Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Eating Habits Is Easier Than You Think!

healthy eating habits blog

Did you know that nearly 42% of adults over the age of 20 are considered obese? That number rises to almost 74% if you include people who are considered overweight.

The stats are just as depressing for children, with over 22% of adolescents aged twelve to nineteen, 21% of children between the ages of six and eleven, and nearly 13% of kids between the ages of two to five falling into the obese category.

With those staggering numbers, it is wise to take a good, hard look at our lives and determine why these numbers have increased over the last decade. Since March is National Nutrition Month, now is the perfect time to analyze our eating habits and make changes for the better.

We all know the importance of exercise, but exercise alone will not lead to a healthy body. We must also watch what we put into our bodies.

To help celebrate this month, and to prepare for warmer weather and fewer bulky sweaters, we want to share some great ideas that will help you make a permanent change in your eating habits.

  1. Eat home-cooked meals.

On average, meals prepared at home from scratch contain healthier and cleaner ingredients. Buy lean meats, fresh vegetables, and whole grains, then incorporate them into your meal plan. Stay away from boxed meals (which often contain a hefty amount of salt) or sauces laden with sugary ingredients. Resist the urge to stop by a fast-food restaurant for a quick meal.

  1. Stop snacking on junk.

Chips and candy bars may taste good and are easy to grab on the go, but they contain nothing healthy and may even lead to the development of unhealthy cravings. Try unsalted nuts, celery and peanut butter, carrots and hummus, avocado toast, or protein bars, like the ones Performance Inspired has created.

  1. Remove tempting sweets and junk from your home.

We have all been there. After dinner, we get the urge to snack, so we rummage around the pantry or refrigerator looking for something. Anything. And we end up loading up on calories and junk. As you begin to make changes to your diet, eliminate the potential for sliding back into bad habits by simply not purchasing junk. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it.

  1. Explore new foods.

Have you always been intrigued by starfruit, mangoes, figs, or some other type of produce you have never tried? Expanding your palate will help you get excited about eating healthy foods. We all know that eating the same food day after day can get monotonous. Now is a great time to buy fruits and vegetables you have never eaten. Try a new whole-grain bread. Google new recipes. Then have fun making some new creations.

  1. Watch portion sizes.

It’s true that sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. When we load up our plate with delicious-looking food, we often feel obligated to finish everything so we don’t waste it. That leads to an uncomfortable feeling of fullness—and regret. Take what you think will suffice and begin with that. If you still feel hungry when you’re done, add a small portion and see how you feel.

  1. Eat whole-grain breads and pasta.

White bread and pasta contain nothing healthy and will just fill you up. Whole grains provide fiber and vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Whole-grain foods help control of cholesterol levels, weight and blood pressure. These foods also help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.” With that knowledge, we should all feel excited! There are lots of delicious whole-grain options. Explore and find which you really like.

  1. Drink water.

While sodas or juices may taste good, there’s no real benefit to drinking them. Some juices may contain vitamins, but watch out for the sugar content. Water is the best thing we can drink. Our bodies are 60% water and need that hydration to function properly. Drinking water before meals also helps you eat less, as you feel fuller.

  1. Understand that healthy eating begins with the proper state of mind.

You can make dietary changes simpler by changing your mindset. Don’t tell yourself that you’re on a diet. Tell yourself that you are beginning a new way of eating so you live longer and healthier. It’s no secret that our bodies begin to break down and get more tired as we grow older. We don’t need to help it along by treating it poorly. Healthy eating is an investment in our future.

When you implement these ideas, you will find that you not only feel better but you look better and you will likely feel happier. That’s because often our moods reflect how our bodies feel. A healthier diet does lead to a happier mood. So while it’s perfectly fine to indulge in a treat now and then, understand that what you put in your body matters. And take steps to treat it well. 

Byline Susan
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