When a person decides to change their eating habits, people often consider it as dieting. Further on, dieting is seen as any type of restriction. This is a myth because the way we eat is called a diet. Practically, everyone is on a diet. Instead of restricting ourselves, people should adopt better eating habits.
For instance, simple daily tweaks to our eating routine can surely but slowly influence our eating habits. Further on, this will help us adopt healthier eating habits and lose or maintain weight. But, above all, it will help us be healthy. So, without further ado, let’s see how small ways affect our habits in a significant way.
8 Small Ways To Change Your Eating Habits In A Big Way
Drink a tall glass of water first
Let’s address the first thing one must do to start off their improved eating habits. Dehydration happens even when we don’t feel thirsty. Our body is made of 70% water and it has to be given the source of water all the time. When you drink water first thing in the morning, you simply jump start your system in the best possible way.
Proper hydration throughout the day will flush out unwanted toxins, aid the digestive system, prevent overeating and thus weight gain, make your skin look radiant and prevent kidney or bladder health issues. So, start your day with a tall glass of water, drink water 30 minutes before each meal and continue sipping water during your day.
Don’t use big plates
This simple trick goes a long way when it comes to eating better. When you eat off a big plate, you will probably fill it up with more food than you actually need. However, by using a smaller plate you take control over your portion size.
The goal here is to trick your mind into thinking that you don’t need a big plate to feel full. A small plate filled with food will help with portion control while feeling like you’ve eaten enough. You don’t have to overeat to feel full. A smaller plate is the key to achieving a healthy portion size.
Focus on eating without getting distracted
People are easily distracted because our mind gets bored when focused on one thing only. But, if you play with your phone or chat online while eating, you won’t be focused on food. Instead, your focus is somewhere else while you over stuff yourself with more than your body needs. So, it is high time to stop this nasty habit.
Put your phone away during your meals and focus on food. Try to eat mindfully and chew every bite slowly. Each time you put a bite of food into your mouth put utensils down. This will help you chew every bite properly before taking in more food. Distracted eating also leads to weight gain so put such practice to rest. Start enjoying your every meal instead.
Time your snacks properly
Snacks are good for you if you time them right and choose the healthy ones. Mind you, even the healthiest of healthy snacks can be unhealthy if the portion is not right. People can gain weight even if they eat almonds in unreasonable quantities. Whenever you go overboard with a certain healthy snack, you are at risk of gaining weight because you’ve packed too many calories into your diet. To avoid this, do not eat out of a bag.
Put your snacks into a bowl and limit your portion. If you snack on nuts eat a handful. Also, time your snacks to your main meals. Eat them between meals to avoid overeating. In addition to this, snacks are the perfect way to beat the afternoon slump. Just stick to those high in protein and low in added sugar.
Cut out unhealthy and bring on the healthy
So, you’ve gained weight even though you don’t eat much. That is because you probably make poor eating choices. Some foods are packed with calories, but small in portion. For example, a medium serving of french fries has 427 calories.
An average adult should eat 2000 calories a day. This serving is practically one-fourth of your daily needs and it is just part of your one meal. You’ll eat a double cheeseburger, drink cola and voila – you’ve eaten a rough estimate of 1500 calories. So, try swapping unhealthy with the healthy instead and take control of your diet.
Don’t get fixated on numbers. Choose nutritious instead
Even though we talked about calories in our previous section, it was for illustration only. Unhealthy food is filled with calories and small in size. But, people should not get fixated on numbers but on nutrients instead. It is obvious that a burger and fries is not as nutritious as a chicken fillet with steamed broccoli and nuts on the side. The best way to make your plate nutritious is to portion it right.
Each plate should consist of one-quarter protein, one-quarter complex carbs and one-half vegetables, steamed not fried. You can also rely on healthy meal services to plan this for you. For example, My Muscle Chef focuses on creating meals that satisfy all of your nutrient requirements. Once you start eating like this, you will forget about counting calories.
Plan ahead to curb your not-so-healthy cravings
Meal planning is essential if you want to take charge of your eating habits. It is recommended to do any grocery shopping on a Friday. If you stock up later on a Friday, you won’t order in during the weekend. You’ll have time to meal prep in advance and curb any cravings over the weekend. Sundays are ideal for the meal plan for the week ahead.
So, roll up your sleeves and get cooking. Focus on making your meals as simple and possible. Additionally, don’t forget the healthy meal ratio – one-quarter protein, one-quarter complex carbs, and one-half steamed vegetables.
By clean we mean no added sugar, milk, skimmed milk, soy milk, almond milk or anything in your coffee or tea. Also, limit the intake of sodas, alcohol and too much caffeine. However, these changes should be incorporated slowly in order to avoid any withdrawal symptoms.
Think of small wins each week. Start by switching one sweetened coffee with an unsweetened one. Instead of juice, try drinking herbal tea or green tea. After a while, you’ll see that you don’t have to run on caffeine every day or drink soda instead of water.
Once you start eating better, you won’t feel guilty whenever you stray a bit. It is okay to eat that birthday cake or to try that new candy flavor. Indulging is necessary to feel good about life and enjoy the moment. Just remember to go back to your healthy routine again and get back on track.