal functioning of the body. Nevertheless, always consult a physician or dietician before taking supplements.
#10. Include whole grains
The diet must include an appropriate amount of whole grains as it helps in weight loss and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and chronic illness.
It also helps in the regulation of blood pressure and reduces body weight. Whole grain included brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta and snacks like popcorn and granola bars.
Always read labels before purchasing any item, as it might not be a good option. There’s often a misconception that whole grains with sugar constitute whole grains, hence never go with them.
#11. Don’t measure weight frequently
Weighing yourself daily or stepping on scales frequently isn’t a great option to regulate body weight.
In fact, it demotivates you as you might come across the thought of not losing weight. Don’t get discouraged, simply because of the number, as it doesn’t say about your body composition.
If you really want to get in good shape, then you have to incorporate healthy habits and follow a good diet religiously.
Trust me, you’ll see a massive change in your body and scale. Don’t count on the scale method entirely, try measuring it with different techniques as well, as it will give you a clear picture with accurate results.
#12. Don’t get carried by the “empty calories”
Don’t address the food cravings and urges every time by grabbing chocolate, doughnuts or coffee. Though it boosts energy, after a while you’ll observe a gradual decline in energy.
For example, doughnuts boost energy by increasing blood sugar, but after about 20 minutes, your energy will drop gradually, making you hit the kitchen, to grab something to spike up the energy.
Then you’d hunt for chocolate chip cookies or any other item which will increase sugar levels, leaving a negative impact on health and body.
#13. Consult a Doctor
Before making any dietary or lifestyle changes have a talk with your doctor. They’ll better address you on diet considering your health conditions.
Speak to them, that you’re interested in mending your diet routine and in incorporating healthy habits.
What’s their view and how you should implement them for achieving the fitness goal. Ask for suggestions on supplements and medications.
#14. Consult a Dietician
The dietician has expertise in nutrition, therefore, can be the best person to talk about health and healthy eating habits. You can go for a local dietician in your area, or can even consult them online.
Talk to them about your goal for fitness and you want to develop healthy eating habits. Discuss what changes will be best for you or any suggestion to help you achieve the goal.
I hope these tips will help you develop healthy eating habits or for maintaining a healthy routine.
What’s your take on developing healthy eating habits? Tell us in the comment section below, we’d love to hear!