Healthy eating habits are not about being sickly thin, starving yourself and abstaining from all your favorite foods. It is about living a disease-free and healthy life and having a fit body.
Cutting out bad food habits
and incorporating certain good ones can go a long way in promoting weight loss and improving overall health.
In this article, we have listed the importance of having a healthy and well-balanced diet and the easy tips that you can follow in order to develop healthy food habits.
Importance Of Maintaining A Healthy Diet
Just as a machine requires the right fuel for proper functioning, in the same way, our body is an extremely complex machinery which requires the right foods for its proper functioning. A healthy diet rich in all kinds of nutrients is vital for maintaining overall health.
- Improving overall health
- Stimulating weight Loss
- Preventing Diseases and Infections
- Energy Requirements
- Improving Performance
- Promoting Recovery
10 Simple Tips for Developing Healthy Eating Habits
Developing good habits for healthy and disease free life includes a number of small yet effective steps. It is always better to bring forth small, gradual changes rather than big and drastic ones so that you can stick to the commitments and turn your plan into a success with these 10 healthy eating tips.
Plan Out Your Diet:
The first and foremost important step towards developing healthy eating habits is to bring about healthy changes in your diet gradually. A diet for weight loss
and staying fit should never starve you. Instead, it should include easy-to-prepare recipes that are made of fresh, natural ingredients such as fruits and vegetables.
Trying to change the entire diet overnight might have adverse effects and, therefore, it is best to start gradually by including a salad and more of colorful vegetables to the menu.
Replace white rice with brown rice and unhealthy fried snacks with nuts and fresh berries. Remember, each small change you make will take you closer to your fitness goal.
Eat In Moderation:
The key to promoting healthy eating is moderation. People often mistake a healthy diet as one that is devoid of all their favorite foods and stuffing oneself only with vegetables and whole grains.
But true healthy human eating food guidelines will tell you that the diet should maintain a balance of vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fat and minerals for a proper functioning of the body and lowering the intake of refined sugar and saturated fats.
Eating a burger or some French fries for lunch once a month is fine, and it will also reduce your propensity to give into temptations. Enjoying a small portion of dark chocolate
for dessert once or twice a week is no offense but the key is to control the urge to overeat.
Healthy eating tips must include the importance of breakfast. A substantial and healthy breakfast helps in jump starting the metabolism and aids weight loss.
Fasting during the first part of the day usually leads to a spree of overeating during the later part, thus, doing more harm than good in the long run. Eating healthy breakfast also helps in keeping us satiated for a long time and decreases the chances of making poor food choices during lunch.
Oats are rich in fibers that help in keeping you satiated for a long time thus making it a healthy food to eat during breakfast. Other healthy breakfast options
include wheat bread, muesli, wheat flakes, fruits, eggs and boiled vegetables.
Add More Colors To Your Plate:
The easiest way to combine nutrition and healthy eating is by adding different colors to your plate. This can be done by including brightly colored fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients and low in calories. You can have them raw as salads or fruit and vegetable juices or boiled. Dark green vegetables such as mustard greens, spinach, kale, broccoli, are rich in minerals and vitamins.
Bright red and orange vegetables such as carrots and beets are a rich source of beta-carotene. Fruits are loaded with fibers and antioxidants that neutralize free radical damage and protects against cancer.
Most of us forget the basic guide to healthy eating – water. Water is by far the most important component required by the body. It helps in cleansing the system and flushing out waste and toxins from the body.
Dehydration can cause dizziness, headache, palpitations, weakness and fainting. Healthy eating to lose weight must include intake of 2 to 3 liters of water every day because it boosts up metabolism, prevents hunger and helps in making right food choices.
Drinking a glass of water
before meals prevents overeating so that you take in fewer calories. Therefore, substitute soda and sugar laden soft drinks with water and add some flavors to it with a dash of lemon juice or mint to break the boredom.
Eat 6 Small Meals:
The biggest mistake we do in our diet is to eat 3 big meals rich in simple carbohydrates and that too at a gap of 4 to 5 hours each.
Healthy eating habits should include 6 smaller meals instead of 3 big ones because a gap of more than 3 hours between meals promotes the release of hormone cortisol which turns the body to fat storing mode, leading to fat storage in the abdominal region.
Therefore, it is best to eat smaller meals more frequently to keep cortisol levels under check and to trim the waistline effectively. Eating smaller, and frequent meals also prevents the temptation to binge eat unhealthy foods.
Therefore, plan your diet accordingly and snack on fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetable sticks, whole grain breads, beans and legumes, low-fat dairy foods and poultry.
Don’t Eat After Dinner:
One of the greatest facts about healthy eating is that you should not eat during the night and try to resist midnight snacks. It is best to finish dinner by 8 PM and give your digestive system a break of 12 hours for better weight management.
Midnight snacking is best avoided because people usually make bad food choices during night; it increases total calorie intake, disrupts metabolism process thus promoting weight gain.
In addition, regular midnight snacking also increases the risk of liver damage, higher level of cholesterol
and blood sugar. Therefore, close your kitchen post-dinner to keep away from unhealthy munching during night.
Take Time to Chew:
We have heard this one time and again when we were kids. Chewing your food properly before swallowing is one of the most important healthy eating habits.
But our busy lifestyle pushes us to multitask, and we often gobble our breakfast while getting dressed or packing lunch for the kids. But it is extremely important to chew your food properly before swallowing because it helps in releasing digestive enzymes that aid in proper breakdown of the foods, thus maximizing the absorption of nutrients.
In addition, it also helps in losing weight because chewing the food for a long time enhances satiety and decreases portion sizes.
Try To Eat With Others:
One of the most important healthy eating tips is to eat together with family whenever possible because it not only helps to connect with the family members on a social and emotional level but also prevents mindless overeating that is associated with eating in front of the TV or computer.
Family meals mostly include home cooked foods low in sugar, salt, simple carbs and saturated fat that help in keeping the calories under check and promote the intake of nutritious foods such as vegetables, whole grains, lentils and dairy products.
So, try to make time for family dinners at least 5 times per week for improving overall well-being.
When it comes to long-term health and weight loss, healthy eating and exercise goes hand in hand. Daily physical activity is an equally important healthy habit just like making healthy food choices.
Find out what you loving doing – swimming, cycling, hiking, dancing, aerobics, weight training or sprinting and make it a point to devote at least 30 minutes 5 to 6 times every week to your favorite physical activity because it not only helps your burn calories for weight loss, but also promotes you to incorporate healthy foods in your daily diet as a healthy eating habit.
Hope these easy to follow tips will help you to incorporate healthy eating habits in your lifestyle and encourage you to lead a healthier and happier life.