By Gregory L. Gomez
Let’s face it, it’s not an easy thing to improve your daily eating habits on a consistent basis. This is especially true if you have been eating in an unhealthy matter for quite some time and are desperately trying to turn this around. Naturally it’s gonna be tough to change your habits and kick the fast food habit if you’re used to eating that daily. Nevertheless, if you have a goal to lose weight, one of the first things you must get a strong handle on is your daily nutrition. Weight loss success is 70% dependent on your nutrition so it’s vital you get a good handle on this first.
Therefore here are five ways you can develop healthy eating habits this week and leapfrog right to the forefront of a healthy lifestyle.
Make a list of two healthy meals you want to prepare this week
If you want to eat in a more healthy manner that means you have to be willing to ditch the fast food and pizza delivery (at least for a bit) and start using your own kitchen to prepare meals. It may sound a bit foreign to you especially if you are not used to cooking in your kitchen, nevertheless this could be the number one healthy habit that will get you to accomplish your weight loss goal. Let’s keep it simple when starting out and just write down a list of one or two meals (ingredients) that you would like to prepare this upcoming week.
Take a moment to search the Internet for healthy meals that look appealing to you. As you make your shopping list, double-check you have written everything you’ll need to prepare the meal(s) and you’ll soon have wonderful healthier meals right at home and won’t have to rely on that fattening fast food.
Immediately portion the food into containers
One of the best reasons for preparing food at home, aside from enjoying a well-portioned meal, is that you’ll be able to create 3-5 meals from that one cooking episode. If you double, or even triple the amount of ingredients, you will guarantee there will be plenty leftover to pack/freeze for future meals or immediately portion the extra into plastic travel containers so you’ll have fantastic lunches to go. If you don’t have a decent supply of travel containers, add them to your shopping list since these will become invaluable tools for your healthy eating efforts.
Be mindful of the drinks you consume
Drinks can be sneaky daggers in the weight loss process since most people don’t consider liquids as potential dangers. However when you look carefully at the nutritional content of soda, juice, energy drinks, and specialty coffees, you may be surprised at how high the calorie count is not to mention the sugar content you’ll find in each serving. Since you’re focusing on healthy eating habits, do away with these types of beverages and try to only drink water, black coffee, or other near-0 calorie option like tea. You’ll be pleasantly delighted at how many calories you’ll do away with especially if you were a heavy soda or juice drinker.
Use smaller plates and drink water with each meal
This may sound like an unusual tip but using smaller plates really does help control the portion size consumed at meals. Eating too much food at meals is usually what packs on the excess weight. Our bodies simply do not need that much food to function efficiently. Problem is, you need to get used to eating less at meals, but that is where the water really comes into play and helps out. The portion on a small-sized plate will look like a lot of food and when you tie that in with a large glass of water, you will get full on much less than you may have been used to in the past.
Travel snacks and lunches for work
This last healthy eating tip links right back to the first. When you cook food at home, plan to make extra to ensure you have leftovers. This leftover food can now become travel meals for work and when you toss in a couple healthy snacks to compliment your lunch, the entire time you’re away from home will be nutritious and conducive to weight loss. Just don’t slip on your choice of beverages when you’re away from home. If it’s possible, keep a pack of water bottles at work somewhere so you’ll always have them handy and won’t need to visit the vending machine any longer.
When you think about it, you can get a 36 pack of water bottles for around $4, whereas how much would 36 sodas from the vending machine cost over time? Not only will you be saving a lot of money, but you’ll also save your body from having to ingest 5,400 calories.
Gregory L. Gomez, M. Ed, has been teaching 5th grade in the Los Angeles Unified School District for the past 17 years. He created 10Quickies.com to help teachers and parents provide children in 2nd-5th grades with a fun and inspirational way to review grade level math. He also wants readers to be mindful of their health and fitness especially since it’s easy to overlook in the hustle and bustle of daily life.