Establishing a healthy diet isn’t just about cutting calories or passing on all processed foods. It’s about changing the way you approach your meals for an overall sense of well-being. We’re no nutritionists but we like to encourage healthy eating habits for life over unrealistic dietary restrictions.
Below are some healthy habits that we think are worth giving a go. You may only need to adopt one or two to see benefits – if any resonate with you and you plan to give it a go, let us know!
1. Avoid eating out
It can be tempting to grab a quick bite at a restaurant or fast food venue but as tasty as they are, restaurant meals (generally) do more harm than good. Think about how you feel after being on holiday – despite eating lots of delicious food, often towards the end you might enjoy these meals less and you might crave a home cooked meal. This is because restaurant meals are less nutritious, larger in portion size and prepared in ways that aren’t necessarily good for us.
To avoid reaching for the takeaway menu, have ready-made meals at home. We’ve said this a few times but meal prep really is key. Some ideas:
- Set aside time on the weekend for the grocery shop so you have the ingredients needed to create a quick tossed salad.
- Divide meals you cook into portions that you can freeze/ easily reheat.
- Join the hard-core meal prep bandwagon and pre-do a lot of the chopping or part-cooking for snacks and lunches ahead of time.
- Learn to cook your favourite restaurant-style dishes with healthier, more nutritious ingredients (we hear there’s a new dinner solution around the block that might help you do that!)
2. Set a meal schedule.
When you eat is just as important as how you eat. If you’re prone to late snacking or if the main meals of your day lack structure, you may find yourself skipping meals, your blood sugar levels spiking and you make poor choices when you do eat – inconsistent meal time can even affect your body’s circadian rhythm. To counteract these negative effects:
- Set a schedule. Choose a time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and stick to it. The earlier the better.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Eating more calories earlier in the day can give you more energy, assist your metabolism and help with weight loss. Even a smoothie on the go is better than no breakfast. Our current favourite recipe is this Salted Caramel number (with the addition of Vanilla Bare Blends!)
- Find ways to keep yourself on schedule. If you tend to get busy and forget to eat, set alarms or schedule your day around your mealtimes.
3. Pay attention to your portion sizes.
Portion sizes have increased over the years but you can cut back on portion sizes by trying any of the below
- Serving meals on smaller plates.
- Cooking only the amount you intend to eat.
- Eating slower to allow your brain to catch up to your stomach.
- Loading up your meals with healthy fruits and vegetables.
4. Drink water at the right time.
Staying hydrated is a no brainer for good health but studies have shown that drinking 500ml of water boosts your metabolism by 30%. This boost peaks around 30-40minutes after you drink so having 2 glasses of water before a meal can aid digestion. A good way to do this is to have a drink of water as soon as you wake up and then another one before having breakfast.
If you find it difficult to incorporate water into your routine, try:
- green tea
- Fruit/mint-infused water
- drinking warm water with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (changes the taste and has detoxifying properties)
- Sparkling water
5. Don’t multitask while eating.
If you’re distracted or multitasking as you eat, you can consume more than you intend to. Aim to be mindful – pay attention to tastes, smells, and colours of your food. Turn off the TV while you eat and try leaving your phone in another room during meals.
Listen To Your Body
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