How to Adopt Healthy Eating Habits
We all wish we could eat healthier, eat less, have a great perpetually-ready ‘summer beach body’, but the temptation is everywhere, and it usually gets the best of us. Come January 1st, we make a sweeping declaration not to overstuff ourselves with junk food or food in general, cook more and eat out less, but as the winter days go by, we become oblivious of our promise to self and continue down the same road. Then spring comes and we still find a way to make excuses to not clean up our pantry and subsequently our gut, and by the time summer comes, we’re full of regrets. Well, it’s time to break this vicious cycle, as eating healthy is actually far easier than we make it out to be in our heads. Now, unfortunately, the popular notion that it takes 21 days to form a habit has been debunked by science, as it turns out that forming a permanent habit actually requires 66 days. However, if it will get you on the right path, a little over two months is nothing compared to a lifetime of health and wellness benefits you’ll reap, so get ready as we’re about to take off and land in the healthy-diet realm.
Stop shopping when hungry
Numerous studies have shown that we tend to go nuts filling our carts in the supermarket when we go shopping while in the hangry state of mind. Therefore, try to always eat before you go grocery shopping as this will not only save your wallet but also save you from making the wrong purchasing decisions. This practice will nudge you towards the fruit and veggie instead of Nutella, ice-cream and waffle-filled isles.
Read the labels
In order to turn over a new leaf, you’ll need to clean up your fridge and pantry. Junk, processed foods are the ones to go first as they have no real nutritional value. Everything that is high in sodium and sugar is plain bad for you, so get rid of it. Now, the next time you go shopping, make sure you read the labels. The general rule of thumb is – the shorter the list of ingredients, the healthier the product is, meaning it contains fewer carbs, less sugar and fat.
When in doubt
While cooking more often is one of the best ways to eat healthy as, when you make your own food, you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. However, there is a great number of people who are not as dexterous in the kitchen as others, and those who simply have no time to cook every meal. So, when you find yourself in a pickle of this sort, turn to fitness and nutrition experts such as those from Gym Food Australia, whom a large number of Aussies trust to have delicious, well-balanced and micro-nutrient filled meals delivered to their door. You can order 20 ready meals, and not worry about cooking for an entire week! This is a great way to get you started, and eventually, you’ll get the hang of things and start cooking for yourself.
Be on time
In order to avoid getting in the state of irrational hunger, it’s vital that you have your meals at the exact same time every day. In case your day gets hectic and you skip a meal, always have a healthy granola bar, almonds or any superfoods you can pack in your purse or bag so you, at least, have a healthy snack to tide you over until you get the chance to have a proper meal.
Avoid the TV
TV and unhealthy eating are the perfect partners in crime. TV is a distraction, which makes us forget how much we’ve eaten, which leads to eating even more. According to a number of studies conducted over the years and published in the Daily Mail, we generally eat ten percent more than we should when distracted, and the highest the numbers go is twenty-five percent. Therefore, you know what to do – turn off the TV, sit at your dining table and have a proper meal, in silence if you must.
Make it pleasurable
Mindful eating is one of the latest crazes, but it seems to work. If we eat with intention, meaning that we actually take the time to enjoy every bite, savour it, chew slowly and actually experience the flavour, we are less likely to stuff our faces and actually be able to stop when we’re truly full. If you eat fast, your brain receives the information slower than your gut, so by the time your brain has processed the amount you’ve eaten, you’ve already eaten too much. Slow down, enjoy, and your mind will be able to tell you when it’s time to stop.
Hydration above all
Our brain tends to mix up thirst with hunger, which is one of the main reasons we indulge in late-night snacks that ‘stick’ the most. Therefore, kick off your metabolism with lemon water every morning, and make sure you’re properly hydrated. When you feel hungry, drink a glass of water instead and see how you feel. You might just find out you were simply thirsty all along.
Sixty-six days will pass in a heartbeat, you just need a touch of perseverance and some strong will, and by day 67, you’ll be a completely new, healthier person, and you’ll love yourself more. You just need to start, so make tomorrow day one.