Eating right is one of the keys to being healthy. However, healthy eating goes beyond the food choices you make on a daily basis or the recipes you cook. It’s also about creating an environment that inspires you to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
The best place to start is gradually changing eating habits that can be bad for your health.
It can be overwhelming to change your lifestyle completely. Fortunately, getting rid of bad eating habits can be done gradually. What you can do is set small goals and change these habits a little bit at a time. You’d be surprised to know that even small changes can make a huge difference to your overall health.
Here are some bad eating habits to avoid this year and how you can break them.
Storing Irresistible Food At Home
If you always keep enticing food like cookies or chocolate bars at home, you’re more likely to eat them. Giving in to these temptations could result in overeating and extra pounds. Resist those urges by storing enticing food in a cupboard, top shelf, or other areas that are difficult to reach.
Once you’ve kept tempting snacks away, put fruits on your counter and have vegetables for snacks instead. You can also get alternatives for irresistible food like trail mix or popcorn. Storing vegetables and hummus in front of your refrigerator is another good idea for quick dips. These tips can also come in handy if you’re setting up a health-focused kitchen and diet.
Research has shown that eating breakfast can help you lose weight. You can reduce your weight and continue being healthy if you have the most important meal of the day instead of skipping it. Furthermore, eating breakfast gives you extra amounts of the following nutrients:
- Vitamins A & C
If you include breakfast in your daily routine, make sure that your meal keeps you full for several hours. Try cooking dishes high in fiber and protein or mix it up with bananas, berries, or nuts for a healthier, energizing meal.
Texting, browsing social media, reading, or watching TV while eating keeps you from enjoying food. They also make it harder to know when you’re full, causing you to overeat. It’s important to avoid distracted eating whenever you can. Instead, find a way to make mindful eating more enjoyable.
For example, make breakfast something to look forward to by spending it with family and away from the TV. When having lunch at work, step out of the office and pick a good spot such as a park bench or rooftop garden. For dinners, impose a “No Smartphones” policy so you can engage in conversations that allow you to eat at a healthy pace. When you avoid distractions and put yourself in an eating-conducive environment, you’ll be able to enjoy your food more.
Indulging Late Night Cravings
Late-night food binges will most likely let you gain more weight. Going for midnight snacks raises your chances of binge eating. You’re also most likely to eat sugary and fatty foods at night, which can cause sleep problems along with unwanted weight gain.
To avoid late-night cravings, adopt a healthier sleeping routine. Keep your lights to a minimum earlier in the night to induce rest and prime your mind and body to sleep early. Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology stated that you’re more prone to gaining weight when you leave the lights on at night. The study found that some subjects who sleep in dark rooms were 21% less likely to gain weight than those who sleep with the lights on.
Eating Food too Fast
The quicker you eat, the more air you swallow. As a result, you can feel bloated and release gas. Slowing down your eating helps break bigger particles of food down into smaller bits so your body can digest it properly.
Additionally, you can make healthier choices when you eat slower. Reduce your food intake by taking time to prepare meals. Mindful eating lets you savor your meals better while preventing reflux or unbearable fullness.
Ordering Restaurant Food
Restaurant food packs high amounts of calories and salt. You most likely won’t know what gets into your food if you order out. Try doing home-cooked meals instead so you can control your calorie and sodium intake. You also get to choose your ingredients and cooking methods.
If you’re looking to prepare healthy meals, here are some dishes to try:
- Avocado toast – Get whole-grain toast and top it with avocado, sea salt, and red pepper.
- Salad – Mix fresh vegetables with some protein and crunchy and soft ingredients. You can add food like meat, beans, nuts, cucumber, and tomatoes to your salad.
- Vegetable soup – Use vegetables or combine them with chicken, beans, or other protein-rich ingredients for a nutritious soup.
- Sautéed vegetables – Pour some vegetable oil into a pan, then heat it. Add chopped vegetables and season them with salt. You can use vegetables like spinach, kale, or mustard greens for this dish.
Not Eating on Time
Not eating on time can disrupt your metabolism and lead to extra pounds gained. With that, we recommend sticking to a regular eating schedule. According to the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, eating on time can lead to weight loss. Another study from the journal stated that consuming six meals a day can help regulate your cholesterol and insulin levels.
Consistent dining starts with knowing the necessary amount of calories for your target weight. Then, divide that number by how many meals you eat every day. The amount you’ll get from this formula will be the size of your meals. Make sure you’re consuming meals that are proportioned to your daily calorie needs and eat them in a timely manner.
Make Healthier Choices with Good Eating Habits
By eating right, you can lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions. Since obesity is linked to higher risks of serious medical disorders and musculoskeletal injuries, managing your weight is vital. If you choose a good diet, you can reach a healthy weight and avoid potential complications in the future.
More importantly, your eating habits can affect your mental health. Research from 2016 suggested that consuming a vitamin- and mineral-rich diet makes you less likely to develop mental health disorders. When you know how to eat better and adopt healthy eating habits, you’ll have a better overall mood and well-being for years to come.
For more health and fitness tips, explore the LifeClinic blog today.