Small ways to change your eating habits for big health gains

These super easy lifestyle changes will help you feel much healthier and happier for the long haul. These 15 simple ways you can improve your eating habits will help ensure you are healthier in your everyday life.

  1. Add frozen veggies to everything! Frozen is a great choice when it comes to vegetables, as they are frozen at the peak of freshness. Keep some veggies in the freezer and try to find ways to add them into everyday meals. Add a cup of frozen veggies to your usual pastas, stir-fries, and omelets for a nutritional boost.
  2. Order first when eating out. You may have every intention in the world of ordering the chicken salad, but when you hear your friend order the creamy carbonara pasta, it’s easy to forget about the salad altogether. Try to order first so that you’re not tempted by what everyone else is ordering.
  3. Eat veggies first. Eat around your plate in this order: vegetables, protein, and then carbs. That way, when you get to the fatty foods, you won’t be as hungry. You may also feel full by the time you get to the starchy carbs.
  4. Eat snacks from a bowl. Research shows that when you eat snack like crisps or chocolates out of the bag, your brain doesn’t give you a stop signal, so you’re likely to eat much more than if you used a plate or a bowl.
  5. Grill or bake one extra portion of protein at dinner. You can then throw together a salad for a quick, fuss-free lunch.
  6. Avoid getting distracted while you are eating. One study found that people tend to eat more when they are multitasking during meal times. Put down your iPhone or laptop and make sure to be present.
  7. Try practicing mindful eating. Be fully aware of the colours, flavors, smells, and textures of your food. This will help you realise when you are full.
  8. Eat high protein breakfasts. While it may be tempting to eat sugary foods for breakfast, croissants, cereals, and yoghurts can cause your blood sugar levels to rise significantly, resulting later in a crash that will only make you crave sugar more. Instead, try to eat breakfasts high in protein and vegetables – not only are they nutritionally better for you, but they’ll also keep you full longer.
  9. Order dressing on the side. When you’re eating out, ordering a salad always seems to be the healthiest option. But what many people don’t realize is some restaurant salads can be close to 1,000 calories, with 200–300 of the calories and a good portion of the sodium coming from the dressing. Always ask for the salad dressing on the side so that you can add it as needed.
  10. Switch out one coffee, tea or juice a day for green tea. Green tea has been shown to help with boosting your metabolism and is also great because it’s loaded with antioxidants and has been positively correlated with reducing the risk of heart disease, improving artery function, and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
  11. Make sure your smoothies are balanced. Every smoothie you make should be a balanced mix of protein, fat, and carbs. Not only does that make it the best for you nutritionally but it will also mimic an actual meal, keeping you fuller throughout the day. Use no more than one cup of fruit — try to make them berries because they’re high in antioxidants and the lowest in sugar in comparison with bananas or tropical fruit — use unsweetened nut milks such as coconut or almond milk, and add at least a cup of spinach and kale for protein.
  12. Plan ahead. Try to prep your breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the next day before going to bed. It can be as simple as throwing the dry ingredients for your morning smoothie in the blender so that you’ll only have to add frozen foods and the almond milk in the morning. Just 15 minutes of planning can make you feel good about your food intake the next day.
  13. Yummy substitutions. You can still enjoy your favorite meals but with a healthier twist. Substitute healthy ingredients into your favorite recipes, so that you get the same delicious taste for fewer calories and more nutritional benefits – use ground almonds instead of white flour for pizza bases, swap pasta for courgetti for bolognese, make cauliflower rice for curries.
  14. Always take a water bottle with you. This will ensure you stay hydrated on the good stuff and not sugary drinks. Boost your water by adding mint and cucumber or strawberries and lemon wedges.
  15. Wait 15 minutes before deciding to get seconds. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full.  If you are still hungry after 20 minutes, get a second helping. If you want to be even healthier, make that second helping all veggies, which are low in calories and high in fibre, antioxidants, and a ton of great nutrients.