The quality of your eating habits can have the most profound impact to your health and lifestyle. You might want to lose weight to fit into your wedding gown or manage other existing medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disorders. Or it’s probably because you want to live more healthily all around. The fact remains that making small but consistent switches will give you so many benefits.
If you previously indulged too much on fast food, turned to delivery when you’re running out of time or skipped meals because you’re always busy, you might already see what these habits are doing to your body. Give up these bad diet habits and begin adapting new and good ones for a healthier life ahead.
1. Pick the Healthier Options When Dining Out
Pick tea instead of flavored juice or soda. Otherwise, just drink plain water. The sugar in soda can cause you to eat more than you have to. The American Dietetic Association also reports that drinking soda put you at more risk of being overweight. If you’re looking for a good way to make plain water more exciting, add in sliced lemon and cucumbers into your container. These drinks are mighty refreshing and detoxifying.
It’s also good to opt for grilled fish than order steak. Steak is laden with cholesterol and calories. Grilled fish, on the other hand, is packed with healthy omega-3 fats and has significantly lesser cholesterol than red meat.
Lastly, switch mayo with mustard on your salad. Mustard reduces the amount of cholesterol, calories and saturated fat that you would otherwise get from mayo.
2. Eat Meals on Schedule
Skipping meals could soon leave you feeling very hungry; prompting you to eat more than what is healthy for you. However, if you portion your meals and eat them at mostly the same time every day, you’re less likely to feel starved in between those times. Also, don’t skip breakfast. Not only is it the most important meal of the day, it’s also the first meal you’ll have after 6-8 hours of sleep. If you’re constantly struggling to prepare breakfasts, just take out your ceramic cookware sets and whip up a quick vegetable frittata (or any similar healthy, quick and filling breakfast). Or if you feel like you’d miss your meals because of a busy schedule, bring some healthy snacks like apple, banana, nuts or protein bars to fill you’re tummy for the meantime.
3. Make Fruits and Vegetables Easily Accessible in Your Kitchen
“Out of sight, out of mind” also applies when stocking food in your kitchen. If you don’t see your supply of kale and spinach right away, you’ll always be bound to get ice cream and chocolates (if you see them first as soon as you open your refrigerator). A good way to ensure that you’re vegetables will get consumed is to place them eye-level in your refrigerator.
4. Switch Refined and Processed Foods with Whole and Healthy Ones
According to Dawn Jackson Blatner, spokesperson of the American Dietetic Association, “instead of refined and processed white foods, aim to have whole-grain starches such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat breads and bran cereals.” Whole grains, brown rice, whole pasta and cereals provide significant amounts of fiber that can aid in weight loss. These foods don’t just make you feel fuller for a longer period of time; they also reduce the absorption of fats and sugar that make you gain more weight.
5. Practice Portion Control
If you tend to overindulge in food, you certainly need to practice portion control. One good way to do this is to cook meals in batches and pack them as good for one meal before refrigerating. So if you’re taking out one for lunch or dinner, you simply need to get one pack and re-heat. According to the obesity specialist of Mayo Clinic, Dr. Donald Hensrud, “frozen dinners serve as a form of portion control, so you don’t overeat.”
6. Satisfy your Cravings with Economy-sized Goods
You can’t always dodged unhealthy cravings like sweets or chips, but since the craving is mostly mental than physical, it would be good to conquer it with small packages. If you have tub-full of ice cream in your refrigerator just as when you’re craving, there’s a good chance that you will over-indulge. If you have a huge bag of potato chips lying around, the same thing could happen. Opt for the smallest cone or tub of ice cream that you can find and pick the smallest pack of your favorite chips. Once you’re done with the whole (yet small) thing, you’ll be able to satisfy your craving and feel less guilty about it.
7. Prepare Healthier Food Options at Hand
A craving or two for unhealthy foods may be acceptable, but if you’re craving every so often, you seriously need to curb it. One of the best ways to do this is to prepare healthier food options which are readily-available at the very first sign of craving. Prepare your lemon water, bag of nuts, protein bars, sliced fruits and other healthier selections in your refrigerator or work drawer.
8. Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own food will not only help you save more money but you’ll also be more inclined to use them. You can grow herbs on pots and place them by the window sill, or plant tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage and other vegetables in your backyard.
When you’re making adapting eating habits, you’re also making healthier lifestyle choices. These switches are not very painful to make. In fact, they can even help you save more time and money when it comes to eating and food preparation. Your old and unhealthy diet may have caused you to become more sickly, lethargic and overweight; but these new and healthy ones will certainly turn the table around and bring out the best version of you. It’s not too late, make the switch now.