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15 Healthy Eating Habits That Actually Work

healthy eating habits will change your life. Check out these healthy eating tips and transform your diet today.

healthy eating habits

When it comes to improving your eating habits, it seems that everyone wants to chip in.

“Eat this, drink that!” But not everything you hear or read actually works.

And given that the stakes are high, you must have trustworthy information.

So, today I’ve compiled 15 Healthy Eating Habits That Actually Work. They’re scientifically backed, so you know that they’re reliable.

What are they? Well, you’ll have to keep on reading to find out!

1. Eat more home-cooked meals

plate with cooked egg and tomatoes

I get it: we all live busy lives, so it can be much easier to order takeout or dine at a restaurant.

Unfortunately, though, food portions at restaurants are now double or even triple what they used to be.

And what happens when you overeat? You gain weight!

Excess weight not only means not fitting in your skinny jeans, but it’s also not good for your health.

Portion size aside, restaurant meals are often loaded with sodium. And having excess sodium in your diet isn’t good.

It can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and even kidney disease.

By eating at home, you have more control over how much sodium you put in your food. You can use low sodium soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce when making a stir-fry.

Another suitable replacement for regular soy sauce is coconut aminos. Coconut aminos have up to a third less sodium than traditional soy sauce. If you’d like to pick some up, you can get some here.

2. Prep your meals

two meal prep containers

However, we need to be realistic when it comes to home-cooked meals. Between juggling the demands of work, school, kids, or all three, we can’t be in the kitchen every single day.

That’s where meal prepping comes in handy. Meal prepping saves you time, so you’re not living in the kitchen.

And when you have your meals prepped, you’re not wondering what’s for dinner at the end of the day. All you need to do is heat your food.

To keep your prepped meals fresh and prevent food waste, make sure you store them in good airtight food storage containers. I prefer these glass food storage containers here because they can tolerate rapid temperature changes without cracking. However, if you would like lighter containers, these BPA-free plastic containers are an excellent alternative.

3. Watch your portion sizes

two platefuls of salad

Having more home-cooked meals is good. But you still need to make sure that you watch your portion sizes.

To ensure that you’re eating the right amount of food, try eating on smaller plates. That way, you still have the sense of eating an entire plate of food even though you’re eating less.

4. Eat more protein

dish with salmon and zucchini

Having more protein in your diet is beneficial both for weight loss and overall good health.  For instance, protein helps you feel full, so you eat less.

It also helps you build muscle mass and strength. It’s even good for your bones too.

What’s more, eating more protein reduces food cravings and late-night snacking. As an added bonus, eating more protein boosts your metabolism too. 

You can increase your protein intake in several ways. For instance, you can add legumes, salmon, cheese, chicken, or tuna to your salads.

You can even swap out your regular pasta for a high-protein pasta like this. One serving provides a whopping 10 grams of protein. And it is rich in B Vitamins that support brain health.

You can even make a protein shake for breakfast. Making a protein shake is easy and convenient.

Here’s how I like to make my protein shake: I add one scoop of whey powder to one cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk, along with some fresh or frozen berries and crushed ice.

Then I whisk everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

If you’re looking for a high-quality protein powder, you can get some here. And if you’d like vegan protein powder instead, this one is a great choice

5. Eat more fiber

bowl of eggplant salad

Fiber is so good for you. For instance, it feeds the good bacteria in your gut, lowers cholesterol, prevents constipation, and may even help you lose weight.

But most of us don’t get close to the recommended amount of fiber. In fact, only 5 percent of us meet the recommended daily target for fiber. Eek!

You can increase your fiber intake in many ways. You can add extra fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks.

You can also eat seeds and nuts. And if you like baking, replace white flour with high-fiber flour such as almond flour which you can get right here. Not only is it rich in fiber, but it is also low in carbs as well.

6. Drink more water

Yes, I know that water is not as sexy as, say, a cocktail or soda. However, there are so many good reasons to drink more water.

Drinking water is essential for brain function. For instance, if you don’t drink enough water, your concentration and mood are impaired.

You even get more headaches when you’re dehydrated.

It also relieves constipation and can help you lose weight. So, chug down some water!

But drinking more water is easier said than done. Let’s face it: it’s not as tasty as soda.

I like to spruce up my water by adding fresh herbs such as mint to my water, along with some cucumber slices. It tastes so much better!

