When it comes to eating healthy, having good habits is the key to success. Here are 7 habits that will make healthy eating a breeze. Follow along for tips on making these a part of your lifestyle!
Habit #1: Eat when Hungry, Stop when Full
- Eating based on physiological hunger and fullness can help your body meet its energy needs. Unlike following a diet plan with prescribed amounts of food, this intuitive way of eating is flexible and doesn’t require measuring.
- What about eating for comfort, pleasure, or to socialize in the absence of hunger? It’s okay every once in a while, but healthy eaters don’t make this a habit.
Do you struggle with food cravings? Check out this 4-step guide to stopping them in their tracks.
Habit #2: Follow a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet
- Compared with processed, pre-packaged foods, minimally processed foods usually contains less added sugars, salt, and fat.
- Bake your own potato wedges instead of frozen oven fries. Snack on an orange instead of drinking orange juice. Use frozen fish fillet instead of breaded fish sticks.
- Not all processed foods are created equal– frozen vegetables and fruits, as well as most types of canned fish are nutritious.
Habit #3: Honour the 80/20 Rule
- Healthy eaters don’t expect themselves to eat perfectly 100% of the time. They allow junky foods like ice cream, chocolate, chips, and pop 20% of the time, and make healthier food choices the other 80% of the time.
- This way of eating allows you to maintain a healthy eating pattern in the long run, which is more important for your overall physical and emotional health than short bursts of “clean eating”.
- Not sure if you’re following the 80/20 rule? Keep track of how much and what you eat for a few days in a Food Diary. If there are consistently 2+ items per day that are more “junky” than “healthy”, that might be a sign to reconsider what you eat.
Habit #4: Plan for Eating
- If you have a busy schedule, or would like to get the most out of your food budget, spending some time to plan can be a lifesaver!
- Consider using a 7 Day Meal Planner, search up some recipes, and make a shopping list. This is your secret weapon for healthy eating success!
- Do you eat restaurant food often? Chick out my guide to making healthy choices while dining out!
Habit #5: Have Fun with Food
- It’s a lot easier to keep eating healthy if it’s actually enjoyable! Find out what feels fun for you. Maybe it’s trying new ingredients, getting together with friends for a meal, or rewarding yourself for a week of healthy eating by watching a favourite movie by candlelight.
- Tune in to the experience of eating with mindfulness and you might be surprised by the joy that comes from a perfectly crisp apple, or the subtle sweetness of leafy greens.
Habit #6: Pay Attention to Labels & Ingredients
- Reading the Nutrition Facts and ingredients on packaged foods can lift the veil on hidden sugars, fats, and salt. And with this knowledge, you’ll be in a much better position to make informed food choices.
- Using the Nutrition Facts table can help you choose between two similar products, decide if you want a smaller or larger sized item (some fast food chains offer nutrition information), and help you choose an appropriate portion of a treat (1/2 cup of ice cream vs. 1 cup).
Habit #7: Prioritize Health
- Healthy eaters have tapped into their inner value system and decided that healthy eating is important to them.
- Maybe your motivation is to live free of diabetes, maybe it’s to feel more comfortable in your body, or maybe it’s wanting to have more energy. Find your inner motivation and tap into it to fuel your eating journey.
To make healthy eating a habit, find ways to make healthy foods tasty and easy. Plan your meals & snacks, and give yourself permission to have less healthy choices once in a while. Keep in mind your motivation for healthy eating (writing it down helps), and you’ll be well on your way towards health & happiness!