We all have a tendency to not eat as well as we know we should. Hitting a drive-through on the way home from work or making a quick box of macaroni and cheese is far quicker and easier than taking the time to plan out, prep, and cook a full, healthy meal. Unfortunately, what you gain in time and money you lose in terms of nutritious content and its effect on both your body and your mind.
At Over Easy we’ve realized how important nutrition is, but we also realize that sometimes, especially on busy mornings, best-laid plans can quickly fall apart. We know this from personal, so we’ve put together a few quick and easy ways that you can improve your eating habits.
Why Should I Improve My Eating Habits?
Sure, we have a few ways that you should work on improving your eating habits, but maybe we should talk about why you should consider changing them in the first place.
People work on their diets for a variety of different reasons, but until you find one that’s personal to you, nothing is really going to stick.
A huge reason that people often try to change the way that they eat is that they want to lose weight. Whether this is to feel better, look better, or just generally live a healthier lifestyle (changing your diet can help you reduce the symptoms of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and more), losing weight can really help you from a physical perspective.
In addition, losing weight can help you feel better about yourself. Like it or not, our self-esteem can be tied directly to how we look. Keep in mind, especially with the prevalence of mental health issues like body dysmorphic disorder (where you see yourself much differently than you really look), that you should always be realistic with how much you want to lose and what you want to weigh. We’re all about keeping our goals healthy and achievable.
For others, improving their eating habits has a lot to do with how they feel mentally. Mental health is directly related to nutritional deficiencies, so focusing on making sure that you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet can also positively impact your mental health. Giving your brain the food it needs to work can only do good things for your mind and body.
Try Eating Smaller Meals
A good place to start when you’re trying to really revamp the way you approach food is by trying to eat meals that are smaller in size. Instead of putting a ton of thought into what you’re eating, you can begin your journey to a healthier life by just sizing it down.
Often, we eat much larger portions than that the recommended serving size on the package is, and even more food than we need to feel full. Many people disregard it entirely and don’t really even pay attention to what it says. When you’re making food, pay close attention to serving size. This can naturally help you eat less without having to give up foods that you love.
Another way to try to eat less is to use smaller dishes. Not only do you feel like you’re getting more when you eat it off of a smaller plate, but you’ll also consume fewer calories. It’s also important that you remove your serving from the dish that it comes in instead of trying to eat an appropriate amount out of a much larger portion. It’s basically a crazy life hack that no one ever thinks of but can change the game.
Try to eat your meals with as little distraction as possible. If you’re distracted while you’re eating, you’re far more likely to just continue to eat past when you’re even full. Sure, it’s fun to have dinner while watching your favorite team win, but focusing on your food is overall a more healthy way to go about it.
Eat More Fruits And Vegetables
The amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that we eat on a regular basis is far less than what it should be. Not only does this mean that we’re eating more and more processed foods, but it also means that our diets lack many of the essential vitamins and minerals that we need to function at beast mode.
The importance of fruits and vegetables in the diet is impossible to overstate. They are full of phytonutrients, vitamins that are specific to plant foods, that can help to boost the immune system so that it can more easily fight off the development of chronic diseases.
Think of it as adding more color to your diet. Focus on leafy greens, deep red fruits, orange citrus, etc. Eat the rainbow every day, as much as possible.
Here at Over Easy, we developed our breakfast bars to help you eat as nutritious as possible, even when you’re on the go. We included real fruit in our bars, like apples and bananas. While fresh fruit and vegetables are nice to have, we know that not everyone’s life functions in a way that lets that happen on a regular basis.
Learn Your Food Triggers
We all have food triggers, even people who have incredibly healthy eating habits. It would be nice to think that we eat only at times that we really feel hungry, but we’re only human. There are plenty of things out there that can trigger us to want to eat, like boredom or stress.
Pay close attention to when you find yourself mindlessly snacking, and take notes on how you’re feeling when that happens. Are you overly tired? Did you have a big fight with your partner? Was it a stressful day at work? Are you just bored and don’t have anything better to do? All of these are important factors that can help you really figure out what is motivated you to eat when you’re not feeling hungry, and when you know the cause, you can make the change.
Once you can identify your triggers, make plans for what else you can do when you’re feeling down or stressed. Changing up your habits so that you take a walk instead of eating a bag of chips or go meet a friend instead of ordering a pizza can really help you improve your eating habits and make a positive change in your life.
Plan Your Meals Ahead Of Time
Bad decision making is often a symptom of bad planning. When you’re hungry, but you don’t have a plan for what you’re going to be eating that day, it’s easy to just run through a drive-through and eat far more calories than you should with far less nutritional value.
Planning your meals out ahead of time is a great way to counteract that. One of the best ways of doing this is by sitting down on the weekend and planning out your entire week. This gives you time to think about what you want to make, take time factors into account, and go grocery shopping without having to worry about doing it after work. It can feel like a drag, especially if you’re spontaneous, but it can be a fun way to mix in different kinds of new foods to change things up.
Make sure you plan out your entire week, from breakfasts to snacks to drinks. Keep a calendar in an obvious place so that you can refer to it regularly, and don’t stray from the plan. Many professionals believe that it takes 21 days to really break a habit, so you should stick to it 100% for at least that amount of time to give yourself the highest likelihood of success.
Another way to develop positive motivation with meal planning is to invest in a quality lunchbox that you are excited about. It can feel a little strange to pack a lunch as an adult, but if you have a fun lunchbox that you are proud to bring with you to work, it will make the process much easier. Spending money on a habit is another great way to make sure that you stick with it, as well.
Stop Drinking Soda
When it comes to quick ways to improve your eating habits, cutting soda is one of the quickest. However, it may not be as easy as you think. Soda (and sugar more specifically) can be physically and psychologically addictive.
Soda is full of empty calories that can easily put you way over your daily calorie goal. When you kick the habit and substitute it with something better for you, like water, you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel. Sugar can also contribute to things like acne too, so you’ll look better as well! If caffeine is the main reason that you drink soda, try coffee instead.
Improving your eating habits can help switch you into maximum overdrive. When you eat poorly, you can develop a whole host of both mental and physical issues. With the right tools and the right knowledge, you can improve your eating habits for a better, healthier you. Over Easy is here for you every step of the way. Start small, and reward yourself when you reach your goals. You can do it!