We all know how important it is to carry out a healthy diet as a means of prevention of diseases or even as a therapeutic means in the treatment of certain diseases related to food and nutrition, like anemia, malnutrition, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. When it comes to eating, we all have deep-rooted habits.
Some are good, for example, if you always have your breakfast, and others not so good, if for example you can’t imagine your day without a bar of chocolate.
Although we have acquired many eating habits since childhood, it doesn’t mean that it’s too late to change them. Sudden and radical changes in eating habits, such as not eating anything except cabbage soup, can lead to short-term weight loss. But these exaggerated changes are neither healthy nor good and therefore won’t help in the long term. To permanently improve eating habits, a focus on what is really healthy is needed.
1. Take some notes about your diet
You can make a list of your eating habits. Keeping a food diary for a few days where you write down everything you eat and the time you do it will help you discover your habits and get to know yourself better. For example, it may be that you always want something sweet after lunch – if you realise you have any routine like that, note it!
When you make the list, underline the habits that are causing you to eat more than necessary – if you eat very fast, if you eat everything that’s served and even ask for more, if you eat when you are not hungry, if you always eat sweets or you skip meals. Mostly breakfast.
…try to correct all the bad habits you have and keep a good track of your progress. Replace unhealthy habits with new healthy ones.
Don’t hesitate to honor yourself for all that you have done well and if you played “by the rules” – with a snack or some low-calorie, healthy treat. This kind of record keeping will give you a better insight into the improvement of your diet and motivate you to continue with it
2. Eat before you feel hungry
A good way to make sure you’re not going to end up looking for chips, treats, or a chocolate bar when you need a snack is to eat before you feel hungry. If one’s waiting too long to eat, they’ll probably look for something that they didn’t plan to eat, just because they are very hungry or because their blood sugar is low. It takes a while to get used to eating every three to four hours and select or better yet prepare something healthy, but it’s totally worth it!
3. Decrease fats and sugars in your diet (or let them be the healthy ones)
Contrary to what many people think, there are good sugars such as complex sugars found in fruits, vegetables, cereals and legumes, whose nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber and enzymes) allow us to regulate the level of blood sugar. There are also fats that benefit our body and are present in nuts, avocados and olive or coconut oil, for example.
The white sugar is the one that causes the most damage, so it’s recommended to replace it with brown or muscovado sugar (in case we want to add it to our food). Another example are trans fats that we find mainly in fast food, so the main recommendation is to eliminate them completely.
They are the result of the hydrogenation process that comes from frying food, which is why they’re used in processed foods such as cakes and cookies, whose excess consumption can lead to high levels of cholesterol in the blood.
4. Careful with cereals
Speaking about sugar – although many cereals contain whole grains, it’s also true that they’re often loaded with sugars, syrups and carbohydrates refined with honey that can cause the level of sugar in the blood to increase. This will cause that above mentioned feeling of hunger before it’s time for your next meal.
To make things better, you can use Greek yogurt as a better option instead because, if you combine it with red fruits (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries etc.) and chia seeds, for example, it will maintain your energy, thus satisfying that craving for hours, thanks to a rich combination of fiber and protein.
5. Add some supplements to your diet
The function of dietary supplements is to cover the lack of minerals or vitamins that isn’t obtained through regular intake. It’s quite essential not to use them as a treatment for diseases, symptoms or conditions, nor are they substitutes for food. Its recommended consumption is based on complementing the nutrients that our body needs for its functioning.
At present, the accelerated pace of life prevents us from taking the time necessary for complete food intake – so supplements can be an alternative to balance some of the meals of the day. At this website you can find a whole range of supplements for various purposes – for better sleep, for raising testosterone, for lifting muscle mass (for athletes), mental clarity, etc.
There are specific cases, such as athletes, that require a special diet due to physical wear caused by exercise. Consuming the right nutrients is essential, and although most of them are obtained naturally in food, professionals recommend including some kind of supplement.
6. Consume all colors
The idea that a plate of healthy food should include varied colors is a good example of a grandmother’s advice that ultimately turned out to have a scientific basis. Vegetable colors reflect the different antioxidant phytonutrients they contain: anthocyanins, polyphenols, flavonoids and carotenoids.
Many of these substances help prevent chronic diseases, but each one in a different way, so the best protection comes from a diet that includes as many varieties of phytonutrients as possible.
Habits are formed over time, they’re not adopted overnight. Don’t be too hard on yourself or think that a mistake will ruin a whole day of healthy habits. You can do it! Eating healthy is simpler than you can imagine ot than it looks: you just need to follow and be consistent in some necessary routines – and this will bring an inescapable success.