Since I started my weight loss and healthy living journey in 2015, the thing I’ve struggled the most with, is maintaining healthy eating habits. Most people think that exercise is the most difficult thing to do, but I’d say consistently making healthy eating choices is more difficult to accomplish than exercise.
In this guide, I have listed seven tried and tested habits that will help you make better choices when eating.
- Eat Composite Meals
Research shows that when foods are eaten separately, more total calories are consumed compared to when they are mixed together. Typically, traditional Liberian styled meals are almost always combined. The sauce or stews combine the vegetables and meat and serve with a type of carbohydrate – usually rice. Once the food is combined, the overall calories could be more or less depending on the portion you choose.
2. Manage Portion Size
This one is a no brainier: the more you put on your plate, the more you will consume. Therefore, practice measuring your food or eating from smaller plates to avoid over eating. The math behind weight loss is simple calories out should always be greater than calories in.
3. Caloric Concentration
The stomach is elastic that much is true, however studies show that you will eat the same volume of food regardless of its fat content. Therefore, use this to your advantage by eating high-volume foods with low calories, like vegetables.
Practice cutting out different food groups. Studies have shown that people who cut out carbohydrates (as in a low-carb diet) or protein (such as vegetarians) do not make up the caloric deficit with the other macro-nutrients.
5. Intermittent or Alternate day fasting Intermittent fasting is when you do not consume food for a portion of the day, while alternate day fasting is when you do not consume food at all on alternate days. Just like your body doesn’t make up the calories deficit with other macro-nutrients, it won’t make up the calorie deficit by consuming more food on the days that you do eat. In addition to weight loss, intermittent fasting can have a positive effect on your metabolism, boost cardiovascular health, and more.
6. Practice mindful snacking
Humans are opportunistic eaters. That means that if you want to reduce unnecessary snacking through out the day, you have to keep snacks out of sight. Storing food out of sight can therefore help to reduce intake.
Meal planning and prepping Studies have shown that planning and preparing meals in advance can have a more positive outcome on eating properly. When meals are planned in advance they are readily available when you are ready to eat. Practicing meal planning and prepping will help you keep track of all the calories being consumed on a daily basis and make you more aware of the types and quality of food being consumed. In the long run, you will spend less time and money but still get high quality meals on a daily basis.