Another way to ensure that you drink enough water is to carry a water bottle with you all the time. This water bottle comes with a time marker that reminds you to drink enough water during the day. You won’t have any more excuses to not hit your water goal!

7. Eat more whole foods

bowl full of vegetables

In today’s food environment, there are so many highly processed foods. And although highly processed are convenient, they’re not good for you.

That’s because they’re often high in sugar, fat, and calories. This not only leads to weight gain but other problems, including high blood pressure.

So, what’s a guy or gal supposed to eat? More whole foods.

Whole foods are basically foods that are as close to nature as possible. This includes lean meat, fish, legumes, and fruits and vegetables.

You can include more whole foods in your diet by washing, drying, and chopping your veggies after returning from the grocery store.

That way, whenever you want to snack or meal prep, you’re good to go.

To prevent your greens from going limp, you’ll want to make sure that they are dried thoroughly. Having a salad spinner like this makes it easy work of drying your greens.

Or, for extra convenience, you can always buy veggies that have already been pre-cut and pre-washed.

8. Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.

Have you ever gone grocery shopping when you were feeling hungry? You probably ended up wanting to buy everything in the store, especially that giant tub of ice cream.

In fact, studies show that when you’re hungry, you end up buying more impulse items. For instance, you end up buying those items that are near the grocery till.

And those items are not usually fruits and veggies. They’re things such as chocolate bars and sweets.

To avoid this from happening, shop right after you’ve had a meal. Or at the very least, eat a small snack like fruit before shopping.

9. Use a grocery list when shopping

Let’s talk grocery shopping. Do you just wander through the aisles, grabbing whatever suits your fancy?

Don’t do that! Instead, have a grocery list on you when you go grocery shopping.

Shopping with a grocery list has so many benefits. It helps you remember what you need to buy and prevents impulse shopping.

It also helps you save money and helps with meal planning.

But that’s not all. Studies show that it can lead to a healthier diet and healthier weight. Yay!

10. Keep healthy convenience foods in your kitchen

Sometimes despite our best intentions, we’re not able to meal plan. And we need to whip up a meal in ten minutes or less.

It’s at times like this you want to have healthy convenience foods on hand. You can stock up on canned tuna, canned beans, canned tomatoes, frozen veggies, pre-washed salad greens, and whole-grain or low-carb tortillas like this.

11. Remove unhealthy foods from your kitchen and pantry

Do you have a sweet tooth? I do too.

So, if you had a choice between an apple or a piece of cake, which would you pick? The piece of cake, right?

But you know that the apple is the healthier choice. However, even though you know this, it’s pretty hard to resist having the cake.

So, to not have to rely on willpower, it’s best not to have the piece of cake staring in your face. It’s best to have a healthy food environment.

And studies prove this. In a study examining the role of the food environment on health, researchers found that people weighed less in homes where the fruit was kept on the counter.

However, in homes where candy and soft drinks were kept on the kitchen counter, people weighed more- up to 30 pounds more.

12. Don’t eat in front of the television

Eating in front of the television encourages distracted eating. And when you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating, you miss your satiety cues.

This results in you eating more food. One way you can break this habit is by inviting a friend over to share a meal.

Not only will you get to share good conversation, but you’ll also be able to enjoy your meal more.

13. Eat slowly

When you eat, it may be tempting to scarf down your food. But eating slowly has many benefits.

For instance, it can help you lose weight. It can even improve your digestion and help you absorb more nutrients.

If you’re tempted to eat quickly, try and put down your fork in between mouthfuls. Or you can set a timer for 20 minutes and try not to finish eating your meal before the timer goes off.

14. Eat only when you’re hungry

dish with radishes and sprouts

If you eat when you’re stressed or anxious, you’re likely to overeat. That’s because when you feel stressed, your hunger hormones increase.

And this, in turn, causes you to overeat. What’s more, when you’re under stress, your cortisol levels increase.

This causes us to crave sugary and fatty foods.

Instead of reaching for the potato chips, try and go for a walk to reduce your stress. Or make a phone call to your best friend.

15. Add more variety to your diet

chickpeas, celery, tomatoes, and spices

Sometimes, or let’s face it, most of the time, we eat the same foods day after day. This can get boring fast.

By eating different vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, you can make healthy eating more enjoyable.

What’s more, by choosing different vegetables, you get a greater variety of antioxidants. So, you have even more health benefits.

So, the next time you go to the grocery store, try and pick a new vegetable. Then have fun looking for ideas and healthy recipes that use that vegetable.

You may just like it!