11 Healthy Eating Habits for long life
Our simple tips will make you feel better and develop healthy eating habits while still getting to enjoy the foods you love.
If you feel like it would be impossible for you to eat healthily, then you aren’t alone. Most of us know the basics of eating properly, but don’t put them into practice. We don’t want to restrict ourselves that much. Besides, healthy eating isn’t something that has to be so restrictive or difficult, anyway.
Here are some simple tips to help you feel great while still enjoying all the foods you love.
How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy eating habits are just like any other kind of habit, in that they are developed through planning, practice, and routine. It’s why you should keep things simple, which is what we’ll do with our tips.
One of the most important things is identifying a reason for wanting to eat right. If you don’t have that reason, it’s easy to slip back into your old ways. After identifying why you want to develop the habit, the process becomes easier and clearer.
The 11 healthy lifestyle habits we have for you will help to develop a strong foundation for success. The same foundation that our clients have developed and found to be simple and easy to implement into their own lives, no matter how busy they get.
Keep an Eye on Portions
We believe that anything can be part of a balanced diet, from broccoli and cabbage to burgers and pizza. How much you eat – the portion size – is as important as the food you eat.
With that said, most people overestimate how much they have to eat – particularly with healthy fats and sweets. Restaurants are known to even double and triple regular portion sizes!
We’re big fans of the portion control diet because you don’t have to restrict yourself or even count calories to succeed with it.
Fresh is best
One way to keep an eye on portions and get more important nutrients is to opt for fresh food and skip the boxes.
We’ve all sat with a big bag of potato chips and eaten the lot, but you hardly ever hear of someone eating an entire bunch of bananas in one sitting. This is because fresh whole foods are measured and have so many nutrients in them – such as fiber – that one serving is enough.
Skipping the boxed food also means skipping all of the added sodium and sugar that is included when food is processed.
One way you can find fresh food in a store is to shop the full perimeter of the store. Grocery stores are generally set up to have produce at the front with meat – and meat substitutes – in the back. Dairy is at the other end. There are some dietary needs that require you to skip out on certain food groups, such as lactose intolerance, but most people will benefit from having something from all three sections.
By shopping along the perimeter of a store, you’ll also be able to avoid all of the tempting processed food that is kept in the middle aisles of the store. You can’t be tempted by it if you can’t see it!
Avoid avoiding Foods
We want you to be able to enjoy the foods you eat. If you tell someone that they can never eat cake again, then cake is all they want to eat.
Rather than avoiding or cutting your favorite foods out and foregoing major food groups, you should aim to have everything in moderation. Going for moderation helps curb cravings and ensures your willpower stays strong.
Track Drinks as Well as Food
Watching what you drink is a great way to lose weight (or gain it) without thinking too much about it. That could be high-calorie drinks such as soda or alcohol.
There are calories in drinks, and they are just as important as the calories from food. The difference is they don’t satisfy hunger much. Swap out a high-calorie drink and go for something low calorie or, better yet, water.
Take the Time to Enjoy Food
You shouldn’t make eating one of the five things you’re doing at once. Put down your phone, stop your car, and turn off the TV and take the time to enjoy your food. By taking your time, your mind and body are able to connect the experience of eating to feeling satisfied with a meal.
Be More Active
Physical activity isn’t directly related to food, but there are correlations between healthy eating and being active.
The last thing you want to do if you work out is to undo all your hard work. Being active also makes you want to give your body the right foods. Exercising also balances hunger hormones which can reduce and control your appetite.
Keeps Snacks Heavy to Avoid Starving
If you’ve got snacks to hand, you’re less likely to hit up the vending machine or the drive-thru. Having snacks handy can be something simple like putting ¼ a cup of nuts in a ziplock bag and keeping them in a purse.
We love having protein bars when the hunger hits too.
Cook More Food and Make Leftovers
If you cook more food than you need, you’ll limit how much you eat out and how much fast food you get. Making so much food that you have leftovers means that you have something ready to eat the next day without a lot of effort on your part too.
We recommend making plenty of chili, vegetable, or minestrone soup or some bean burritos.
Split the Meal
Don’t forget to watch the portions when you go out to a restaurant. It’s worth splitting your meal with a friend or asking the server if they can bag some of it up ready to go before serving it to you.
That way, you won’t be tempted to eat too much and you’ve got some leftovers ready for later.
The Buddy System is Your Friend
Having someone along for the ride as a support system makes adopting healthy eating habits so much easier.
We were lucky to have someone else working with us as an accountability buddy, and we offer similar support through online groups. When other people are tempting you to eat more, we can remind you of how much you’ve already eaten and remind you that you can always have more later.
It’s simple and somewhat silly, but it goes a long way in staying motivated.
We stick to the 80 20 diet rule ourselves. If 80% of the food we eat is healthy, then we can have our favorite (often unhealthy) food the other 20% of the time.
I personally follow all of these tips and use the 80/20 rule in my own life. I’ve been following it for over 15 years now, and I still get great results – as do my clients.
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