Healthy Eating Habit
7 Habits Of Healthy Eating
Drink Plenty of Water
Your body has to stay well hydrated to perform at its best and to properly process all the nutrients in the food you eat. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. You may need even more water if you are in a hot environment – like spending the day at the beach in 95-degree weather, or if you are exercising.
If you are trying to lose weight, add plenty of ice to each glass of water. Your body will burn energy to warm the water up to body temperature. Research has shown you can speed up your metabolism by 1/3 by drinking several glasses of ice water each day.
You’ve probably heard this before; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After not eating for the past ten hours, your body needs fuel to get you going. You will have more energy and will be more alert after eating breakfast.
A recent study has shown that women who eat breakfast will consume an average of 100 calories less during the day than their counterparts who skipped breakfast. If you are trying to lose weight, eating breakfast is a definite must.
Make sure your children eat breakfast as well. They will be more alert in school and able to concentrate better.
Don’t Skip Lunch
There are many days when we are tempted to skip lunch. We are trying to lose weight and want to save some calories; we don’t have the time and end up working through our lunch break, or have errands to run. Let’s take a look at what happens when we skip lunch. Blood sugar levels drop, metabolism slows down to compensate for the missing fuel and when you get home you are starving and eat everything you can get your hands on.
Eat a light lunch each day. If you don’t have time to go out, pack a brown bag lunch. Fix a turkey sandwich and some carrots or grapes in the morning and take them with you for a quick lunch at your desk.
Choose Your Snacks Carefully
We all need to snack from time to time. In fact, it’s a good idea to eat two healthy snacks in addition to your three main meals. This doesn’t mean that you can stop by the snack machine and grab a bag of chips or a candy bar.
Choose healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables, low fat yogurt, cottage cheese with applesauce, some whole-wheat crackers with cheese, or some trail mix.
Eat Your Fruit and Vegetables
There is a good reason the 5-a-day campaign was started. We should eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, yet many of us get hardly any servings in at all. Grab a piece of fruit for a snack, add some banana and raisins to your favorite breakfast cereal, have a salad with lunch, and make it a habit to fix at least one vegetable side with dinner each night. A simple fruit salad of cut up fruit dressed with a touch of lemon juice and honey makes for a quick and delicious desert any night of the week.
Avoid Late Dinners
With our busy lives we are always tempted to put of dinner until the last minute. Try to eat dinner at least 3 hours before you go to bed. This will give your body a chance to digest most of the food before you rest for the next 8 hours.
A strategy that has worked well for me is to plan dinner for the week ahead of time and making sure I have every thing I need in the house. It allows me to get dinner started as soon as I get home and cuts out the extra time it takes to dig through the cupboards trying to find something to make and then running to the store to get the remaining ingredients.
Take a few minutes one day a week and plan the entire menu. Make a grocery list and shop for everything you need for the next few days. You may even want to post your menu on the fridge so other family members can get a head start on dinner if you have a late meeting at the office.
Keep a Food Journal
Do you really know what you are eating each day? We often snack and eat more at regular meals than we realize. To get a better idea of what you are eating on a daily basis keep a food journal for a few days. All you need is a notebook and a pen. Write down everything you eat and drink in a given day. It is also a good idea to make notes about any emotions related to what you eat. For example, if you had a bad day at the office, and you have 2 slices of cheesecake after you get home as a result, write it down. You’ll be able to analyze what causes you to choose unhealthy foods and at what times of the day you are most likely to grab unhealthy foods. Recognizing what you bad eating habits are is the first step toward correcting the behavior.
You will be amazed how much better you will feel by incorporating these seven habits of healthy eating. Give them a try and see for yourself. Over the next few months we will be discussing many other health related topics. Don’t miss next month’s issue about easy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
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