Top 5 Tips For Developing Healthy Eating Habits
Today’s western world is plagued by ever-increasing levels of obesity. We don’t really need to overeat to become overweight and this is a huge problem. Now, in order to spare ourselves from these negative effects, we must develop some healthy eating habits. And the first step in making that happen is to know where to begin, right? Now, truth be told, most of us know what needs to be done (we’ve seen it all over the internet) but putting everything together and having a complete plan on what to do, is another matter altogether. Nevertheless, here are 5 tips on developing some healthy eating habits that will improve your life.
- Intermittent Fasting
One fast and easy way to lose those extra pounds and lead a healthy lifestyle is to do Intermittent Fasting. This sort of lifestyle, because we can’t call it a diet, has gained much popularity in recent years, and with good cause too. Several scientific studies have been performed on it, all showing the same thing – it helps you lose the extra weight, all the while helping prevent things like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
As we’ve said before, intermittent fasting is not a diet and can be more accurately described as an eating pattern, more than anything else. There are no restrictions on what to eat, but rather when to eat. There is an entire science behind how this works, and how you should plan your meals, but luckily, others have done the ‘math’ for us. There are also several methods of fasting, depending which one will fit your own schedule best.
- Don’t Count the Calories
Counting calories may be a good way to keep your weight in check, but it’s also something that that’s quite restrictive. Over the past several decades, our food’s calorie count has gone through the roof, making a slice of pizza have 70% more calories today than it had during the 1980s. And if you’ll be counting calories, you may never rid yourself of hunger. This is because the body needs more than just the calories themselves.
What you should do instead is to look for foods that are nutritious and packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fiber. You could easily find a hamburger that will cover your daily dose of calories, but it will lack many of the above-mentioned elements. And it’s this lack of nutrients that causes us to have all sorts of cravings throughout the day.
Snacking is one of the main contributors to obesity. Now, in and of itself, snacking is not such a bad thing. After all, craving is the body’s way of telling us that it’s missing something – either some minerals or vitamins, in order to work properly. The problem, however, arises when we don’t know what we should be snacking on. And as you might have guessed, pretzels, candy bars, and donuts are not healthy snacks. This is why you should always have a stash ready, both at work and at home, packed with a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, Greek yogurt, and jerky. These are a sure way to satisfy your craving in a healthy way. Your body will thank you for it.
- Say NO to Sugar
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not fat, but sugar that makes us fat. We won’t be getting into how sugar makes us fat, but know that it does. Sugar is also found in foods and drinks that you won’t expect, leading us to consume too much of it on a daily basis. You can find sugar in bread, and beef, fizzy and alcoholic drinks, homebaked cookies and cakes, as well as fruits. Knowing which foods are high or low in sugar is important – and the best way is to look at the labels.
The basic rule of thumb is that the product is low in sugar when it makes up 5% or less. What’s beyond that, it’s usually added sugar and it’s generally bad for you. Fruits, on the other hand, are almost all high in sugar. Eating them is fine because they also contain other nutrients and are quite filling because of the fiber. Eat two oranges and you’re good, but drink two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice and that’s the equivalent of 8 oranges in total. Try to avoid juice and smoothies in general.
- Eat Your Way around the Color Wheel
Probably the best tip is to have a balanced diet spread throughout the entire week. But knowing how to do that is harder than it sounds. Basically, what you need to do is to diversify your food as much as possible by eating foods from all the colors in the color spectrum. This means greens, vegetables, meats, grains, nuts, fruits, and anything else that comes to mind. If you have more than four colors on your plate, you’re probably doing it right.