How many times have you found yourself impulsively tearing open that bag of chips and snacking away on it to satiate your evening hunger pangs? I bet you already know that doing so isn’t good for you, but yet, every now and then you keep hankering for quick comfort foods to fill your stomach.
Most of us are well aware of what we should and shouldn’t eat. And while we have both, healthy as well as unhealthy options before us, we often opt for the latter because of the convenience and the taste factors.
Eating healthy requires effort. In fact, lots of it.
Developing and sticking to healthy eating habits requires that you make a conscious decision to do so and learn to consistently make the right choices about what you consume. This may take time but getting started is half the battle won.
Wondering how to get there? Here are a few tips.
1. Plan Ahead
Planning is essential of the success of any strategy. So when you’re building a strategy for eating healthy, you will do well to decide what you’re going to eat a week in advance.
Think about what you’re going to need to support this plan and draft a grocery list accordingly. When you visit the store, pick up only the items mentioned in the list and nothing extra.
The list will help you stick to your plan and avoid the temptation of buying that bag of chips which always look so good to the eyes!
2. Do Not Skip Breakfast
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Starting your day on a healthy note will keep you motivated to eat wisely for the rest of the day as well. Make it a point that you eat a hearty and healthy breakfast. Not only will it keep you energized, it will also make it easy for you to not to succumb to hunger pangs.
3. Do Not Starve Yourself
It is important that you eat well without depriving yourself of food. Starvation will only make you prone to binging, which defeats the purpose of your plan. Eat freshly cooked meals in moderation and you should do well.
Even if you cannot cook your own meals for whatever reason, you can always engage meal-delivery services like FreshnLean vegan meal plans in place to provide you with freshly cooked, healthy meals at your doorstep. Nothing gets better (and easier) than this!
4. Be Aware of Food Peeves
You will have to make a conscious effort and pay attention to what you eat, how much you eat and how it makes you feel. Some foods tend to make you feel full quickly, or maybe even force you to spend the night in the bathroom.
This may happen because your body may not be able to assimilate certain kinds of food. It is, therefore, advised that you listen to your body and avoid eating such items.
5. Keep Natural Foods Handy
Many a time, we resort to eating a packet of chips due to the sheer accessibility and convenience it offers to satiate our hunger. What if fresh fruits and vegetables were easily accessible too?
It makes sense to stock your refrigerator with plenty of fresh produce. You can chop them up and store them in the fridge for times when you may be looking for something quick and healthy to snack on.
6. Eat Smart When Dining Out
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Don’t let the prospects of eating out ruin your plan to eat healthy. We all know restaurant food isn’t particularly high on the healthy quotient and is laden with calories. Even their salads can be high in fat content.
The good news is that some restaurants mention nutritional information on the menu itself to help you make relatively healthy choices. If not, you need to be smart and eat a small salad or a bowl of soup at home before heading out.
This will help you eat less at the restaurant. You could also split the meal and the dessert with your friend/partner and hence, consume lesser calories. When eating salads, ask the server to serve the dressing separately.
7. Know What You’re Consuming
This is easy. When buying packaged food from the supermarket, read the nutritional contents on the label to figure out whether it is healthy enough to be consumed. Make an effort to look for food that is low in fats, sodium, sugar and other preservatives.
8. Try to Relish What You Eat
Decide that you’re going to enjoy what you eat, especially because it is healthy. Start by taking the time to actually sit down, eating your meal slowly, and chewing it properly instead of gulping it down in a hurry.
Take in the natural colors, flavors and aroma of the food you eat to be able to truly relish it. Stop eating when you start to feel full to avoid overeating. Eat to feel satisfied, not stuffed.
9. Exercise Portion Control
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Make it a point to eat at least 3 healthy meals in a day. If you feel like snacking in between, do so but go for healthy items such as fruits, nuts, unbuttered and unsalted popcorn, low-fat yogurt, whole grain crackers, and so on. You can also eat several small meals throughout the day to prevent overeating.
Portion control is a great way to eat healthy and avoid overeating. Try eating your food in small-sized plates/bowls to feel like you’re eating the same amount of food.
All great things take time. One cannot expect their eating habits to change overnight, and depending on your habits so far, switching to healthy food will take a certain amount of time as well. You can give the above mentioned tips a shot and turn it into a gradual process to transform into a healthy eater. It should get easier once you get used to eating nutritious food. Very soon you will find yourself instinctively shunning unhealthy eatables in favor of healthier substitutes.