Top 10 tips for healthy eating habits
- Chew – Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing and the secretion of enzymes.
Eating quickly increases the amount of air and the size of the food swallowed. This will lead to inadequate digestion and an increase in gas production.
- Eat regularly – Eat at least every 2 or 3 hours. Our bodies need regular fuel to maintain blood sugar levels and metabolism, but enough time to complete digestion before more food is eaten. Avoid skipping meals by having balanced snacks on hand for busy times. Hunger is a sign of low blood sugar and may lead to poor choices and over eating if ignored
- Avoid overeating – Overeating occurs when we skip meals, eat too quickly or don’t satisfy our taste buds. Overeating is a major cause of obesity and stresses the liver and digestive tract. To reduce the risk of overeating spread your meals evenly throughout the day and don’t leave the largest meal until the evening. Our ability to digest food adequately is around its peak at noon, when the body is most efficient at converting food into energy rather than storing it as fat – result!
- Eat with awareness – Awareness eating has been proven to cause a rise in metabolism. Ask yourself how hungry you are before and after each meal. Take 5 minutes to relax before a meal if you feel stressed. Prepare as many meals yourself as possible – touching, tasting and smelling food before you eat it will prepare the body for digestion, prevent overeating and improve your psychological relationship with food. A microwave meal is more likely to result in overeating compared to a home cooked meal. Stop eating when you are almost full, to gauge whether you need any more. It takes approximately 20 minutes for our brains to receive the signal of satisfaction during a meal.
- Achieve fluid balance – Avoid drinking excessively during a meal as this can reduce enzyme activity. One glass of fluid is adequate. Drink at least 2 litres (8 glasses) of liquid between meals each day. This can include herbal teas as well as diluted fruit juices (sparingly).
- Prepare – Shop for fresh food regularly and keep your pantry stocked with good staples to make it easier to eat a healthy diet. Whenever you cook or prepare food, make double and freeze in individual containers (make sure these are phthalate free) for future meals. The best preparation is knowledge about healthy food options – a well informed choice will be the healthiest choice.
- Go 50% raw – Have half your vegetables and fruit intake raw (e.g salads) unless otherwise advised by your G.P. Fruit and vegetables contain enzymes which aid digestion, so aim to eat some with every meal.
- Exercise Aim for at least 4 times a week (although exercise council of Australia advises 6 times a week of at least ½ hrs duration – can include a brisk walk). Exercise improves circulation & works the diaphragm, which massages the intestines and thereby improves digestion. It also regulates appetite, blood sugar control and metabolism.
- 80-90% for the body 10-20% for the soul – ensure that the majority of the food consumed is within the healthy range and allow the odd treat to satisfy your mind, soul and social life (10-20%).
- Eat positively – Good habits can easily be established with a little effort and a positive frame of mind. A balanced healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring, bland, time consuming, or expensive, experiment a little and above all, have fun with this!
If any further information is required or desired, please do not hesitate to contact me on:
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Here’s to your happy and healthy life