The Road to Developing Healthy Eating Habits
Eating healthy is something we learn when we are young. We are taught the different food groups and how much we need to eat to be healthy. But now, healthy eating is associated with dieting or losing weight. Why is that?
This might be because our society is living on the fast line. You can purchase any type of food you want to eat conveniently and quickly; most of the time, these meals are unhealthy. In the rare case that it is healthy, the meal is still overshadowed by the fact that it’s from a fast-food restaurant, and we eat those foods too often. One of the topics that we will talk about is moderation. Moderation is one of the essential tools in developing healthy eating habits.
The reality is that developing a habit of moderation is easier said than done, but just like anything else, practice makes perfect.
What Does Eating Healthy Mean?
Eating healthy might be relative and ultimately depends on each person’s nutritional needs. Regardless, the simple definition of eating healthy is eating to protect the body against malnutrition of all forms and gaining and maintaining a healthy eating pattern to ensure optimal health. You want to eat various foods that give you all the necessary nutrients to maintain a healthy status. A healthy status includes maintaining good health, feeling good, and having energy.
Every day the body requires a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients to run seamlessly. In addition, you need a certain number of calories to maintain a certain weight. But it is important that healthy eating isn’t associated with weight. So, what do you need in order to eat healthily?
This is where the various food groups come in. You need a balance of whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and oils. Depending on your age, height, gender, and activity level, you need specific daily servings of each group. But for an adult, it is recommended that you get about 2,000 calories per day. Furthermore, the basic servings of each include:
How Did You Develop Your Current Nutritional Habits?
Before changing your diet, it’s essential to examine your current nutritional habits and understand how they came to be. In reality, we develop most of our dietary habits at a young age. Whatever our parents or caregivers provide for us is what we eat. But as we grow, we develop particular likes and dislikes, reflected in what we decide to eat. This is another stage in which we develop nutritional habits. You are less likely to eat vegetables if you don’t like them and more likely to eat sweets if you prefer sweets. But for the most part, the habits you create at a young age tend to stick with you into adulthood.
If you grew up having a sweet fruit for dessert, you’d likely keep that habit as you get older. And if you grew up having a sugary drink with every meal, that habit is likely to stay with you as you grow. It’s important that you take a moment and reflect on your eating habits, both positive and negative. Once you do that, choose the habits you want to keep and practice on eliminating those you want to lose.
How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Developing healthy eating habits starts with recognizing that some of your eating patterns might not be healthy in the first place. If you have a few that you want to change, then the next step is replacing your bad eating habits with good ones.
Once you know you’ve consumed the recommended amount of servings for a food group, you don’t have to worry about that food group for the next meal.
Tips to Help You Stay on Track
- Limit sodium, added sugars, and saturated fats
- Drink in moderation-woman should have 1 drink less in a day & men should have 2 drinks or less daily
- Stay hydrated and drink the appropriate daily amount of water
- Keep track of what you’re eating and when you’re eating it in a food diary
- Try meal prepping to ensure you eat when you’re supposed to
- Eat protein at every meal
- Stock your fridge with healthy food options
- Include fiber your meals or snacks
- Try healthier options when you carve something sweet or salty
- Don’t think about it as a diet & be patient with yourself
Insider: How to Change Diet Habits
Health.gov: Eat Healthy
Hioscar: How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits
CDC: Improving Your Eating Habits
What is a Healthy Diet?
WebMD: 11 Easy Ways to Make Healthy Eating A Habit
Dietary Guidelines: Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Mana Medical Associates: Develop Healthy Eating Habits. Try out Alpilean.
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