You've probably heard the 'you are what you eat' phrase a few times. Well, so have we!
And while it isn't exactly literal (because that would mean eating money to become rich), it's a call to be intentional about what you consume - healthy consumption = healthy life.
If you've been trying to build healthy eating habits, then you'll know it's not an easy feat.
It's simple to say you're going to give up junk food and drink more water but building new habits take time and consistency. The journey to a better lifestyle and improved eating habits can be an uphill battle against cravings and comfort.
However, it all boils down to finding an approach that is right for you.
Let's jump right in!
Factors To Consider Before Building Healthy Eating Habits
Before you can create healthy eating habits, there are a few things to consider. It's important to define what a healthy diet looks like for you and how it keys into your lifestyle.
To achieve this, consider the 3 R’s:
- Reflect: Think of what you’re looking to achieve and how you may be able to get there.
- Replace: Outline the unhealthy things that you need to change and the healthy alternatives to replace them with.
- Re-enforce: Find a way to hold yourself accountable through journaling or an accountability buddy, etc. This helps you re-enforce your choices consistently until they become habits.
9 Tips On Creating A Healthy Eating Habit
A healthy eating habit is a net positive on your overall well-being.
The basic principle to healthy eating is to consume the amount of food that is proportionate with your daily energy calorie requirements; energy input equals energy output.
Obesity occurs when you consume more calories than required and the excess energy is stored as fats. On the other hand, consuming fewer calories than required, leads to weight loss. So, the goal is to strike a balance. So, here are 9 tips to guide you on your healthy eating journey:
Increase your fruit and vegetable intake
Vegetables are nature's secret to a healthy life. So, you should include them in almost every part of your diet.
They are rich sources of vitamins and fiber and their high fiber content keeps you full for much longer.
Eat whole grains
Whole grains are the ideal complement to vegetables. According to a study by the CDC, whole grains reduce the risk of diabetes and hypertension.
Brown rice, whole wheat, and barley oatmeal contain higher fiber content than processed grains. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals.
Throughout the day, we lose water from our bodies through sweat and micturition and it’s necessary to replace it.
Regular water intake also helps conserves your energy and can help you lose weight. Staying hydrated increases your metabolic rate boosts your immune system and reduces the risk of heart failure.
Don't avoid fats totally
A lot of good fats in the diet once in a while isn't all that bad. Fats are necessary for your body to function. Good fats are unsaturated fats that can be obtained from foods such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil. And they help certain organs such as your heart, skin, and eyes.
Cut back on sugary drinks and processed foods
Sugary drinks are major culprits when it comes to excess calories in our diets. And cutting back is an effective way to improve your diet habits.
Processed foods often contain high amounts of salts and sugars which are risk factors for hypertension and diabetes. It’s best to switch to healthier options that are freshly cooked.
Always enjoy your meal
When you enjoy doing something, you'll want to do it well; this applies to the foods we eat.
If you relish your meals, you would not be so hesitant to try nutritious options. And you’ll get the full benefits of the meal.
Eat a balanced breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of your day, it's imperative that it is a healthy and balanced meal.
It is key to starting up your cognitive function and metabolism for the day. So, it should be a rich blend of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Have a weekly menu
A menu saves you from planning your dinner after a long and tiring day and resorting to fast food which may be unhealthy.
So, when the ingredients for dinner are readily available, it saves you stress and the temptation to eat without intention. Another option is to make an extra batch whenever you cook.
Observe portion control
Sometimes our hunger levels make us believe that the largest portion is what we really need. That's not true.
In fact, people tend to consume food that they don't really like and need when it's served in large portions so stick to smaller portions.
Building Your Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy eating is a lifestyle and properly maintaining any lifestyle is dependent on making healthy food choices.
At times, these choices can be difficult to make but with the right guide and consistency, you'll be home and dry.
If you want more guidance on how to build a holistic healthy eating plan, you can speak to a dietician on North.