In recent years, the incidences and consequences of unhealthy eating patterns have been on the rise. The reasons are not hard to pin down – people have become too busy, stressed, and bent on ‘cutting down’ on calories at all costs. The downside is people downing anything filling, however unhealthy.
Eating healthy involves a lot of discipline, but your best and simplest weapons, of course, are just below.
Make breakfast the most important meal
Due to the usual rush to get to work, many would rather do without the most important meal of the day. However, the truth remains that breakfast is vital to preparing the body for the tasks of a long day. Start with having a simple meal to jump-start your system after the night’s long fast. Doing this, would not only boost your immune system, but also hydrate the body, aid digestion, and alleviate stress.
Did you also know that eating the right combination of food for breakfast improves mental alertness? Of course, studies indicate that when you skip breakfast, you are more likely to make unplanned and irrational decisions. Now, imagine missing all that yummy breakfast and losing concentration as a result!
Coffee may give you instant energy, but sipping some glasses of water during the day instead will cleanse your system of toxins. And hey, water is cheaper than ice cream and you don’t have to wait in line for it.
There is no standard recommendation on the quantity of water a person can have in a given time. Except for factors like weather, physical activity, and body system, adults can have about 10 glasses while children can have up to 8 glasses of water per day.
Keep to a structured eating pattern
Just like everything else in life, you should plan and keep to an eating routine. It doesn’t have to be rigid; it is only to ensure that you make healthier choices rather than having whatever is available or comes to mind. If the idea is to lose some weight, then, it’s better to act on the feedback your body gives you on the frequency and quantity of food to eat. However, it’s also important to aim for a regular eating pattern.
A structured meal pattern would most likely allow for a balanced diet, including the standard portions from the five food groups. An unstructured pattern, on the other hand, is more likely to include too much unhealthy and junk food.
Serve food in smaller plates
Though, the reason for this has been largely unknown until lately, but studies have shown many times that eating from smaller plates can lead to eating smaller portions. For instance, after conducting an experiment, Brian Wansink from Cornell University and Koert van Ittersum from the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered that a shift from 12–inch plates to 10–inch plates resulted in a 22% decrease in calories.
Serving food in smaller plates is an amazing trick that will stop you from eating more than you should. This is because food appears smaller in larger plates, and the reverse is the case when served in smaller plates.
Eat an assortment of foods
Your choice of food doesn’t have to be bland. Every once in a while, the brain craves for something new. To get distinct tastes, always balance up your foods to get sensations that make it easier to eat healthy.
Also, to make eating right a desirable experience, try out other ways to add new spices and flavors to your meals.
Avoid late night meals
Whenever you feel the urge to binge on your favorite snack at night, remember that eating late keeps your metabolism working overtime. It also puts your body into starvation mode while you sleep. This means that you will wake up very hungry and any meal you eat next will be stored as fat.
Beyond packing on excess pounds, your body also loses the ability to efficiently burn accumulated fat.
Have meals with other people
It is a known fact that when you eat with others or at the family dining table, you are likely to eat better and more consistently. This is unlike what you get when eating alone, with your phone in hand or in front of the TV. Also, having meals with others tend to make you pace out swallows.
In scenarios like the one pictured above, you’d be able to savor the sight, taste, and smell of the food in your mouth. You tend to become conscious of how you chew and sip water in between each swallow. By eating with other people, you get to enjoy your meal more and end up being satisfied even with small portions.
Cut down on TV, iPad and laptop activity
With the boom in technological gadgets, everyone owns a laptop, iPad, or phone. As a result, so many people have gotten into the bad habit of playing video games, checking out something on their phones or watching TV, while eating.
If you can’t imagine eating without sitting in front of a screen, then it’s wise to just cut down on your screen activity. Otherwise, your body would find it really difficult recognizing and responding to hunger signals.
The best option to eating healthy is changing your eating behavior by reassessing the environment around you. Adjusting certain things like eating pattern, quantity of food portion, size of plate and fluid intake can positively alter your eating habit. Also, if you need to lose weight, instigating a few of these changes can give you the desired results.
In summary, it all begins with making gradual, but steady steps like making breakfast a priority, avoiding late night meals, and drinking lots of water. Also consider eating from smaller plates, sharing meals with other people, and cutting down on screen time.
Opting for healthier lifestyle choices can sometimes be difficult, but the first step is cultivating a habit that is realistic and consistent. Luckily, the tips stated above can make eating healthy an easy experience.
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