7 Practical Rules to Follow For Healthier Eating This Year
STORY: Priyanka Elhence
17 February 2021
Eating healthy is one of the easiest things to do with minimal effort, and yet, it’s also one of the hardest things to stick to in the long run. Whether you’re #hangry, or just don’t have enough time to prep and cook a healthy meal, there are small fixes you can practice at every meal time to eat a little better.
Here are 7 short, practical ways that can go a long way in keeping you eating healthier for longer this year:
1. Be mindful of what you’re eating, when you’re eating
Practicing mindful eating helps us focus on what we’re actually eating and in what quantities, so you’re less likely to overeat (or eat badly) when you’re focussing on the food rather than eating blindly. Remember mindlessly packing away a bag of potato chips while watching Netflix and not even realising it till you empty the bag? Be in the moment!
2. Ditch processed foods for whole foods
You’ve heard this before – the less processed the better. Swap processed and ready to eat convenience foods with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Processed foods are full of empty calories, but whole foods provide essential nutrients such as protein, fibre, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system.
3. Swap superfoods for nuts and seeds
There seems to be a new superfood everyday – just how many can you source practically and eat regularly on a budget? Nuts and seeds pack everything from protein and healthy fats to vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, so don’t underestimate these nutritional powerhouses just because of their size. Chia seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseed and pumpkin seeds are also brimming with minerals like calcium, zinc and magnesium.
4. Make sure you’re actually eating enough throughout the day
We’re usually so focused on dieting and intermittent fasting and not eating, that we might not be actually eating enough in the first place. The most important aspect of healthy eating is eating every three to four hours so that you’re not low on blood sugar and make bad food choices just because you’re starved.
5. Add more fibre and probiotics to your diet
Fibre and probiotics are critical for gut health. And it’s not even so much about eating the rainbow and a spectrum of fresh foods, as long as you’re eating a good quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables. But just remember – while fruits and vegetables are great, the latest craze of plant-based foods might not provide as much fibre. Likewise, fermented probiotic foods such as kefir, kimchi and yoghurt help improve healthy gut bacteria which are responsible for digestion, extracting precious nutrients from food and building the immune system.
6. Its ok to have junk from time to time
If you’re craving something a little unhealthy, it’s ok to have it once in a while to hit the spot. Sometimes, nothing feels worse than trying to substitute what you’re really craving with a “healthier version” of it. Just make sure you’re not doing it very often. #moderation
7. Cut out sodas and sugary drinks
Sodas and sugary drinks are full of empty calories that cause the blood sugar level to spike and then crash back again just as instantly, leaving you feeling tired and dissatisfied. Swap sugar-laden drinks for just plain water – it’s really good for you and it has zero calories.