8 Tips to Help Develop Healthy, Sustainable Eating Habits
If you’re trying to lose weight or improve your health, you’ve likely tried or considered a number of diets. With so many to choose from, the options are endless... Some work and some don’t, but what most people can agree on is that diets tend to not be sustainable long-term. So when you stop the diet, what do you do next to keep the weight off?
Rather than dieting, have you considered just changing your eating habits? Changing your eating habits will help to improve your diet, so that you gradually get healthier and lose weight in a way that you can sustain and maintain. Doing this enables you to make dietary changes that aren’t too extreme and that can be built on over-time. Perhaps the weight loss won’t be as dramatic as a fad diet, but who wants a diet that you lose weight quickly only to regain all the weight back when you stop? Rather than heading down this road, try making healthy changes and maintaining these long-term. Below are eight tips you can follow to help develop healthy, long-term sustainable eating habits
- Reduce your food portion sizes. This is an obvious one but it can make a huge difference. Try sticking to ½ - 1 cup cooked portions when having carbohydrates at mealtimes, palm-sized meats and loading your plate up with salad or low calorie vegetables e.g. leafy greens.
- Increase overall low calorie/vegetable intake during your day and fill up on these at meals. These include asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, capsicum, carrot, celery, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, kale, lettuce, rocket, salad greens, mushrooms, onion, radish, snow peas, spinach, silverbeet, bok chuy, tomato, zucchini etc.
- Avoid skipping meals, as often this leaves you too hungry later in the day or makes you more likely to snack at night.
- Eat small and regular meals throughout the day but be mindful of how many snacks you are having. For example if morning tea is a yoghurt and fruit, afternoon tea is grain crackers and cheese, during the day you have a few skim lattes and after dinner you snack on dried fruit and nuts, while these are healthy snacks, unless you are planning on running marathons, you wont need this many snacks. If hungry, try switching some of these to lower calorie options such as vegetable sticks, sugar-free jelly or sugar-free ice blocks.
- Choose healthier snacks e.g. a piece of fruit, 10-15 raw/roasted nuts, a low sugar/low fat yoghurt, low fat cheese, vegetable sticks & hummus etc.
- When selecting carbohydrate foods, choose high fibre options such as very grainy breads, high fibre wraps, high fibre cereals etc. and be mindful of portion sizes.
- If you’re a coffee drinker, consider milky coffees such as lattes, mochas, flat whites or cappuccinos as well as other milky beverages like hot chocolates, flavoured milk or chai/matcha lattes as a snack. These can range from around 400kJ/100 calories in a small skim latte to over 1000kJ/240 calories in a large full cream latte. Choose skim or low fat options and avoid having too many during the day. As a rule, one milky coffee is ok but then try and switch to more water based ones.
- Choose water for most of your fluid needs. Limit or avoid sugary beverages including juices, soft drinks, energy drinks, regular cordials or iced teas. Water is calorie free and the best drink for hydration and the waistline! Also, aim to drink at least 1.5-2L water per day to keep hydrated and help fill you up.
These are just a few habits that you can begin working on. Start by choosing one or two to start implementing and once you get these down pat, work on another one or two from the list and so on. Remember, gradual steps to a healthy lifestyle is much more sustainable and maintainable than extreme changes. If you’re looking for a sustainable weight loss program, check out our Tony Ferguson 12 Week Classic Shake Program – now available online for FREE!