While we can all generally agree that eating healthily involves plenty of whole foods, veggies, portion control and limiting junk and sugar, healthy eating habits are not a one size fits all situation.
Some folks simply need to eat more calories than others. Some people swear by breakfast, while others find a morning fast works best for them. Some people need to graze throughout the day to keep their energy levels constant, while others are happier with three square feeds.
That said, there are some common habits outside of what we eat that seem to benefit us all. Here are some you might want to give a try.
Stick to a routine
While exactly how and when you eat is pretty personal, scientists reckon making sure you eat in roughly the same way each day is kind of important.
Find an eating regime that works for your body (and your energy levels) and stick to it! Importantly, once you have a routine that works for you, don’t be tempted to skip meals.
Take a seat
Grab and go meals, while convenient, can encourage is to eat mindlessly and not really pay attention to our body’s hunger cues. Sitting down and actively removing yourself from other tasks while eating can help you stay in touch with your habits.
Make mealtime screen-free
Same goes for screens! Not being distracted by the phone, computer or TV while we eat allows us to focus on the enjoyment of food and makes us more likely to pick up on our body’s signals telling us that we’ve eaten enough.
If you’re someone who gulps their food down without much thought, try slowing things right down. Take a bite, feel the food in your mouth, notice the flavours, textures, temperatures. Not only will this remind you how awesome food is, it also gives your bodies hunger/satiation system a chance to catch up and better let you know when you’re full.
Make it social
Interestingly, studies suggest that those who eat meals with others tend to have healthier diets overall than those who eat alone. So, when possible, eat your meals with family and friends – it makes for a good chance to socially connect, too!
Choose your snacks wisely
If you’re a bit of a snacker, be sure to plan ahead and have healthy snacks on hand so you don’t find yourself suddenly ravenous and eating whatever’s handy – which let’s be honest, will probably be a chocolate bar or packet of chips. A handful of nuts, fresh fruit or a few slices of cheese make easy snacks you can grab when the 3pm snack monster strikes.