It is no surprise that our daily diet can affect our overall health and our risk for certain diseases. And oftentimes, we find ourselves in a bad state of health due to improper diet and unhealthy eating habits. It is crucial to maintain regular and proper healthy habits of eating to achieve positive health. Healthy eating habits not only support a healthy weight, manage or improve chronic diseases and maintain overall good health, but healthy eating habits can also give way to a healthy mindset which allows you to be more productive at work and life in general.
Healthy eating is not just about the foods you eat but also includes the way you eat, how you eat and when you eat your food. And to eat healthier foods is to change some of your daily habits as well. The environment; the people around you; your workplace, can all contribute to your eating habits. Fortunately, you do not need to make radical changes to eat healthier nor change your habits altogether at once. The key is to set small goals and change your habits one step at a time. Focus on being consistent and make sure your diet is well-balanced with a variety of foods to ensure you eat enough nutrients to support your body and daily activities. Making little changes over a long period can make a huge difference in your health.
If you want to embark on this positive journey, here are some ways to make healthy changes in your eating habits:
1. Identify your unhealthy eating habits
Maintaining a food journal and highlighting the habits you think are contributing to your unhealthy eating, such as skipping meals, too much junk food, portion size, snacking too often, eating too fast, etc, can be a great step in improving how you eat. And once you identify your bad eating habits, you can easily work towards replacing them with healthier ones.
2. Eat a Balanced Meal
Eating a healthy balanced meal is a vital step towards healthy eating. Your diet should consist of at least 45% carbs, 35% healthy fats, and 30% protein to get a sufficient amount of nutrients for your body to function properly on a daily basis. Make sure that your plate is divided into three sections where each section represents one of the main food groups- carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. This can be a great way to maintain healthy eating and support positive overall health.
3. Eat Mindfully
Paying attention to what you eat and appreciating every bite of it without being distracted or being in a rush can help you make better food choices. Once you get the hang of mindful eating, it is easier for you to create new habits. Avoid eating in front of the TV or computer that can distract you from your food and pay attention to when and what you eat. Also make sure you eat only when you are hungry and not when you are bored, tired or stressed out, This way, you will get more satisfaction and will ultimately make healthier choices.
4. Avoid Processed Foods
Include more healthy non-processed foods like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole-grain foods, etc. instead of processed junk foods. Processed foods may be tasty and delicious but they aren’t called junk food for no reason. They contain a lot of artificial preservatives, which can make you sluggish throughout the day and lead to serious health issues in the long run. Stick with real foods are rich in antioxidant and fibre and many other nutrients that can benefit your health.
5. Manage Stress
Emotional eating or stress eating is one of the greatest contributors to unhealthy eating habits. Unnecessary weight gain is common among people with stress or anxiety, which can further lead to overweight or obesity. Identifying your stressors and finding ways to relieve stress and anxiety can be a great help in overcoming this unhealthy habit. Meditating, yoga, physical exercise, reading, dancing, gardening, or whatever else helps you blow off some steam can be helpful in this effort.
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6. Never Let Yourself Become Famished
Delaying meals or skipping meals can lead to unhealthy food choice afterwards. If you dismiss your feelings of hunger, you may end up either eating too much or choose the wrong foods which can cause health issues in the future. Scheduling or planning out meals and snack for the day can be a great way to prevent this from happening.
7. Drink Lots of Water
Water is one of the most essential nutrients required by the body to function normally. It helps transport nutrients and energy to our cells, regulates body temperature, supports muscle, protects joints and organs, removes waste, and helps regulate body weight. Adequate hydration is an essential element of a healthy eating plan and our body needs a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water every day for our body to function properly.
Apart from water, non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages, soups, and watery foods such as fruit and vegetables can be a great source of hydration. Herbal teas are an excellent source of water and contain a great bunch of nutrients that support health. You can find our wide range of Curcumin-enriched Herbal Teas here.
8. Build a Routine
Try to make a habit out of your new change. Set a reminder or make a diet plan. This way you can motivate yourself into doing it even when you do not feel like it. You will easily fall back to your old habits if you are not consistent in following the new change. Make sure to eat meals around the same timing every day. It will come more naturally once this becomes a routine.
Eating should be a positive experience. Do not be too hard on yourself when it comes to eating healthy or following healthy eating habits. When you focus too much on it, you are setting yourself with high expectations which can be overwhelming at times. It does not matter how quick you achieve them. Do not berate yourself if ever you find yourself engaging in old unhealthy eating habits. Habits often take time to develop. It is important to be patient with your self and your progress. One day at a time. You can do it!