It’s easy to develop bad eating habits. With a busy schedule each day, many people in Cambodia unconsciously pick up a variety of bad eating habits. As the days become months and then years, they start becoming a part of our lives. Left unchecked, these bad eating habits can have undesirable effects on our health and life.
Getting rid of these bad eating habits isn’t easy. With junk food and snacks easily accessible all around us, it’s convenient to get an unhealthy meal on the go.
If eating healthier in 2018 is a personal goal of yours, here are 5 simple tricks that you can use to help yourself get rid of your bad eating habits.
1. ALWAYS CHOOSE WATER
Unhealthy beverages are one of the biggest obstacles to maintaining a healthy eating habit. While it is very tempting to have a can of soft drink to go along with your meal or gulp down enough beers to de-stress every Friday night, they are sure-ways of adding empty calories into your diet and inches to your waistline.
To get rid of unhealthy beverages served during meal time, simply make it a habit to pair your food with plain water. If you are having lunch in the office, grab a cup of water from the pantry. If you are eating out, bring along a filled bottle with you or opt for mineral water.
This simple act of having water around you during mealtimes will prevent you from buying beverages that are unhealthy.
2. HAVE EASY ACCESS TO HEALTHY SNACKS
People snack whenever they are hungry. This can be in the office while working, or at home watching TV. While this is not a bad eating habit, they often lose track of amount they consume and tend to go for unhealthy comfort food items.
If you observe your own habit of snacking, and those of the people around you, you would realise that many of them (this may include yourself) are not actually that selective when it comes to what they want to consume as snacks.
Feed them chips, and they will have it.
Give them a cookie, and they will take it.
Serve them fresh fruits, and they will eat it.
Convenience is actually what most people prioritise when it comes to having a snack. Nobody wants to walk out to grab a snack when there is already a reasonable alternative right in front of them.
To introduce healthy eating into your lifestyle, simply surround yourself at home and in the office with healthier snacks. These can include fruits, nuts or yogurt.
This way, you can reach out and grab a quick, healthy bite whenever you are hungry instead of indulging in a packet of chips or order in fast-food to satisfy yourself and then suffer post-eating guilt later.
3. START THE DAY RIGHT WITH BREAKFAST
Studies have shown that starting your day right with a nutritious breakfast (whole grains, eggs, fruits, vegetables) can promote better metabolism, concentration and weight management1.
A good breakfast gives us the energy to tackle the day ahead, and helps prevent overeating for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, having breakfast each morning is not something that everyone has, especially for those who have to rush around every morning.
There are two ways to resolve that. Firstly, you prepare your breakfast the night before. This should preferably be something simple such as a smoothie or fruits and yoghurt. Alternatively, you can try waking up about 20 minutes earlier than usual to prepare and consume your breakfast. Don’t whine about that 20 minutes taken away from your sleep because a healthy, proper breakfast can boost your energy and keep you alert throughout the day2.
Both ways are not difficult. You just need to be deliberate about making sure breakfast (like lunch & dinner) is part of your day.
4. ORDER THE HEALTHY STUFF FIRST
If you are one of those who look back at your meals each day and wonder why it was so unhealthy. Here’s one simple hack you can use – Choose the healthy stuff first.
Assuming you are having economic rice for lunch, instead of starting by ordering what is it that you usually order (which will be the tasty but unhealthy options), start off first by picking out something healthy. This could be a serving of vegetable, or even opting for brown rice instead of white rice.
If you are ordering a single dish meal, ensure that there are healthy items within the meal you are having, such as vegetables or tofu, which gives you a more balanced meal. If you are ordering a salad, opt for less sauce.
By conscientiously reminding yourself to make healthier choices during each meal, you would be able to start cultivating a healthy eating habit over time.
5. FOCUS ON JUST ONE GOAL AT A TIME
It’s easy to get start excited about all the things that you want to do as you work towards a healthier diet. You might be tempted to do even more. Don’t.
Many people fail to achieve their goals because they make the mistake of trying to do too much, too soon. They start off with a lot of enthusiasm only to see their plans crumble as they lack the discipline to keep up with all their goals.
Set for yourself one goal at a time. You can start off with something you always wanted to do, such as starting the day right with breakfast. Once that has become a daily habit, you can then move on to another goal.
HEALTHIER EATING FOR A HEALTHIER LIVING
Healthier living is an aim that everyone should work towards. Adopting healthy eating habits are one simple way to work towards healthier living.
Aside from healthier eating, you can also make other improvements to your health by ensuring that you exercise regularly, stay active and to reduce your alcohol intake.