9 Habits for Healthy Eating

In the evenings, I have the TV on in the background while I work. Often I start with a documentary from iPlayer, usually history, then something a bit more trashy like a spending programme or a food programme. At the moment, there is a plethora of diet programmes on all channels, the usual January fodder. These kind of things always amaze me as they hardly say anything new, eat better – lose weight; consume less calories than you expend – lose weight, yet there are dozens and dozens of new diets, theories and opinions.


I have no intention of jumping on the January diet bandwagon, but all of us, whatever our size and shape, can eat better. And, as our feature how to eat healthily on a budget, shows, cost doesn’t need to be a barrier, it’s not all superfoods and on-trend ingredients. Whatever your diet now, changing it overnight isn’t going to be easy, but commit to a new habit each week and in just three months you will be healthier. Add in a daily walk, building up from just ten minutes a day, and you could be fitter and trimmer too.

Here are my 9 habits for eating better:

1. Start the day well. Kick off your powerhouse with a high-protein nutritious breakfast. Eggs, peanut butter, yogurt. Pair it with slow release carbs like oats or wholegrains to keep you going, and get in at least 2-3 portions of fruit or veg to kickstart your daily target.


2. Eat 8-10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The government’s five a day was set low as it was thought most people could aim for that, but experts agree that 8-10 or more is optimal for health. Aim for 2-3 portions per meal and two fruit/veg-based snacks a day and it will be easy to get to your target.  Aim to eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables throughout the week, and at least one portion of berries every day.

3. Go nuts! Eating a small handful of mixed nuts a day could be the best thing you do for your heart. Eat them as a snack (perfect for popping in your bag) or chop them and sprinkle over muesli, salad or savoury dishes.

4. Grow your own. Whatever space you have, window sill up, you can grow something. Start with spring onions, tomatoes, chillies, carrots, salad leaves which are all quick and easy to grow. They taste better and you know exactly what’s going into them.


5. Stay local – and in season. Fruit may be trickier in the UK, but vegetables should always be local and in season. Visit your local farm shop or greengrocer to see what they can offer. Many are starting small local box schemes, so ask around.

6. Snack well. Snacks are an important break in the day, especially for children, but make snack time matter by offering healthy choices. Protein and fruit or vegetables are ideal, so hummus or peanut butter with crudités or an apple with some cheese cubes is ideal.

7. Drink well. Ditch the flavoured and sparkling waters, fizzy drinks and cordials in favour of plain water. Aim for 2 litres a day. Put a carafe in the fridge overnight with cucumber, berries or citrus in to flavour it, or invest in a water filter system for better flavour.


8. Cook from scratch. Making food yourself, from soups and pasta sauces to lasagnes and pies means you know exactly what’s in it and can control fat and salt content, as well as avoiding artificial additives and E numbers. To up the nutritional value of your meals, ‘hide’ vegetables in sauces, bulk out smaller quantities of meat with lentils, beans and vegetables, and add flavour with herbs and spices not salt.

9. Be mindful. Lay the table properly, turn off your phones, and sit down at the table to eat. Put your cutlery down between mouthfuls, engage in conversation, and really think about and enjoy your food and the whole experience of the meal.

You may also like:

21 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Fruit and Vegetables
Help a Picky Eater with Monkey Platters


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Comments

  1. Some great tips there, I like the one of turning off phones when you sit down to eat, I think that is so important.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great tips, I have to be honest though I don't eat 8 pieces of fruit a week so would struggle to fit it all in in a day, I wish I was more healthier, instead of eating healthy I skip meals which I know isn't good xXx

    ReplyDelete

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