Most of us tend to think of the word "diet" as a ground-breaking transformation in our regular lifestyle. We tend to assume that a transition to healthier eating would demand a substantial amount of effort, time and commitment. And as a result of these suppositions, most of us end up not doing anything at all.
The crux of the matter is, healthy eating isn't as complex a challenge, as we've made it out to be. In order to eat healthier, you don't really need to plan your diet right down to each minute of the day, or have a diet consultant's number on speed dial. A few basic tweaks in your everyday dietary routine can be enough to pave the way for a healthier lifestyle and thus, a healthier you. Lost on where to start? Our health experts have rounded up these 10 easy eating habits you can establish for a healthier diet and lifestyle. All you need is some self-control, and the inclination to give your body the fuel it rightfully deserves.
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1. Stop Skipping Breakfast
You know how you've read "breakfast is the important meal" in every dietary guide, ever? Well, there's a reason for that. Eating a meal after you wake up in the morning, is much more impactful in boosting your metabolism, than a meal later in the day. There have also been numerous studies supporting the link between starting your day with a filling breakfast, and achieving healthy weight loss. A good breakfast not only gives your body the fuel to take on a new day, but it also helps in ensuring that you intake lesser calories through the rest of the day. So stop skipping breakfast.
2. Include Enough Fibre In Your Diet For Better Metabolism
Eating a diet rich in fibre helps you boost your metabolism and stabilise your weight. The science behind this easy health trick is as simple as the habit itself. Insoluble fibres aren't easily digested, and as a result, your body ends up spending more energy on trying to digest and eliminate this fibre. So in simpler words, you expend more calories on digesting high-fibre food, as compared to refined carbohydrates.
3. Monitor Your Sugar Consumption And Look For Healthier Craving Alternatives
Sincerely tracking and carefully cutting down your sugar intake is one of the most effective tools you have against weight gain. This is particularly important for those of us permanently afflicted by an overactive sweet tooth. The key is to satiate your cravings for a certain kind of food with healthier alternatives. Want ice-cream? Have some Greek yoghurt instead. Craving for candy? Take a bite of a dark chocolate bar. It's really the minor changes that go a long way.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Regularly drinking water, and keeping yourself hydrated is a health hack that goes beyond weight loss as the only benefit. Hydration plays a key role in maintaining your metabolism, suppressing unnecessary hunger pangs, detoxing your body from impurities and waste, as well as burning fat. An hourly glass of water can help you achieve several health gains without expending virtually any effort. Oh and also, it keeps your skin clear!
5. Use Smaller Plates
This is a strange eating psychology trick that is recommended far and wide by nutritionists and diet specialists everywhere. Doing something as basic as changing the size of the plate you eat in, can have a substantial impact on your calorie intake. This is actually based on an illusion known as the Deboeuf illusion which in the context of dieting, essentially just involves tricking yourself into feeling satisfied with smaller portions. Well, what can we say, it's not stupid if it works!
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6. Increase Your Protein Intake
As your gym instructor might have reiterated time and again, protein is the single most important nutrient in making modifications to your weight and body. A protein-rich diet helps you in stimulating weight regulating hormones, enhancing your metabolism, and reducing your broader appetite. High protein intake also helps you in resisting those sugary cravings, and late-night snacking urges, thereby significantly reducing your over-all calorie intake.
7. Switch To Healthier Oils While Cooking At Home
While all cooking oils come under the category of fat, there are certain types that are relatively healthier than the others. Look for oils that are high in monounsaturated fats. Swapping your regular vegetable oil for a healthier alternative such as extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, or sesame oil can have a tremendous impact on your dietary quality.
8. Ditch Fried Food For Baked Dishes
Most of our comfort cravings are made up of unhealthy fried food that lead to weight gain and lowered metabolism. Frying anything edible usually involves the usage of generous amounts of oil, which leads to the accumulation of unhealthy fat in the body. Deep-fried food also increases your exposure to carcinogens that pave the way for heart problems and cancer. A simple healthy switch would be to consume baked preparations with little oil instead.
9. Include Probiotics For A Healthy Gut
Probiotics refer to the beneficial live microorganisms in your food that boost your digestive and immune health. Some studies also support a relation between consumption of probiotics and healthy weight loss. You can get your probiotic fix from either supplements, or regular consumption of fermented food such as yoghurt, fermented probiotic milk drinks like Yakult, Miso seasoning, Kimchi salad or Kombucha.
10. Regularise Your Green Tea Consumption
The health benefits of green tea have already been discussed and highlighted extensively over the last few years. One of the healthiest beverages in the world, in addition to being packed with antioxidants, green tea also aids you in burning fat, boosting metabolism, and even improving brain function. Make it a habit to consume 2-3 cups of green tea a day, ideally 40-45 minutes after each big meal.
Your transition to a healthier lifestyle, one minor dietary tweak at a time.