How to make healthy eating a habit

Everyone knows the importance of eating a healthy diet, but doing so can be far from easy. Even after you’ve started to implement those changes, it can be challenge to maintain them, especially if you have a hectic schedule or find yourself in a pinch. However, there are some tips and tricks you can enlist to help create good eating habits. Here are a few ideas.

Have a goal. The best way to start eating a healthier diet is to set a goal for yourself. If you have nothing to strive for or maintain, there is little reason to make any change. So, figure that out before you start making changes to your diet. Perhaps you would like to lose a few pounds, or eat more fruits and vegetables, or phase out meat or dairy. Whatever it may be, establish what achievement looks like to you, and work towards it.

Plan your meals, and your proportions. When you’re short on time, it can be hard to make wise decisions about what you put into your body. That’s why it is smart to plan your meals in advance. Set aside time every weekend to come up with a realistic menu for the week, which will also allow you to scrutinize the vitamins and nutrients each meal offers. It’s also important to be honest with yourself about how much you need to eat. You don’t need to eat until you’re completely full. Instead, opt to go with appropriate serving sizes and calorie intakes based on your physical activity for the day.

Prepare for any situation. There may come a time when you aren’t able to make a full meal for yourself, or when unforeseen circumstances come up and make it harder for you to maintain your health-conscious diet. In these cases, it helps to have an emergency healthy snack or homemade frozen meal available to eat quickly. It will help you stay on track, and help prevent the temptation of ordering takeout.

Learn which nutrients are the best for you. If you start your morning with a bagel, chances are you’ll be hungry again in an hour or two. But if you have something more nutritious, like fruit, a smoothie, sprouted bread toast with crunch peanut butter, Greek-style yogurt, or a veggie-packed omelet, you’ll find you’ll stay fuller longer. Foods with fiber and protein will keep you satisfied until your next meal.

Make it taste great. The best way to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle is to make it as enjoyable as possible. Use spices and herbs to maximize flavor, and always remember that fresh food, rather than products that come in bags or boxes, tends to taste better. If you use great ingredients, you can make great dishes. Don’t be afraid to use the hot sauce, either; studies show that spicy food can help boost your metabolism, and stay satisfied by smaller meals.

7 Ways to Build the Habit of Healthy Eating [Stronglifts]

How to Build Healthy Eating Habits [Lifehack]

How to Make Healthy Eating a Habit [WedMD]