How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits.
Use these tricks, tips and strategies to develop healthy eating habits today and for the future.
Developing healthy eating habits is important for a number of reasons. What you eat affects how you feel, your mood, how you look, and even your relationships.
And one of the best ways to ensure that you make healthy choices every day is to make nutritious foods part of your daily routine. The good news is that healthy foods can (and should) taste delicious, and thanks to Meal Village, it doesn’t have to be stressful to make the right food choices for your health and happiness.
Let’s dive into the best tricks and tips to make healthy eating a habit and how your eating habits affect your health.
Healthy Eating and Your Health
The foods you consume have a direct impact on your physical, mental and emotional health.
For example, studies show a link between a diet high in sugar and an increased risk of death from heart disease, even among people who are not overweight. This is in part because sugar is a calorie-dense food that does not contain beneficial nutrients like the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function. When you eat a diet high in sugary foods and drinks, these “empty calories” can take the place of more nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables. In turn, you end up overeating to make up for the discrepancy in nutrition.
In addition, other studies have found a link between eating a well-rounded diet that meets the daily requirements of essential nutrients and improved mental health. The essential nutrients include the three macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat, as well as micronutrients, which are the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to operate and thrive like calcium, iron and magnesium.
Unhealthy eating habits can lead to weight gain and obesity, which is a leading factor in many chronic and fatal conditions, including type two diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease. This is why it is essential to make healthy eating a habit.
What Are Healthy Eating Habits?
If you’re looking to clean up your diet and transform unhealthy eating into habits that support a well-balanced, energetic lifestyle, there are some steps you can take.
Here are four healthy eating habits to work into your daily routine:
1. Start your day with a savory meal
Instead of sugary breakfast cereals, pastries or flavored yogurt, opt for a savory breakfast. Savory morning meals can be just as delicious as a sweeter alternative and in many cases, more satisfying.
When you start your day with sugar, you’re more likely to crash in the mid-morning and grow hungry before lunch, which can lead to overeating. Likewise, eating sugar can have an addictive effect, so you may be more likely to eat more sugar later in the day.
Healthy breakfast ideas include:
- Scrambled eggs and toast
- Savory oatmeal
- A breakfast burrito or taco with a whole wheat tortilla and beans
2. Drink plenty of water
Ditch sugar-sweetened beverages for good old-fashioned water. Not only will you reduce your sugar intake, but you’ll also better hydrate yourself. Proper hydration is essential for digestion, immunity, and overall metabolic functioning.
Men should aim to drink about 3.7 liters of water a day and women should aim for 2.7 liters. If you exercise regularly or live in a warm climate, you’ll need to drink more water to account for sweat loss.
3. Snack smart
Instead of reaching for convenience foods when the afternoon slump hits, choose a snack that contains a healthy balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates. This is more likely to keep you satisfied so you don’t need another snack an hour later.
Some healthy and easy snack ideas that will keep you satisfied include:
- An apple or banana with peanut or almond butter
- Carrot or celery sticks with hummus
- Plain (unsweetened) Greek yogurt with nuts or seeds
4. Stop eating after dinner
Make dinner your final meal of the day. That means no snacking before bed. Late at night, you’re more likely to give in to unhealthy cravings.
In addition, your body does not want to have to digest food while you sleep. Sleep is the time when your metabolism gets to rest and recover, much like the rest of your body. So when you eat right before bed, you can disrupt your natural sleep cycle and have trouble digesting. Fatigue from lack of sleep can actually lead you to make unhealthy choices the next day, creating a bad cycle.
How Long Does it Take to Develop Healthy Eating Habits?
Everyone is different when it comes to developing healthy eating habits. The most important thing you can do to help yourself stick to, and even enjoy, your new way of eating, is to maintain consistency.
That doesn’t mean you can never enjoy your favorite soda or a slice of cake again. But save these treats for a special occasion. And on a day-to-day basis, even on the weekends, try to adhere to your new healthy eating habits. Eventually, they’ll become second nature and you’ll love the way you feel so much you won’t want to go back to your old ways.
The other essential step to take when developing new, healthier eating habits is to find delicious and nutritious foods that you love. Healthy meals can be just as tasty as the food you used to eat, plus they’ll have you feeling much better.
With Meal Village, you can make healthy eating not only something to look forward to, but also incredibly convenient. All of our meals are made from premium all-natural ingredients sourced locally from the Chicago area. They are crafted by our culinary team to nourish your body and delight your taste buds. And best of all, they are conveniently delivered straight to your door every week. We take the guesswork out of dinner so you can simply enjoy healthy, well-balanced meals from the comfort of your home.