Friday, August 31, 2018


By Luke Douglas

How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits

Photo courtesy of Luke Douglas

In a world where a lot of people don’t have the time or money to eat as healthily as they should, we are facing a real crisis of health as more and more people aren’t getting proper nutrition. Accompanying the “living for tomorrow” lifestyle, we are eating foods that give us quick boosts of energy but don’t actually nurture our body the way it needs and deserves. And quick-fix cleanses will only make things worse, getting rid of even those few nutrients that are left in our body. So what is the proper way to eat and how can we develop healthier eating habits?

Listen to your body

The mistake most people make when it comes to nutrition is eating according to the clock, and not according to their body. Hunger is not an evil symbol and something that is there to torture you. Hunger is your body’s natural way to tell you that it needs energy and nutrition. Listen to your body: when you feel hungry – eat, when you feel full – stop. But listening to your body goes far beyond that. If you feel hungry, don’t just eat whatever is near you and is most convenient. Ask your body what it needs. Are you wanting something savory or something sweet? Something crunchy or something soft? Tangy or mellow? Actually try to pinpoint the food your body is asking for, and then eat that. And don’t feel like you have to finish the plate: when your body tells you it’s full, stop eating. But that means that you have to…

Photo courtesy of Luke Douglas

Eat slowly

We spend less and less time eating, and as a consequence, we are paying far less attention to the food we eat and the signals our body is sending us. A great exercise to practice is to put the food in front of you and then wait for between 5 and 10 minutes. Think about the food you’re about to eat, enjoy the smell and look of it and think about the nutritional benefits. Then, when you dig in, take it slow. Make sure you are chewing your food thoroughly and really enjoying the texture and flavor. Remember – your taste buds are on your tongue, so if you are mindlessly swallowing your food, you’re not fully enjoying it. A great tip to slow you down and prevent you from shoving in food mouthful after mouthful is to put your utensils down after each bite. This will ensure that while you’re enjoying one bite, you’re not already loading up the next one. The most important reasons why we should eat slowly is to give our stomach the time to prepare for the process of digestion, and so that we can hear our body when it says it’s full – because the response isn’t instant, it takes a few minutes.

Eat whole food

The less processing there is in the preparation process – the better. The excuse “I don’t have time to cook at home all the time” is no longer a valid one, since there are great catering companies that have healthy food options delivered straight to your door. If you are addicted to snacks, try to replace them with whole food options. Instead of candy, eat nuts and dried fruits and replace chips with fresh vegetable sticks. Usually, our body is craving the texture, not the flavor, so if you find a healthy option with a similar texture, your body will gladly accept the more nutritious alternative. 

Photo courtesy of Luke Douglas

Balance your diet

Nutrition is a science, and it’s perfectly normal that you don’t know everything about it. That’s why the experts are here! Try taking a course in nutrition or talking to an expert to discuss your diet and see if you are getting enough nutrients. This will depend on your activity levels and any special dietary needs. It’s particularly important for people who don’t consume all food groups, because it’s very easy to become malnourished even if you think you are eating plenty. If you notice that you are getting sick more often or that your energy levels are down, it’s a good reason to take a closer look at your diet.

The food we eat is the fuel that gets us through our lives. It’s not optional, and we have to constantly think about the food choices we make. This is why healthy habits help us stay on track when we are too busy to think through our decisions. So without delay, start working on adopting healthy eating habits and you will have a happier, healthier breakfast tomorrow.

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