“Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -Hippocrates
Establishing healthy eating habits is something that many people strive for. However, with so much conflicting information out there and busy schedules, it can be challenging to know where to start. In this article, I will share practical tips that you can use to establish healthy eating habits.
1. Set realistic goals: The first step in establishing healthy eating habits is to set realistic goals. Avoid making drastic changes to your diet, as it will be challenging to maintain them long-term. Instead, start with small changes, such as adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals, or swapping out refined carbohydrates for whole grains.
2. Plan your meals: Planning your meals ahead of time can help you avoid making unhealthy food choices when you're in a rush or feeling hungry. Take the time to meal prep and plan out your meals for the week. This will also help you save time and money in the long run. Typically, I do a 4-day meal prep in advance, just to make sure I have balanced meals ready at my fingertips!
3. Eat breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps jumpstart your metabolism and provides the energy you need to get through the day. Choose breakfast foods that are high in protein and fiber, such as eggs, whole-grain toast, and fruit. Don't be afraid of the natural sugar in fruit. Your cells thrive on it!
4. Drink plenty of water: Drinking plenty of water is essential for good health. It helps flush out toxins from your body, keeps you hydrated, and aids in digestion. Aim for at least 6 glasses of water per day. My formula to calculate my water requirements is: your current weight in pounds. Divide that by 2. Drink that number in ounces. For example: If you are 150 pounds, divided by 2 = 75. Drink 75 ounces of water per day.
5. Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are often high in calories, refined sugar, and unhealthy fats. Instead, focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
6. Practice moderation: Eating healthy doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite foods altogether. It's essential to practice moderation and enjoy the foods you love in moderation. Indulge in a piece of chocolate or a slice of pizza once in a while, but make sure that most of your food choices are healthy and balanced.
7. Listen to your body: Listening to your body's hunger cues is crucial in establishing healthy eating habits. Eat when you're hungry and stop eating when you're full. Avoid eating out of boredom or emotions.
8. Consult a nutritionist: If you're struggling with establishing healthy eating habits, consider consulting a nutritionist. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your unique health needs and goals.
In conclusion, establishing healthy eating habits takes time and effort. By setting realistic goals, planning your meals, eating breakfast, drinking plenty of water, avoiding processed foods, practicing moderation, listening to your body, and consulting a nutritionist, you can establish healthy eating habits for life. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself as you make these changes – it's not a one-time thing, it's a lifestyle!