Eating a healthy diet is not always easy. Fast, processed foods are cheap and easy to get. It is much simpler to swing through the drive thru than to prepare a home cooked meal. However, eating healthy is incredibly important. Your diet plays a huge role in your quality of life. It affects your weight, risk of developing diseases, and your ability to stay active and independent. If you are thinking of making some healthy changes to your diet, but aren’t sure where to begin, then we have got you covered. Here are seven healthy eating habits to try.
- Pay Attention to Hunger
Instead of mindlessly eating or forcing yourself to eat an entire portion, focus on how hungry you feel. It is okay to leave food on your plate despite of what mom said! Slow down and pay attention to your food and body cues. Do you normally get seconds? Wait a few minutes to see if you are truly hungry or it's just your mind at work.
- Include More Veggies
Add veggies to every single meal, including breakfast. Vegetables are so great for your body and they will also help you feel full so you’ll snack less throughout the day. You can sauté greens with your eggs in the morning or make a breakfast casserole or quiche with lots of veggies. For lunch and dinner, you can enjoy salads, grilled veggies, or simply snack on some raw vegetables.
- Add in Healthy Foods
Instead of focusing on the foods that you cannot eat, think of all of the foods that you can eat. Adding in new foods will increase your excitement about eating and help you focus on positive additions. Try new vegetables, meats, and fruits. Look for new recipes that will spice up your current eating routine. You may find that you enjoy a new type of cuisine!
- Substitute Veggies and Fruits
If you love pasta, rice, or pizza, try substituting the cauliflower version once a week. If you are a sweets lover, make healthy treats with fruit like banana ice cream or fruit smoothies. These can help you enjoy the foods you love with less calories and bad-for-you ingredients.
- Meal Prep
Eating healthy does take work, but you can minimize how much work it takes. Prep for your meals on the weekend so that you aren’t rushed and stressed throughout the week. Planning out your meals in advance also helps relieves the stress of deciding what to eat when you are hungry and tired.
- Buy Healthy Snacks
Buy healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and low sugar protein bars to keep in your pantry, purse, car, gym bag, and work. If you have plenty of healthy options around, you’ll be much less likely to indulge in a burger and fries in a moment of weakness.
- Allow Occasional Treats
If you never let yourself indulge when you want to, you will eventually lose self-control and binge on unhealthy foods. You can try following the 80/20 rule where you eat healthy for 80% of the time and indulge 20%. Or simply follow a No Strings Attached approach, where you enjoy a treat guilt free and then get back to healthy eating immediately after.
Making small changes to your daily eating habits can make a big difference in how you look and feel. The best eating habits are ones you can consistently engage in. Pick a few of the habits above and try them for a few weeks. Add in more when you can and you’ll be on your way to a happy, healthy life.