Our eating habits are as important as the food choices we make in achieving and maintaining health. In today fast and processed world this is more relevant then ever. Over time the effects of poor lifestyle and food choices causes oxidation, inflammation and toxicity in the body which can resulting in problematic health. In short, how well the body is nutritionally fuelled directly correlates with how well the body functions.
Combating weight gain caused by chronic stress and poor diet requires a multi-modality approach. Lifestyle, diet, physiological, psychological and environmental stressors need to be identified and treated. When a client is treated from a place of 'cause' as apposed to just symptomatically they have a much greater chance of long term success. In order to truely benefit from dietary changes made, it is important to adopt healthy eating habits at the same time. Below are 10 easy steps to help you create healthy eating habits.
Here are 10 tips for healthy eating habits.
- Chew - Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing and the secretion of enzymes. Eating quickly increases the amount of air and the size of the food swallowed. This leads to inadequate digestion and increase in gas production.
- Eat regularly - Eat at least every 4 -5 hours. Our bodies need regular fuel to maintain blood sugar levels & metabolism but enough time to complete digestion before more food is eaten. Avoid skipping meals by having balanced snacks on hand for busy times. Hunger is a sign or low blood sugar and will lead to poor food choices & overeating if ignored.
- Avoid overeating - Overeating occurs when we skip meals, eat too quickly or don’t satisfy our taste buds. Overeating is a major cause of obesity and stresses the liver and digestive tract. To reduce the risk of overeating, spread your meals evenly throughout the day and don’t leave the largest meal until the evening. Our digestive is at its peak around lunch and is at its most efficient at converting food into energy rather than storing it as fat.
- Eat with awareness - Awareness eating has been proven to cause a rise in metabolism. Ask yourself how hungry you are before and after each meal. Take 5 minutes to relax before a meal if you feel stressed. Prepare as many meals yourself as possible - touching, tasting and smelling food before you eat it will prepare the body for digestion, prevent over eating and improve your psychological relationship with food.
- Achieve fluid balance - Try and drink around 2 litres of water in-between meals. Drinking excessively during meals however can reduce enzyme activity which can result in poor digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Prepare - Shop for fresh food regularly and keep your pantry stocked with good staples to make it easier to eat a healthy diet. Make base staples to keep in the fridge like salad, boiled eggs, roasted vegetables ect. Whenever you cook try and cook double and freeze them so you always have a healthy meal in the freezer for those nights you can’t be bothered.
- Go 50% raw - Have half of your vegetables and fruit intake raw (e.g.. salads). Fruit and vegetables contain enzymes which aim digestion, so aim to eat some with every meal.
- Exercise - Aim for a lease three or four times per week. Exercise works the diaphragm, which massages the intestines and thereby improves digestion. It also regulates appetite, blood sugar control and metabolism.
- 90% for the body 10% for the soul - 90% healthy food and 10% treats to satisfy your mind, soul and social life.
- Eat positively - Good habits can easily be established with a little effort and a positive frame of mind. A balanced healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring, bland, time consuming or expensive. Take back the control of your diet and health by making your own choices and stop allowing industry to dictate what you eat. And remember, food should be prepared, and eaten, with joy!