You are what you eat. This age-old adage is as true now as it ever was. The foods you consume directly impact your physical and mental health. That’s why it’s so essential to develop healthy eating habits.
However, not everyone is sure how to do that. You might have trouble knowing what foods are good for you or how much you should eat. Maybe you have an eating disorder that’s making it challenging to make healthy choices. Or perhaps you don’t have time to cook meals from scratch every day.
If any of this sounds familiar, don’t worry. You can still develop healthy eating habits, no matter your circumstances. Below are some tips to get you started on better nutrition.
Make a plan
One of the best ways to ensure you’re eating healthy is to plan your meals. This way, you can ensure you’re including all the necessary food groups and getting the right balance of nutrients.
Many online resources can help you meal plan, including apps, blogs, and websites. Once you have a plan, make a grocery list of the ingredients you’ll need to make your meals. This strategy will help you save time (and money) at the store.
When you control what you’re eating, it’s easier to make healthy choices. Meal planning also takes the guesswork out of decision-making when you’re hungry. Thus, avoiding last-minute unhealthy choices and preventing food waste.
Cook at home
Cooking at home is a great way to control what goes into your food and how it gets prepared. When you eat out, you cannot know how the food has been arranged or what ingredients were used. When you cook at home, you can use healthy cooking methods and choose recipes that fit your specific dietary needs.
But what if you don’t have time to cook? Batch cooking or preparing make-ahead meals can help you get dinner on the table without spending hours in the kitchen. There are also plenty of healthy recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.
You don’t have to be a master chef to cook at home. Start with simple recipes and work your way up as you become more comfortable in the kitchen. Soon, you’ll enjoy the process and the result — a delicious, healthy meal.
Shop the perimeter
When you go grocery shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store. This part is where you’ll find fresh produce, meat, and dairy—foods that are typically healthier choices than those in the middle aisles (junk food, processed foods, etc.).
Of course, it’s ok to venture into the middle aisles occasionally, but try to be mindful in most of your purchases. When you go down the aisles, read labels carefully to identify healthy options. Following this tip will make you more likely to fill your grocery cart with nutrient-rich foods.
A proactive approach to grocery shopping will help you make healthier choices overall. It is one key element of developing healthy eating habits that you can control.
Be mindful of portion sizes
Overeating is a common problem, affecting 2.8 million Americans. This condition is known as binge eating disorder (BED), the most prevalent eating disorder in the US. It’s characterized by episodes of overeating, feeling out of control, and eating even when you’re not hungry.
But even if you don’t have an eating disorder, it’s easy to eat more than you need. That’s why it’s essential to be mindful of portion sizes. Use smaller plates and bowls to control how much food you’re serving yourself, and don’t feel like you have to finish everything on your plate.
Paying attention to portion sizes is an excellent way to prevent overeating and help you control how much food you consume. It’s also helpful in maintaining a healthy weight.
Seek professional treatment
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your body can’t seem to absorb the nutrients it needs from food. This part is where an experienced gastro specialist comes in. They can help determine the best way to get the nutrients you need and develop a plan to improve your overall health.
Gastroenterologists are uniquely qualified to address problems with digestion and absorption. They have advanced training in diagnosing and treating conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.
If you’re struggling to improve your eating habits, talking to a gastroenterologist can help you figure out what’s preventing you from making progress. So, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with a gastro specialist if you have trouble developing healthy eating habits.
Eating healthy is a journey that requires commitment and effort, but it’s worth it. Improving your diet has numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. By following the tips above, you can make strides in developing healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.