When something comes easily, it can quickly become a habit. When it’s a chore, the converse is true, and it soon falls by the wayside. That’s particularly the case when it’s something related to health and fitness. Some people love working out at the gym and will call in there at the slightest opportunity. But if you see it as just another task to fit into an already busy day, you’ll have no difficulty finding an excuse to give it a miss.
The same applies to healthy eating, but with the right mindset and routine, it can easily become second nature. Here are some tips to help you make it happen.
Heading to the supermarket with a vague idea of some of the things you need is a recipe for disaster. Plan meals in advance and create a shopping list grouped according to your local store’s layout. Here’s an extra tip – the healthy, natural products tend to be around the outer perimeter of the store – the delicatessen, the “free from” sections and the fresh fish, for example. You’ll also notice that when you shop with a list and stick to it, your grocery bill reduces significantly, as there’s none of the random impulse purchases of things you “might need.”
Stock up on staples
Even the best laid plans can go awry, but if you have a pantry stocked with products like pasta, canned fish and different types of beans, it’s easy to throw something together at short notice. And it reduces the temptation to reach for that takeaway menu!
Moderation in all things
Eating in moderation is all about balance. Nobody is suggesting you should still feel hungry after a meal, but it is just as bad to feel overfull and bloated. Make smaller portions and try to eat more slowly. Whatever your mother told you as a child, clearing the plate is not mandatory! When you eat in moderation, nothing needs to be off limits. A burger and fries can be highly satisfying, just don’t eat it in a double portion every day! Studies have shown that denying yourself your favourite foods is usually unsustainable and can just lead to bingeing later.
Families spend less time together these days than they used to, so maintaining proper mealtimes where you all sit together at the table can only be a good thing. It also contributes to healthy eating habits. If you’re staring at the TV or computer screen while eating, it’s easy to keep shoving food in on auto-pilot. Also, remember that whatever they might say as teenagers, kids really do model their behaviour and habits on their parents.
Choose healthier alternatives
Finally, an area that we know all about at Focused Nutrition. Snack bars and cakes are ideal to keep you going between meals. But they don’t have to be full of sugar and other unhealthy additives. If you fancy a chocolate flapjack, or perhaps a slice of lemon drizzle, we’ve got just the thing!