7 Useful Nutrition Habits to Adopt
The English poet, John Dryden once said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” Wise words.
Adopting good nutrition habits and making them a part of your daily life will do more for your health and well-being than any fad diet, miracle pill, energy drink, etc.
Below you’ll find a list of nutrition habits briefly mentioned. You’d have heard of most of them, and yet so few people practice them. You may wish to print out the list below and pin it somewhere you can see daily. This will keep you on track.
1. Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily spaced out at 2-hour intervals. Your body needs sufficient water to function optimally.
2. Have 1 serving of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables daily. Those who are trying to lose weight may just focus on consuming vegetables. The fruit sugars can increase your calories, but it’s negligible. Nevertheless, you may wish to just stick to the vegetables until you reach your goal weight.
3. Consume a fish oil supplement daily. Our diets are excessively high in omega-6 fatty acids and lacking in omega-3 fatty acids. By consuming a fish oil supplement, you’ll be getting some healthy omega-3 fats in your diet. It could be salmon oil or krill oil or cod liver oil.
4. It’s important to know your cravings. If you crave salty foods, your body may lack chloride. Mix some Himalayan salt in water and drink up rather than reaching for salty foods.
If you crave chocolate, you body might be lacking in magnesium. If you crave sodas, your body might need calcium/sulfur/chromium. You can get these minerals and micronutrients by consuming foods like broccoli, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, etc. Consuming a variety of vegetables will prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies – and also cravings for unhealthy foods.
5. Cut down your salt and sugar intake. Excessive sodium in your diet will cause hypertension… and sugar is highly inflammatory. In fact, if you just focused on reducing your intake of these two ingredients, that will be half the battle won.
Sugar also comes from starchy foods such as white bread, white rice, white flour products, etc. It doesn’t only have to be the powdered kind you see on doughnuts.
Your body rapidly processes simple carbs into glucose (sugar). So it’s the same thing. Reduce your consumption of salt, sugar and simple carbs.
6. Cook your meals at home. Not only will you have more nutritious food, but you’ll save money and time in the long run. You can also watch your portion sizes more closely.
7. Delay your first meal of the day as long as you can. Some people cannot function without breakfast. If you’re one of these people, go ahead and have your breakfast.
However, if you can delay your first meal till 2 pm or later, your eating window will be shorter (assuming you stop eating after 8 pm). This is known as intermittent fasting and it’s a wonderfully efficient way to curb hunger, boost your energy and aids in weight loss because you’ll be much more likely to be at a caloric deficit.
These 7 tips may seem simple on the surface but they will yield immense benefits to your health in the long run. Once you master these 7 habits, you can adopt more such as food journaling, mindful eating, and so on. The goal is to start small and aim for 1% improvement each day. Over time, you’ll be a picture of health.