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 our 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 Don’t GIVE UP anything: Whoever asks you to give up staple foods such as rice, potatoes, sugar, or ghee from your diet is giving you a sure fire way to fail. Because the food stuffs that comprise a staple diet, do so for a reason – they are often tied in to the weather, topography, and the culture of the place you live in. Moreover, totally abandoning a food item you’ve grown up eating can make you feel deprived, depressed, and lead to overeating later as a result of rebound. The trick is to relish whatever you want in moderation.
#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 lose count of calories. If you know you’re going out for lunch or dinner, balance your meals the rest of the day so you have ample calorie margin at hand to sample restaurant fare and enjoy it guilt-free.
#3 Forget CALORIES, focus on NUTRITION instead: 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.
#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!
#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 crackers, protein bars, dry fruits, carrot sticks, etc. right in your desk drawer.
#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.