Forming Good Eating Habits
Whatever real progress we talk about in life, it is always measured at a rather wider time frame. The long run. It is slow and gradual, but constant.
This applies to our health, career, whatever success we can think of.
And when taking food into the equation of being healthy or looking good, we can see that such a constant is desperately needed. Either that or we would be headed for a perpetual chase around the maypole.
And forming good eating habits albeit hard at the beginning becomes something that you hardly notice afterwards. A part of your lifestyle; how you function.
How to Start Forming Good Eating Habits?
First thing first, we figure what eating habits are. This should represent a rather broader picture describing what you eat, your eating schedule, the way in which you consume meals etc.
And there is a scientific spin on every aspect mentioned.
The thing is, once you start forming your eating habits the progress in overall health, energy levels and looks is set for good.
The basis will always be diversity and keeping things moderate. This is a principle that almost defines the rules of nutrition big picture wise.
So let’s start with each separate aspect of our diet and eating habits.
The Importance of an Eating Schedule and Forming the Habits
In an ideal world, having smaller meals throughout the day would be perfect. But schedules take their turn. So forming the eating schedule we can set three somewhat bigger meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and two or three snacks in between.
Now some science people;
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is only partially true. Partially due to the fact that it is indeed important to make your first meal rich with nutrients, but here is something even more important.
Yes, the timing. It is very important to have your breakfast half an hour, or even earlier, after you get out of bed. This way you supply the body with all those nutrients, giving the metabolism and every other vital process in your body a signal to start working.
You see, our metabolism is slowest during the night. And if you schedule your breakfast latter on that day, you risk for it staying the same. By having your breakfast earlier, you jump start your metabolic rates.
Then every two or three hours comes the next meal.
Make it so that you are finished with your entire daily intake somewhere before eight o’clock.
Quantity Matters Too
Eat as much as your body requires. How to do this, you ask?
You see, our body is designed so that we feel our hunger satisfied somewhere around ten to fifteen minutes after all the necessary nutrition is taken.
So eat slowly and you will be able to know when to stop.
And when it comes to quantity, it is really a matter of logic.
Breakfast is always bigger as well as richer in terms of nutrients. Logic dictates such a thing due to bigger energy demand as well as more time for nutrients to be processed and used.
Lunch is second with somewhat less quantity. Though quality of the food you eat remains the same.
Dinner is even less in terms of quantity, but also in terms of what type of food you should eat. Less carbs here and less fats too.
About the snacks;
They on the other hand take the opposite. The first should be maybe just an apple or an orange, with the second being richer with vitamins and minerals as well as some protein, and the last being richer still, while also adding quantity.
Types of Food
By now things should have a pretty decent frame in which we can see our daily intake as well as how our habits would look like.
The right type of food has always been the hardest thing to follow though.
Ideally we should consume 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fats, most of which healthy ones. But then again this applies only if we have an ideal amount of physical exercise like this review of the 21 day fix workout added into our daily schedule.
In a slightly different situation, you should just cut some on the carbs and add a little protein.
With dinner having the least of carbs, breakfast is centered just on the opposite. Aim for complex carbs- ones found in vegetables, fruit. They give a lot more of energy and less fat conversion rate. So a win-win situation there, if you ask me. Besides, all the vitamins and minerals will have a bigger and more measurable impact throughout the day.
Mediterranean diet is probably a cornerstone in healthy eating. No wonder people living in the lower parts of Italy or Cyprus or Greece have lower percent of heart disease and lack of other serious health problems too.
Some Other No-brainer Tips
- Alcohol is OK if consumed once or twice per week, but in very moderate quantity. Nothing more than a glass for lunch once a week or bear or two during the weekend. And even if this is something hard to detach from as a habit, believe me that once you start to eat healthy, it will no longer feel as a need.
- Try to consume all of your meals while sitting down at a table. Eating is not entertainment or anything else for that matter- it is a necessity. The sooner you figure out this, the better you are off. Maybe your last snack of the day can be consumed while watching TV or whatever, but try and be consistent in this rule with your other meals.
- Once a week, I usually choose Sunday, relax and eat whatever that you like in a rather larger quantity. But after a while of having set a healthy diet and eating habits, you will see that you will find larger portions more repelling. Your body will know how much it needs so it will react when you try to stuff more unnecessary nutrition.
- Hydration is as much important as food is. Drink your water applying the same principles, by not drinking a lot of quantity at once, and by trying to stay hydrated throughout the whole day, meaning drinking constantly. This becomes a habit in no time. Athletes are using this technique more than you would think. It helps their body to stay hydrated during practice sessions and matches.
As you can see diversity and moderation play a big role in every aspect of forming good eating habits. My advice for you would be to not try and implement all too much all too sudden. You should rather start with something like forming an eating schedule, then progress to defining and setting the quantity, and finally tweak your intake according to the rules about different types of food.
The best way of forming habits, and I talk a lot about this back at Lifestyle Updated, is starting slowly and doing things day in and day out. You get overwhelmed by the new, you are likely to quit all too soon. Same goes to not being consistent.
If you follow this principle it will get to the point where all you know about how to eat will be eating healthy and efficiently.