We will be looking at some key things to keep in mind when making food choices and how to make sure you are eating right! These are simple suggestions that are quite handy to keep in mind when meal-time approaches, so be sure to bookmark this page if you like it.
What you put into your body can have such a big effect on you and how you feel! For example, a unhealthy diet may result in skin problems. If you feel bad all the time and are lacking energy, this can be down to your food choices.
Yep, food has a significant impact on the quality of our lives. But this should not come as a surprise. Food is our fuel, it keeps us going. What we allow in our diets will eventually reflect in different aspects of our lives. That’s really why healthy eating habits are such a vital part of a well-rounded life.
So here are my tips for healthy eating habits.
Before you buy, it's important to read and understand the labels on food packages. Know the amount of calories you want to aim for per day, and roughly make sure you are eating around that number, instead of just feeding yourself anything.
Choose fresh fruit over processed fruits. The problem with processed and canned fruits is that they do not contain as much fibre as fresh fruit , and they are nearly always sweetened.
Avoid chemical preservatives and additives, artificial and imitation foods, refined and processed foods - the lot! Also try to stay clear of foods that are made up of 'nutritionally-empty calories'.
Drink plenty of water. Ok, so this is not exactly an eating tip. But you cannot leave it out of any healthy eating plan. You just have to drink lots of water if you want to look and feel good. This has been drilled into our heads by most health and well being gurus. Because it is absolutely a key step.
Why do you need lots of water? Our body needs all that water to keep toxins flushing through. We need to drink water to help us concentrate, especially in the heat and to help us think clearly. In other words, water is brain juice. And it does so many good things for our skin too.
Our bodies are actually made up of around 60 per cent water, so you've gotta keep well hydrated. You will generally feel better if you are drinking a couple of litres of water per day.
And the best thing - water has no calories! Don’t just replace water with juices all the time. These are normally packed with sugar - and will not benefit you as much as a nice glass of water will.
In fact, only drinking fruit juice all the time is like drinking all the sugar of the fruit without all the additional benefits the fruit has to offer.
Water will actually help you feel fuller and you will be less likely to gorge on sugary stimulants. It has often been said that sometimes when we are hungry - we are actually craving water and not food. Interesting eh? Yes, water should have an important place in our diets.
I personally like to start my day with a glass of water. This will instantly lubricate your insides and help toxins flush through.
Some people like to squeeze lemon juice in their water to make it more tasteful.
Add foods that have a high water content into your diet; like tomatoes and watermelons.
Listen to what your body says, and stop when you sense that you are getting full up. The best way to see the signs that you are full is by pausing during the meal. Pause and just savour the taste of the food that you just put in your mouth.
If you eat too fast, your brain will not get the signal at the right time - the signal that you are full.
Sometimes we are emotional eaters. When we face intense emotions, we drown ourselves in huge amounts of (usually unhealthy) food. There are other ways to find comfort, to distract and to find a resolution to our stress and emotional strain. Binging out is not an effective one. Better options are refreshing ourselves with positive surroundings and speaking about the issues.
Balance your plate. A good guideline to go by is that half the plate should be vegetables, a quarter should be protein and the other quarter should be carbohydrates. Also watch the portion size.
I know this can be a hard thing to do! So many of the things we love to eat out there actually contain a lot of sugar. We have become accustomed to the taste of sugar, and we love it. Sugar is an addiction. But don't despair- they are actually a lot of very sweet alternatives to sugar itself.
What can I use instead of sugar?
Too much Sugar creates havoc with your insulin levels and can cause a lot of problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and several cancers.
So if you have a sweet tooth, find a fruit you really like that can replace a packet of sweets or chocolate. Berries and apples are particularly sweet options that will fill the spot well. Fruit snacks can be surprisingly delicious and refreshing.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to completely remove sugar from your diet. Just trying to reduce your sugar intake will be a great step. For those who can't go without chocolate, a good idea is to choose dark chocolate bars that are low in sugar.
Guess what? Studies have shown that dark chocolate actually improves your health and lower your risk of heart disease. So dark chocolate is fine as a treat once in a while.
Another way to wean yourself off sugary foods is by visiting the organic kids section in your local supermarket. Most of these options don’t contain any food 'baddies' and are wonderful for those making the effort to eat a bit healthier. In this section, you can find naturally sweetened oat bars, vegetable crisps, and whole-wheat alternatives.
Don't ditch the sugar but then overload on artificial sweeteners, they can be just as dangerous.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Yes, again. Fill your plate with a variety of colour. Try to add more vegetables in your lunch and dinner. There are countless healthy eating books which can provide you with inspiration when it comes to healthy eating. Cooking with a lot of vegetables adds a great deal of extra flavour to your meal and even makes it look more appetising.
Another tip is to snack. It's good to take the time to stop, eat and have a snack. A mid morning or mid afternoon snack. If you have breakfast quite early and lunch quite late, it can be a long way to go. If our blood sugar starts to drop, we don’t really think before we eat. We may be willing to indulge in anything. The sweeter, the faster, the better.
Snacks can help us to even out our blood sugar levels.
Beware of some packaged foods that are supposedly 'low in this' and 'low in that'. You may be eating things that you think are healthy and trying to lose weight, but you may not be seeing a difference . It' s probably because you are eating things with hidden ingredients , so be careful. I prefer to just stick with healthy foods or treat myself with what I can be sure of.
Thanks for reading my guide with tips for healthy eating habits! I hope you find it informative and that it helps you on the path to healthier, happier eating.
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