10 Simple Ways To Develop A Healthy Eating Habits
Photo credit: @caro_e_
What is your habit? Is it something you do every day? How often do you change your practices?
A habit is something you do repetitively. According to psychology, a habit is a link between a stimulus and a response. It serves a mental connection between a trigger thought or event(stimulus) and our response to that trigger(the response). By repeating this connection time and again, it forms a habit and affects all subsequent decisions and actions, it becomes permanent unless you take action to change it.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines a habit as a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior, an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary. A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.
In simple words, you do not necessarily need to do something every day for it to become a habit. It is your automatic behavior in situations that occur regularly, something in your environment, and occur without a thought. And it takes 21 days to break or form a habit pattern depending on complexity, according to experts.
Here are some tips that might help you develop healthy eating habits, whether your goal is to lose weight or improve your overall health.
1. Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having a good and healthy breakfast provides many benefits to your health and well being. It fuels your body and energy for the brain to work at its best.
Skipping breakfast increases your chances of gaining weight that could lead to obesity than those who regularly eat breakfast because you would likely tend to have high sugar and fatty snacks later on.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body. People who eat more of these foods are likely to have a reduced risk of heart diseases and may protect against certain types of cancers.
You can add some healthy smoothies in your breakfast as it contains fiber that leaves you to stay full for a long time. You can even have some fruits for a healthy snack as well.
3. Drink more water
Water is essential for the body, yet many people do not consume enough fluids each day. Drinking an adequate amount of water keeps the body hydrated. It flushes away body waste, prevents kidney damage, regulates body temperature, helps in weight loss, and other health benefits.
Water also helps boost the skin to be healthy and beautiful.
4. Manage your stress
Stress can significantly affect your eating habits. If you are so stressed out, you will crave for your comfort food that can lead to overeating and weight gain. By managing your stress, it could also slow down your food cravings.
Are you someone who watches television while eating? Or someone who always carries gadgets around while having dinner?
Most people don’t pay attention to their eating habits, what they eat or when they eat. Mindful eating is a key to good health as it can significantly reduce or break overeating habits, which is linked to obesity.
It encourages us to be more aware of our food experiences, as the saying goes, we are what we eat.
6. Prepare your meals
Cooking your meal contributes to a healthier diet. It gives you more control over what your food or ingredients you prepare, such as salt and portioned size, as compared to eating out. Plus, cooking at home saves you money and time.
7. Less salt
Do you know that we need salt in our bodies? Yes, the body needs salt, and consuming too much or too little can cause health problems as well.
In an online article by Medical News Today, salt contains sodium, which helps maintain fluid levels in the body. A balance of fluid and sodium is necessary for health, and it regulates blood fluids and prevents low blood pressure.
Processed and packed foods like junk foods, canned goods, and pizzas are high in sodium, yet for some people, it might be their comfort food, and it’s not easy to let go.
If you are having a hard time, try to take one step at a time. Maybe instead of having pizza three times a week for dinner, you can have it at least once a week.
8. Avoid sugary drinks
Sugary drinks such as sodas, flavored juices, and other beverages can harm your health if consumed too much, and if you’re on a diet, you might want to avoid it. When consumed in excess, it can lead to weight gain; it can drastically increase belly fat, can lead to Type 2 Diabetes and other health conditions.
People who consume too many sugary drinks can increase their risk of having gout, a medical condition that is characterized by joint pains and inflammation. It typically occurs when the uric acid levels in the body are high, which is caused by fructose found in sugary drinks.
9. Food Log
Keeping a food log to track your eating habits is a proven way to lose weight and keep it off because it makes you more aware of what you are eating and highlights patterns — Oscar.
10. Find healthy alternatives
Milk is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is also a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and calcium, which is useful for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
Although it has been enjoyed by many of us for thousands of years, however, not everyone can have it or choose not to include it in their diets due to dietary restrictions, lactose intolerance, health concerns, or ethical reasons.
But don’t worry because there are a lot of alternatives that you can choose from, like almond, coconut, soy, hemp, skim, and other non-dairy milk, which is available in the market.
It’s no surprise that nowadays more and more unhealthy foods are introduced in the market. It is only up to us to choose a healthier diet.
This is not depriving yourself, or whatsoever, you can still grab your favorite snacks, call it a cheat day, or what, this is about being aware of what’s right and what’s not for our body to live a happy and healthier life.