It’s a new year, which means that a new crop of diet trends will start to emerge as people battle to lose weight post-Christmas. As with many New Year’s resolutions, many tend to fail after the first few weeks, putting you right back to square one. Instead of embarking on a restrictive diet or cutting whole food groups out of your meals, why not vow to adopt healthier food habits instead? There are some great things you can try that encourage a whole lifestyle change, and not just something for the New Year. Take a look at some of the following suggestions for healthy food habits to try in 2018.
Go ‘… free’ one day a week
Completely cutting certain foods out of your life can be difficult, especially if you’re only planning on doing it short-term to lose some weight. However, doing themed nights on certain days of the week is a much easier habit to keep up that will help you to eat healthier. Some good suggestions are ‘Meat-free Mondays’, ‘Fish Fridays’ or reducing your carbs on one day a week. There are different things you can do to adopt healthier eating, even if it’s just for one day a week. It’s also a great way to try out new foods!
Take a packed lunch every day
This is a habit that will not only help you to eat healthier, but will save you money too. When you buy lunches from supermarkets or local shops, you may not pay much attention to the added salt and sugar that goes into them – but it can be quite significant. Making your own lunches means you can eat home-cooked foods that are healthier, with no unnecessary additives and probably a lot tastier! Batch cook some lunch ideas at the beginning of the week to make it easier to manage. There are some great suggestions for healthy lunch ideas for kids which could give you some inspiration too!
Cook your own takeaway
A takeaway at the end of the week is a welcome treat, but when it happens every week (or even several times a week), it can soon start affecting your health, and waistline! One way you can switch things up is to cook your own takeaway. Whether it’s making pizza or a curry – you can enjoy your favourite dishes at home, knowing exactly what’s in them. You could make healthy versions and exercise better portion control to help you keep up your healthy eating routine.
Adopt healthy food habits by planning your meals
Meal planning is very popular at the moment, especially for those looking to lose weight. Food planning helps you to make wiser choices about your food, helping you to spend less, waste less and eat healthier. Scour cookbooks and the internet for different recipes that you can make each week. If you struggle to find the time to cook, invest in a slow cooker and cook up some big batches of foods like curries, soups and stews. You can also buy frozen fruit and vegetables to help make the preparations a little easier too.
Cook one new healthy dish a week
Many people struggle with healthy eating because they’re unsure of what to make, sticking to classic recipes or ready meals that may not be as nutritional. Set yourself the challenge of cooking one new healthy dish a week, using healthy recipe ideas that could soon build up your repertoire. Pinterest is a good place to pick up some healthy recipes if you start getting short of ideas. You might even discover some new favourites!
Fill up your plate with vegetables and salad
Learning better portion control could help you to eat much healthier, especially if you’re trying to keep the weight off. Instead of simply filling up your plate with potatoes and other carbohydrates, start working out how to eat a more balanced diet. Once you’ve loaded your plate with a protein source and some carbohydrates, you should then add in some vegetables to help complete your plate. Keep bowls of salad and vegetable accompaniments on the table so that you can help yourself if you still feel hungry – anything left over can be made into a salad the following day with some cooked chicken or fish.
Forming healthy food habits takes time and a bit of planning, but once you get into the swing of it – it’ll become much easier to live an overall healthier lifestyle. If you’re concerned about your weight or food intolerances, make sure you consult NHS Choices on maintaining a healthy weight and eating well. Start the new year off right by forming some easy and beneficial healthy eating habits that you can maintain all year long.