Healthy eating habits are usually something we say we’re going to adopt after a particularly heavy – and regretful – episode of binge eating. Perhaps we’ve been eating too many burgers recently, or maybe we put on a bit of weight over recent breaks. As such, we’ve made it our mission to adopt some healthier eating habits.
Rarely, though, do they last. We all too often slip into our old ways.
This is often because we either don’t have the right motivation, or we’re adopting the wrong habits.
A lot of people associate healthy eating habits with boring eating habits. But the two are not synonymous, and indeed eating healthier can actually mean that you become more adventurous and creative with your diet, while your lifestyle also changes for the better.
Moreover, it can also mean that your choice of food actually gets tastier!
For this reason, we’ve put together 20 awesome healthy eating habits that are designed to last forever by virtue of being good for you, easy to implement and supremely exciting! Let’s take a look.
Eat Fruit At The Right Time
You’re probably aware that you need to eat more fruit. Ever since you were a kid and your mom tried to sneak more apples and oranges into your diet, you’ve known that fruit is pretty darn good for you.
But what you may not have been aware of is that there is a right time to eat fruit – and a wrong time to eat it.
Fruit is largely composed of simple sugars and water, and as such it’s essentially instant fuel on tap.
But it’s only instant fuel on tap if you eat it on an empty stomach.
If you eat fruit on a full stomach, what happens is that it sits on top of all the other food that is already in your gut and starts to ferment. So, rather than pass through your digestive system really quickly and releases sugars into your bloodstream rapidly as it likes to do, it has to hang around for ages.
As such, you’re not getting the best out of it.
To get a health-kick out of fruit, enjoy it on an empty stomach.
Shop On A Full Stomach
Ever shopped on an empty stomach? I sure have. What inevitably happened is that I returned home with bags and bags of sugary treats, steaks, deep-fried chicken wings and pizzas.
Basically, when you shop on an empty stomach, you’re more prone to impulse buying.
Which means that you return home with unhealthy grub.
From now on, you should always try to shop on a full stomach with a detailed shopping list in your hand.
Always Eat Breakfast
In our fast-paced world, it’s tempting to skip breakfast in the morning because you don’t have enough time.
Perhaps you stumble out of bed, brew some coffee, have a quick shower and then bolt out of the door. It doesn’t matter about food because you can fill up through the morning on snacks and carbs, right?
Or maybe you could stop by McDonald’s on the way to work.
But this is harming you in the long-term, because if you skip breakfast you’re far likelier to eat more during the day, which leads to weight gain.
Breakfast is your most important meal of the day and to keep up with healthy eating habits, if you eat a hearty, nutritious breakfast, you are less likely to snack on carbs and sugars for the next few hours.
Plan Your Daily Meals
When I landed my first job, I straightaway moved into my own apartment.
“At last,” I thought. “I’m living my own, independent life.”
For a while, life was sweet.
But before I knew it, I was piling on the pounds. While I was living at home with my parents for 25 years, I was as slim as they come. So what had suddenly happened?
For a start, I wasn’t planning my meals. When I lived at home, my mom always knew what she was going to put on my plate. But now that I was free to do what I wanted, I would return home from a long day at work and shove any old pre-packaged meal into the microwave.
When there was nothing in the fridge, I’d order a takeaway.
If you don’t plan your meals, you always resort to the last common denominator out of convenience. This, consequently, causes weight gain. Planning your daily meal is best way to practice healthy eating habits.
Be Mindful Of Every Chew
When we eat mindlessly, we overeat. For example, perhaps you eat TV dinners while watching the ball game. You’re not aware of what you’re eating, and before you know it you’ve cleared the plate and started on desert. How did that happen!?
When you’re mindful of every chew, you are less prone to overeat. You start listening to your stomach and put down your knife and fork once you feel full.
Remember, it takes your stomach a few minutes to tell your brain when you’ve had enough. Eat slowly and your brain will get the message before you over-indulge.
Drink Green Tea
The health benefits of green tea are not to be underestimated. Green tea improves cognitive functioning, lowers your risk of developing cancer, and kills bacteria.
It also speeds up your metabolism and helps you to burn fat quicker.
Drinking green tea after meals, then, is an awesome healthy eating habits that you should try to adopt. It beats coffee hands down, which can cause belly fat.
Drink Plenty of Water
One of the best healthy eating habits you can adopt is to drink more H2O. Lots of people don’t like water because they say it’s bland and boring. Instead, they would rather guzzle sugar-laden sodas because it tastes better.
But plain old water is something you’ve got to drink more of you want to get healthier.
Water flushes nasty toxins right out of your system, thereby acting as a natural cleanser. It also keeps you hydrated properly, unlike caffeine, soda for alcohol, which are also diuretics.
Stop Eating After Dinner
Post-dinner eating is when we start to pile on the pounds. You might try to satisfy your hunger with another chicken leg, or maybe you’ll gorge on some sugary snacks.
It’s not always easy to stop eating after dinner. For this reason, I recommend brushing your teeth after your final meal because it will lower the temptation to raid the cupboards.
Eat Fewer Refined Grains
Refined carbs, such as those found in pasta and white bread, have pretty much zero dietary fibre and very, very few nutrients.
