Healthy eating habits lay the foundation of a healthy life. While most of us read advice on healthy eating often, we invariably end up losing our mind in trying to lose weight or staying fit. If you are going crazy with the overload of diet and fitness articles, videos, and podcasts, here’s our list of top 10 proven healthy eating habits that actually work.
#1. Reduce C.R.A.P:
We all have gained weight and the fat folds mainly because of C.R.A.P: excess Carbohydrates, Refined Sugar, Artificial Foods and excessively Processed foods. Most of the foods loaded in these categories are filled with sugars, bulking agents and other chemicals which rarely contribute to any nutritional benefit for our body. When we consume these in excess, we easily forget about other nutrition dense food like vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy.
Some examples of food in these categories are: candies, sugar-laden chocolates, refined bread, energy bars, sugary drinks, bakery items like cakes, pastries, puffs, etc. It is best to keep these to a minimum and consider them as very occasional treats.
#2. PLAN ahead when eating out
Eating out/ takeaways can derail your diet and fitness plans significantly as it’s easy to get lured by fancy menu options and you can be tricked into choosing something that is not a part of your diet plan. If you know you’re going out for lunch or dinner, spend a few minutes to identify what items would fall into your diet pattern. Make up your mind about these options and then when you visit the restaurant, you will automatically choose only those dishes that you thought about earlier.
For instance, presume that you had decided you would eat a chicken based dish. When you go to the restaurant, you will automatically only look for chicken based dishes and select the one closest to what fits your diet. This approach will make sure that you thoroughly enjoy your outing and at the same time stick to healthy eating.
#3. Forget CALORIES, focus on NUTRITION
Counting calories is passé. Focussing on good-for-you foods that are high on nutrition is the new and healthier trend. Dig deeper into where your food comes from, how it impacts your body, moods, energy, etc. and all this knowledge will automatically propel you to make healthier choices.
This latest research by Harvard University indicates that the quality of food and the nutrition density of foods are more important than just calorie counting.
#4. Bye-bye BORING. Hello happening!
Who likes to eat bland, boring food day after day? Why depress your body and the mind trying to stuff steamed veggies, salads, and soups every day? Healthy doesn’t have to be taste-less. Spice up your menu with fiery sauces, dips, olive oil dressings, or herbs such as oregano, rosemary, etc for a finger-licking good meal! Indian cuisine is rich and known for its spices. Accompany your dishes with flavourful spices that not just enhance the taste but also aid in digestion.
#5. Food PREPARATION matters MORE than you think
According to research, the more time you spend in preparing food, the healthier you will eat. So when you buy fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks the next time around, slice, dice, and store them into pretty looking containers so they are handy and appealing to you when hunger strikes.
#6. Feast at NOON
Your metabolism peaks around noon and that’s when you should be eating the biggest meal of your day, contrary to breakfast. Load up on proteins, carbohydrates, and greens at lunch to fuel your body to its maximum capacity.
#7. Food is to CELEBRATE, not feel GUILTY
Enjoy your food like there’s no tomorrow. Yes, we mean it. Only when you enjoy what you eat, you will be able to develop a healthy relationship with food which will drive you to make healthier choices and avoid over-eating. Guilt only makes you eat without judgement, leading to more guilt later and creating a vicious cycle.
#8. More the COLOUR on your plate, HEALTHIER it will be:
Eating greens, yellows, reds, and purples gives you the much-needed disease-fighting phyto-nutrients that are also great at filling up your tummy. Studies have found that people who consume a variety of vegetables are able to eat to their heart’s content without increasing their calorie intake.
#9. Make your DESK your SNACK BUDDY
The maximum unplanned calorie intake happens when you leave your desk with friends to go find something to munch. Stop it. Instead, stock healthy snacks such as nuts, cheese cubes, protein bars, dry fruits, carrot sticks, etc. right in your desk drawer. Don’t forget water. Keep a filled bottle of water on your desk and keep sipping on it through the day.
#10. Follow the 2 sides of the 80-20 rule
The rule works in 2 ways and we say, you should follow both –
Stop eating when you are 80% full:
To do that you need to be slow and mindful throughout your meal, so no distractions like TV, phone, laptop, etc.
Eat healthy 80% of the time and save the rest 20% for occasional unplanned splurges:
The splurge could happen all at once or you could space out the episodes through the week – whatever works for you.
Healthy eating requires constant effort and practice. Every meal counts. And over time, once you develop the habit of choosing healthy eating options, you will automatically see the unwanted fats melting away from your body.
The success rate of such healthy habits can easily be built when you also have someone to guide you and constantly help you at every step of your journey. Check out more about Indian LCHF program that is uniquely designed to guide you in a structured manner keeping your success in mind.