8 Healthy Eating Habits To Incorporate Into Your Diet
Here are eight ways to adopt healthy eating habits into your everyday lifestyle that can help you lose weight, build lean muscle, and maintain peak performance both inside and outside the gym.
1. Reduce Your Intake Of High-Sugar Drinks
Healthy eating habits aren’t only about what foods you eat. You should also consider any liquids you consume.
One of the most common healthy eating tips fitness buffs hear is swapping out juice and soda for water. Drinks such as these often add no additional nutrition, just calories and sugar.
Keep in mind that excessive calorie and sugar consumption leads to weight gain. On top of that, the energy these drinks provide is not sustainable.
Rather than these high-sugar beverages, aim to drink more water every day and try to avoid drinking too many sports drinks.They may have enough electrolytes to rehydrate the body faster, but sports drinks are not a replacement for water. This goes for fitness buffs who swear by zero-calorie soda variants as well.
2. Eat More Complex Carbohydrate Foods
If you want to maintain a lean physique, you should source your energy from complex carbs rather than simple carbs. Create a healthy eating plan composed of complex carbohydrates that are the least processed and refined.
This includes food choices such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, oatmeal, bulgur, sweet potatoes, legumes, and corn. Of course, eating healthy doesn’t mean cutting out simple carbs entirely.
Simple carb food choices such as fruit and milk add multiple nutrients and vitamins to a healthy eating plate. Just remember to consume them in moderation when eating healthy to lose weight.
3. Practice Portion Control
No matter how many HIIT workouts you do, it won’t make a difference if you keep eating enough food to feed a small village. Apart from adopting healthy eating habits, it’s important to portion your meals as well.
To maximise the benefits of eating healthy, make sure to control how much you eat. A good way to go about this is to gradually eat smaller meal sizes throughout the day.
For example, the largest meals should be breakfast and lunch to fuel your body throughout the day. Dinner and snacks should consist of low-calorie, yet filling food choices since the body’s metabolic rate decreases as the day progresses.
4. Make Sure You Eat Enough Fibre
One common mistake gym-goers commit when cooking healthy recipes is not focusing enough on fibre intake. They tend to focus more on protein for lean muscles and healthy fats for energy.
There are generally two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre helps slow down digestion so the body can absorb nutrients better. Insoluble fibre increases stool bulk by helping food pass through the digestive system.
Of course, it’s not unusual to meet gym-goers who don’t eat nearly enough fibre. Unlike protein, carbs and calories, not many people measure how much fibre is contained in what they eat.
For example, almost everyone knows that brown rice has fiber, but how much is actually in a single serving? For example, a serving of brown rice, chickpeas and fruits has around 15g of fibre. This almost meets the required 25g of fibre per day.
Tip: Consuming fiber early in the morning helps slow down absorption throughout the day. This will help the body produce long-lasting, sustainable energy to maintain peak performance.
5. Cut Out Foods That Are Highly Processed
‘Processed foods’ refers to any method that prepares raw ingredients. In fact, cooking and prepping meals at home is already a form of food processing.
Most processed foods are made with plenty of artificial ingredients, chemicals and preservatives. While they may be convenient and delicious, they also contain high amounts of sodium, sugar, saturated fat and empty calories.
Some processed foods to avoid include margarine, flavoured nuts, dried fruits and the all-time favorite, bacon.
6. Eat More Unsaturated Fats
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not important to avoid all kinds of fatty foods. There are fats that actually promote good cardiac and cardiovascular performance.
Healthy fats offer an array of benefits for gym-goers who want to build lean muscle. In fact, you need healthy fats to absorb certain fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Gym-goers will be happy to know that sourcing energy from healthy fats leads to long-lasting, sustainable energy. Fitness buffs trying to cut back on carbs should eat more healthy fats to get the energy they need to dominate the day.
Try incorporating foods like olives, avocados, walnuts, canola oil, salmon, peanut butter, almonds, and flax seeds.
7. Don’t Stop Snacking
Yes, you heard that right. A common reason some fitness enthusiasts fail their diet plans is because they’re too strict. For example, they force themselves not to have any snacks to lose weight fast.
While it may be effective, it also forces your cravings to grow stronger. This can eventually lead you to give in to temptation and it’ll be much harder to recover.
Instead of cutting out snacks completely, opt for healthy ones instead.
These foods will give your body the extra energy boost it needs to pump out more reps at the gym or work longer hours. What’s bad for health is eating unhealthy snacks with loads of saturated fats.
Avoid foods such as chips, chocolate, dried fruits, soda, sugar-filled cookies, and fries. Replace them with items such as sweet potatoes, mixed nuts, Greek yogurt, kale chips, dark chocolate, and mixed berries, among others.
8. Prepare Meals Ahead of Time
Healthy eating on a budget can be a real struggle. It’s more affordable to grab a meal from your local fast food restaurant than to order an expensive salad.
In fact, a common reason some people can’t commit to their healthy eating meal plan is the high cost. With that in mind, a lot of fitness buffs wonder how to start eating healthy without raising their monthly expenses.
One solid way to commit to a healthy lifestyle is to prepare meals ahead of time. This can also help limit your food intake each day. Preparing your own meals is definitely cheaper than getting overpriced food from the local convenience store.
Of course, make sure to use ingredients that don’t easily spoil. Invest in a good amount of meal prep containers for easy storage.
These are just some of the important healthy eating habits to adopt. Overall, try to stick to all-natural food choices that don’t use chemicals, additives, or preservatives.
It’s also important to eat a variety of food items. A healthy diet paired with a solid supplement programme is definitely what your body needs to maximise training results.
What healthy eating habits do you live by? Share them in the comments section down below!