When you’re scouting for food, check the labels and watch out for:
- Wheat flour
- Refined flour
- Enriched flour
Eat Smaller Meals
Particularly in the western world, we’ve grown up with big plates and big meals.
Moreover, our mom would always scold us for not finishing the plate.
“Eat all of it,” mom would say. “There are kids starving who would be horrified if they saw you throwing food away.”
Big plates and big meals encourages overeating. It makes us continue eating even after we’re full. This is not healthy.
The Japanese have awesome life-expectancies thanks to their diet, and an intrinsic part of their diet is small meals.
If you feel as though you can’t eat a small meal, try serving your food on a smaller plate and see if you feel satisfied once you’re done. I bet you do.
Get Clued Up On Combining Foods
Food combining is not an art – it’s an exact science called trophology.
If you combine the wrong types of food together – such as proteins and starches – you could end up with terrible digestive issues, such as bloating and excessive gas.
There are many different food combinations you need to be aware of, and learning more about them will help you to live a healthier life.
We’re all the champions of the world when it comes to cramming our diets with macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats), but many of us are found wanting when it comes to eating enough micronutrients (iron, zinc, copper, potassium et cetera).
The best source of micronutrients is by far and away fruit and veg. And although I will say that eating more fruit and veg is a fantastic healthy eating habits that you should adopt, not everyone enjoys whole fruit and veg. And so they find it difficult to regularly consume more of it.
If this is you, why not take up juicing? You can get some fine juicing recipes online that allow you to blend your whole fruits and veg so that they make a delicious juice for you to enjoy. Juicing is one best way to keep up with healthy eating habits.
Watch What You Drink
Did you know that the average American gets almost a quarter of their calories from drinks?
Milkshakes, fruit juice and soda are the common culprits here, as each are loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, and pretty much no nutrients. The health benefits, then, are nil.
Soft drinks are a major source of concern right now because so many of us drink them and, by all accounts, are hooked on them.
You should try to cut down your liquid calories, or replace what you drink entirely with either water, tea, or homemade juices.
Know Your Foods
It’s hard to adopt better eating habits if you don’t know foods. By this I mean that you understand each food’s protein, fat, carb, vitamins and mineral content.
You understand the differences between macronutrients and micronutrients, and you know how many calories are good for you.
It’s not easier to know your foods, and it will take a lot of time, but educating yourself will reap super long-term benefits.
Empty Your Cupboards Of Bad Snacks
It’s all too easy to get tempted by sugary snacks if you’ve already got them in your house.
Perhaps there’s a ball game tonight and you fancy having some cheesy nachos “just this one time.”
Only, if you’ve not got the stuff in in the first place, you can’t go there!
Eat Whole Grains
If you eat a lot of grains, half of them should be whole grains.
Because whole grains retain more nutrients and fibre – which is exactly what you need.
Go To Bed On Empty Stomach
This one is a little hard to do if you’re used to the whole cookies ’n’ milk in bed thing.
And if you’re the kind of person who enjoys a heavy supper around 10PM, it’s going to take a bit of convincing for you to go to bed on an empty stomach.
But going to bed on an empty stomach is not the same as going to bed starving hungry. For example, you could have your dinner around 7PM, followed by a very light supper at 9PM. Then, maybe go to bed at 11PM.
Remember, the later you go to bed, the more tempted you’re going to be tempted to overeat. What happens then is that, rather than focus on repairing cells, your body has to digest your food. Not cool!
Be Picky At Restaurants
A lot of people assume that because they’re now meant to be eating healthier, they have to change the restaurants they go to.
“No more Wendy’s,” they say haughtily – as though that’s a bad thing!
But the truth is that you don’t need to change where you eat, and neither do you need to be the odd one out among your friends who all want to go to a steak house.
Instead, you can calmly look through a menu and choose the healthiest option. If you aren’t sure which one it is, simply ask a waiter for help.
Eat The Right Snacks
I won’t lie to you: I’m a massive snacker. I love to eat foods between meals, especially when I’m at work. It keeps me going, and it also helps me to stay calm and not stressed.
But if you must snack, you should try to start snacking healthily.
For example, instead of munching on chocolate balls, why not substitute them with blueberries?
Blueberries are one of the healthiest snacks you can eat. Rich in vitamins C and B6, potassium and folate, they’re also one of the tastiest foods on the planet.
Healthy eating habits of snacking doesn’t have to be bland and tasteless. Strawberries, almonds and sesame seeds are other healthy snacks that beat sugary treats hands down all the time.
Eat A Well-Balanced Diet
For a healthier life, you need to eat a wide variety of nutrients. The thing is, these nutrients are not limited to a handful of foods. Rather, they are to be found in a wide variety!
For example, vitamin K2 is a notoriously beneficial nutrient that we all need more of, but it’s super hard to get hold of. Gouta cheese is one of the very few sources of it on the planet.
Enrich your diet by eating an assortment of foods and you’ll be just fine.
And these are the top 20 healthy eating habits you should follow for this summer; it will help stay fit mentally and physically. Healthy eating habits are key to loose ot gain weight, build muscle and have perfect summer body.