These words haunted me – you need to eat well and make sure you have healthy eating habits.
A well known nutritionist was talking about healthy eating habits on her Instagram live session.
Eating habits and that too healthy , like seriously i said to myself.
Out of everything in my life I have to now focus on my eating habits , when I have a zillion stuff on my plate to focus on. But I kept thinking as to why this lady mentioned healthy eating habits .
So I started to keep a check on what I was eating and just to let you know my eating habits were haywire. Some days it was just carbs and some days it was just proteins while most of the days I hardly bothered what it was, as I was just eating regular packed food. As suggested in the live session out of curiosity I went for a regular blood test.
I was on the borderline of being anemic.
So that’s when I understood the importance of healthy eating habits and started making small conscious changes to my diet . These small mindful changes eventually became a part of my life and eventually my lifestyle. Thus giving me benefits, one of which was my gut health improved and my hemoglobin levels came up.
What are healthy eating habits?
Healthy eating habits are similar to clean eating , while you are eating clean you focus on including all sorts of food categories.
This includes all sorts of nutrient dense food like proteins, healthy fats , fruits and vegetables.
You should include nutrient rich foods like whole fruits and vegetables , including nuts and healthy oils. Staying away from processed and packed food that are stripped of a lot of vitamins and minerals .
It is not as difficult as it sounds.
5 healthy eating habits
- Eating Mindfully and Slowly- Our brain has the capacity to send signals that you are full. This can only be observed if one eats slowly and mindfully.Pay attention to what you are eating and how much you are eating. Are you just unconsciously gulping down your food just because you have other tasks on hand , are you paying attention to the food on your plate? Be mindful of your patterns and you will notice the change.
- Staying hydrated- As you know the human body is made up of 70% of water so the importance of water cannot be ignored. Start making a conscious habit to drink water at regular intervals. Stay away from sugary drinks. There are many apps these days that can help you with this task of drinking water
- Include fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are low in trans fats and have lots of vitamins and minerals . So make it a conscious habit of including at least one fruit and some raw vegetables in every meal. Start small but gradually increase it
- Include whole grains – Switching white rice with brown rice and white flour with whole wheat flour will not only help you in losing weight but will reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. Try including millets and quinoa alongside these grains to give your body a boost of all the nutrients.
- Inculcating self discipline – One major factor that contributes toward healthy eating habits is having self discipline . This helps you to keep a check on your unnecessary eating patterns and also helps you to mindfully include the above mentioned tips, so you can move a step ahead on your journey of holistic lifestyle.
Importance of healthy eating habits
- The first change you are going to notice is that your mood gets better. Healthy eating habits help reduce stress levels and in turn boost your mood.
- You naturally build in a habit of being physically active and have more energy throughout the day.
- Because you are eating healthy and clean you lose weight naturally and thus remain fit.
- By following healthy eating habits you reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases and chronic diseases like cancer.
- With healthy eating habits your overall health increases. With regular intake of nutrient rich food you have stronger bones, healthy teeth, your blood profile also improves.
- With everything getting better your quality of sleep also improved and you are well rested.
How to adopt healthy eating habits ?
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to take baby steps. Always keep in mind to make conscious changes on smaller levels so that it is easy for your body and mind to adapt to these changes. Be mindful of the changes your are making.
Making a plan one night before as to how and what you will eat , it can be a rough idea of what all you will eat. This will help you not to pick anything random to eat.
Cooking your own meals and making a habit of carrying your meal box with you wherever you go. Alternatively carrying your water and a fruit and some healthy snacks like nuts or salads with you when you step out.
This way you do not jump into buying stuff from outside and eating anything available in stores.
Lastly, writing a journal to track your progress and make the necessary changes that will help you build healthy eating habits.
Healthy eating habits for kids– how to help them?
Remember home is the first school, so it is very important to start early at a very tender age. It is super easy to build healthy eating habits in kids.
Once they start seeing you eating healthy they will automatically do the same thing. Take them with you for food shopping and discuss the importance of fruits and vegetables. Keep fruits and vegetables in a bowl on the counter so they see them everyday.
Give them new foods with familiar foods. Give them fruits as snacks and try to be creative while packing their tiffin.
Give them a few nuts with other regular snacks.
Eat your meals together and tell them the importance of eating colored fruits in an interesting way.
Like always remember you are building a habit so take it slow. Healthy eating habit is once again a journey and not a destination so be conscious and aware of your patterns.
Also there is no hard and fast rule to healthy eating habits just make sure you include a balanced diet like fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds and nuts.
And if you go off the track do not punish yourself just pull yourself up and start over again.
Do share your inputs about the healthy changs you have made and how they have benefited you.