Habit- something that you do often and regularly, sometimes without knowing that you are doing it, Cambridge Dictionary definition. Now, wouldn’t it be great if you adopted healthy eating habits, healthy food habits or even healthy sleeping habits that would last a lifetime? Chances are, all of us wish to be healthy, happy and fit 24/7/365. But as life has it, that is usually not what we end up dealing with. Life gives us lemons as far as adopting and sticking to healthy habits are concerned, and it is up to us to manoeuvre around that and make ourselves some yummy lemonade out of the mess that life becomes.
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Developing healthy eating habits sounds way easier said than done. This is because a healthy lifestyle has very little to do with the physical aspect. It takes changing one’s mindset to develop any healthy habits that will stick for life.
4 WAYS TO DEVELOP HEALTHY EATING HABITS
Plan your meals for the week
Planning meals is important as far as developing healthy eating habits is concerned. You are less likely to grab meals on the go or chow any food sitting in front of you when you have your meals, including snacks mapped out for the week.
I recently discovered the Freshware meal prep containers on Amazon which are under $14 for a pack of 15 containers and can honestly say they are a lifesaver and make meal prepping less daunting. What’s fantastic about these packs is that they are superb for portion control and each container comes with 3 compartments. Plus, the containers are microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe and leak resistant, and if you want to prep for the entire family, you can go all out and buy the 150 pack!
2. Make A Grocery List
A great way to hit the ground running with meal prepping is to write down a shopping list of the healthy foods that should be in your kitchen cupboard. When you hit the grocery store, stick to only and only what is on that shopping list. (Don’t listen to that slab of chocolate or that giant tub of ice-cream that will be whispering to you to pick it up.
Unless you are super disciplined and never get such whispers). Compile a grocery list every time you head out to the mall and before you know it, picking up only what you need will become second nature and that will be one healthy eating habit adopted!
3. Drink More Water
For some, drinking water is such a daily struggle and they would rather drink sugary beverages than water. I lead the pack when it comes to staying hydrated during summer (I am like a fish, literally), but when winter kicks in, I sing an entirely different tune and usually forget to drink that water. Ans so, I require a bit of a shove in water, and that shove often appears in form of a cool water bottle in hand.
A bottle such as the Bevgo Infuser Water Bottle which has a hydration timeline tracker is simply the best when it comes to reminding me to reach for water instead of sweet hot tea. The features I particularly love about this bottle are the integrated timeline which shows how much water to consume at a particular time, and that you can take it almost everywhere with you (it is not awfully huge like some water bottles I have seen on the market). And if you do not like the bland taste of water, there’s compartment ( infuser basket) to add pieces of fruit or herbs to enhance the taste.
Additionally, you can use some of the apps out there developed to help people drink more water. I recommend apps such as Gulp – Hydrate and Track Water, Waterlogged – Daily Hydration Tracker, and Hydro Coach to help you reach the recommended daily water intake which according to the Mayo Clinic should be about 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) of fluids a day for women.
4. Stop Mindless Eating
Munching on autopilot, basically sums up what mindless eating is. Mindless eating is those moments when you find yourself not paying attention to what you are eating. Mindless eating will get in your way of developing healthy eating habits as you will end up excessively indulging in food.
If you have a serious mindless eating issue or want to change your perception about food, I implore you to buy yourself a copy of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, written by Food psychologist Brian Wansink, which I am currently reading. The book so far is life changing and teaches you how to make smaller changes to your eating plan as opposed to doing it all at one go. Best of all is that the book is backed up by research studies which Wansink conducted at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab. So the advice you get from this book is not based on some nutritionist’s assumption of how best we should think about our next meal or food in general.
A few of the ways you can stop mindless eating include:
- Eating slower
- Using a smaller plate
- Avoiding distractions while you eat etc.
Are you a mindless or emotional eater? Check out this article on how to overcome emotional eating.