Many people struggle with healthy eating, which is understandable when there is so much temptation around. Instead of making short-term changes through fad diets or cutting out entire food groups, the simplest way to adopt healthier eating habits is to make some simple lifestyle changes. Following some simple food rules can help you develop healthier eating habits for better selfcare. These 10 simple food rules can help you get started.
10 Ways To Adopt Healthier Eating Habits
1. Always eat breakfast
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. After fasting throughout the night, your body will welcome breakfast as a way to boost your metabolism and give you energy for the day ahead. Choose a breakfast that is nutritious and low in saturated fat – porridge topped with fruit, a smoothie or protein-packed eggs are a great way to start the day.
2. Eat fewer processed foods
One of the best things you can do for your diet is to eat fewer processed foods. Processed foods often contain high sugar, salt and fat levels that are unnecessary. Instead of eating processed foods, make more of an effort to cook meals from scratch. BBC Good Food is a packed resource of quick and easy recipes to help you learn how to cook meals yourself.
3. Start reading the labels for healthier eating habits
It’s easy to only look at the front of a food packet – especially for brands that you’ve been familiar with for years. However, what’s written on the back of the label can tell you a lot about the food that you’re eating. If you can’t work out what a lot of the ingredients are, the chances are that this isn’t the healthiest food to eat. Look for foods with simple, natural ingredients.
4. Eat fish twice a week
Oily fish is an important part of a good diet, and it’s recommended that you eat at least two portions of oily fish a week. Fish is tasty, low in calories and is packed with omega-3, which help to maintain good heart health. Fish is easy to prepare and you could have it with pasta or vegetables or in curries.
5. Choose (naturally) colourful foods
Foods that are rich in colour are also rich in antioxidants, which offer protection against different diseases and should make up an important part of your diet. Think of foods such as leafy greens, rich berries and bright oranges to help you work out which foods you should be eating.
6. Go meat-free one day a week
Going meat-free one day a week will encourage you to eat more fruit and vegetables and give you a break from a meat-heavy diet. There are some fantastic vegetarian and vegan recipes out there, and it can be easy to eat a vegetarian diet on a budget. Why not try ‘meat-free Mondays’ as a simple weekly rule the whole family can follow?
7. Drink more water
Drinking water not only keeps you hydrated, but it can help you to feel fuller, stopping those cravings between meals. Keep a bottle to hand at all times so that you can sip regularly throughout the day, and aim to drink at least two litres to help give your body what it needs.
8. Listen to your body when it’s hungry
While keeping an eye on your calorie intake can help you maintain a healthy weight, it’s not advisable to skip meals. Skipping meals can have a serious effect on your metabolism and could lead to you overindulging later in the day to compensate for your hunger. Many people find it helpful to eat five smaller meals throughout the day rather than three big meals to help keep hunger at bay.
9. Cut out sugary drinks
Sugar-filled drinks are a big source of empty calories that could be affecting your weight, your oral health amongst other things. Cutting out sugary-drinks is particularly important for children, and there are many alternatives you can try instead. Alcohol also features a high sugar content, so it’s worth switching to a low-sugar option when you’re drinking, or avoid drinking alcohol altogether.
10. Switch to wholegrain
Wholegrain foods should be an essential part of your diet, and you should swap-out white flour where possible. Foods such as bread, pasta, couscous and rice are all available in brown or wholegrain varieties and feature high fibre content that makes them better for digestion than white foods. Here’s why switching to wholegrain could boost your health.
Healthy eating is an important part of self care, and following some simple healthy eating rules can help keep you on the right track. NHS Choices have some excellent suggestions for helping you to maintain healthier eating habits, including recipes and information on the best foods for your health.