Old habits do not die easily. At the same time, building new habits is also a difficult path. Increased consumption of processed foods, rapid urbanization, and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns over the past few years. In today’s fast-paced world, maintaining a healthy diet is often easier said than done. For the uninitiated, trying to sift through a range of healthy diets to see which one is right for an individual’s diet can be a challenge. Even after discovering an eating pattern, maintaining a healthy eating schedule throughout the day has its fair share of difficulties. The good news is that sticking to healthy eating is possible and doesn’t even mean that one has to give up their favorite foods.
Also Read: Healthy Diet: Experts Suggest Do’s and Don’ts to Make Healthy Eating Easier
There are many ways to adopt and manage a long-term healthy eating habit. One can opt for whole foods as they are full of essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, healthy fats and minerals instead of processed foods that have empty calories. More than the risk of developing diabetes and obesity, sugary drinks can cause liver damage, aging, and anxiety. Hence, instead of sipping bottled beverages, one can consume unsweetened beverages, fresh fruit juices or infused water. Usually, when one feels hungry, they grab the first thing at hand. Thus, keeping healthy fast food in accessible places makes a difference. The right amount of macronutrients such as protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals are essential to developing a healthy diet. Turns out, eating a big plate tricks your brain into thinking you’ve eaten less. Eating on a small plate helps to avoid overeating. One needs to adopt the habit of counting nutrients rather than calories to improve the quality of their diet. Adding more probiotic foods like apple cider vinegar, yogurt, and soft cheese to the diet also helps build the immune system. Likewise, chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds serve as a source of nutritional powerhouses.
A healthy diet can be adopted as a form of weight loss. But healthy eating is more important in the long run than losing excess weight in a short period. Creating a healthy diet should also include foods and recipes that are not only nutritious, but also enjoyable, sustainable and conducive to the individual’s circumstances. Depriving yourself of the foods you love can lead to cravings and end up backfiring. Instead of completely giving up on the unhealthy options you love, try eating them occasionally along with exercising portion control. Maintaining a balanced diet while eating out can be very challenging. However, more restaurants are now offering healthier options. Choosing these places carefully and researching the menu can help you maintain your diet while enjoying eating out. Staying hydrated is also very important.
A diet rich in vitamins and minerals helps mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder. Self-monitoring of calories by keeping a journal and using a smartphone or app to track daily calories, weight, and activity levels is a smart way to track progress. One should not feel discouraged if it takes longer to sink in to new healthy habits. As long as expectations are realistic with a commitment to reassess progress, the habit will move in a positive direction.
Author Biography: Founder and CEO of BodyFirst
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