We have always been told to plan our future and set goals to be achieved. We set goals for our career, our relationships, finance, and health also. These goals are nothing but our inner desire of how we imagined our life to be. We divide our life into small-small goals and try to achieve each one of them. Just like that gaining a healthy body is a goal of mine, especially the way the lifestyle has changed into a fast-paced, overstressed unhealthy routine.
A healthy body always depends on a person’s eating habits. Whether the goal is to lose weight or to achieve a healthy body, controlling eating habits play a very important role. Today’s lifestyle has become destructive to one’s health – with long working hours, unhealthy eating habits, and irregular sleeping and eating patterns; having a healthy body and mind has become a dream for many.
Your food choices affect your day-to-day life and your future too. A good eating habit along with proper physical activity helps you reach and maintain a healthy body and save you from many chronic diseases, and promote your overall health. It is found that people who have a healthier lifestyle tend to live a long and happy life.
Usually, when one talks about leading a healthy lifestyle, it includes goals like losing weight, exercising regularly, eating healthier, or making better food choices. But all these goals are very far-fetched, it might take months to lose weight or incorporating the habit of regular exercising and choosing healthier eating options. Which is why people feel discouraged and give up because they don’t see any changes in their body. But these things take time, so it is better to set smaller goals and slowly achieve them. Set more realistic goals that are easier to measure and track weekly to keep the individual motivated throughout the whole process.
All of us have eating habits that we developed right from childhood, some of them are good like always having breakfast and some of them are not so good like eating junk daily. But this doesn’t mean it’s too late to change, but making sudden and radical changes in your eating habit may show short term weight loss but during this time the body loses out on many important nutrients that in the future can affect one’s health. Therefore, planning such radical changes are neither healthy nor a good idea, especially when the goal is to lead a healthy life. To lead a healthy lifestyle, the first and foremost step is to REFLECT on all your eating habits, be it good and bad and take note of common triggers for unhealthy eating; the second step is to REPLACE the eating habits that you feel are unhealthy and are in no way benefitting your body, and the third and last step is to REINFORCE the new eating habits that you have adopted and don’t stray away from the path you have set yourself on to achieve a healthy body.
Good Eating Habits
- Choose water over sweetened drinks, especially during meals. Sweetened drinks usually contain a high amount of sugar and consuming that much is unhealthy for one’s body. You can set a goal of having water instead of sweetened drinks for all your meals for the week.
- It has always been recommended to eat slow and chew 32 times before swallowing, this is because the brain takes 20 minutes to send out the signal that you are full. So eat slowly and take the extra time to pay attention to what you are eating and you can also note down how much time you take to finish a meal.
- Try and stick to only one serving with standard portion size, this would help you track your calorie intake. But this doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself if you have all the essential nutrients present in your first serving you might feel full in one plate only.
- Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a meal as they are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins and low in saturated and trans fat. You can have them with or before your meal and set a goal to each day have two fruits and two vegetables, preferably raw.
- Add whole-grain foods and low-fat dairy products, as they help in weight management and avoid the risk of a heart condition.
- Snacking is one of the biggest issues as people often opt for unhealthy snacking options like chips, you can replace them with cut fruits or vegetables. And also a snack from a plate than from the packet, this helps you keep a check on your intake.
- Do not skip or delay meals and plan for your snack time. following a strict routine can help you go all to reach your goal. If you don’t follow your meal timing, you would feel hungry at irregular intervals or choose unhealthy snacks.
- Try to incorporate some physical activity in your daily life, it can be walking or running or a 30-minute workout to maintain the flexibility of your body and this would make you feel fresh and energetic throughout the day.
You don’t need to make huge changes to eat healthier. And you don’t have to change your habits all at the same time. It’s best to set small goals and change your habits a little bit at a time. Over time, small changes can make a big difference in your health