5 Simple Ways to Change Your Daily Eating Habits And Improve Your Long-term Health
Posted Nov 10 2011 4:57am
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The cold hard truth is that we are getting fatter and fatter every day, and most of the time we don’t realize it until it is too late. Looking on the bright side, though, making small changes in your eating habits can really add up. A small change made each day can yield big results down the road, especially if this change becomes a habit.
Here are some simple ideas you can test out to improve your health. Try to put one into practice each day and see where it takes you!
Option 1: Try a new vegetable you have never eaten before.
I’ve been eating tons of vegetables for years, and I still find new ones I haven’t tried yet! So if you’re not a huge vegetable fan, that means you have many, many opportunities to put this idea into action. Sooner or later, you’re bound to find one you actually enjoy!
Here are some vegetable ideas for you: alfalfa sprouts, anise, artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, calabrese, cauliflower, celery, chard, kale, lemon grass, onion, garlic, carrots, turnips, and water chestnuts.
Or, an even easier option is to browse the perimeter of your grocery store (or even better, local farm market) and grab any random vegetable that looks neat. Take it home, look up a serving suggestion online, and try it that evening!
Option 2: Go Vegetarian One Day Per Week
With all hype around the Paleo diet, I will probably be shunned for recommending you go a full day without meat. I do like the Paleo eating style, but unfortunately, most of the meat we eat is farm-raised at commercial establishments and would not be considered Paleo-friendly anyway!
Really, what this does is it forces you to consider adding a greater variety of foods into your diet, rather than relying on meat as a main source of calories. Cutting out meat for a day will open your eyes to other plant food options, such as beans, legumes, potatoes, yams, fruits, and of course, the vegetables I just mentioned.
Option 3: Avoid Soda For a Day!
By now, virtually everyone is aware of how detrimental soda (or “pop”) is to your health. But people are still gulping it down, perhaps guzzling a 2 liter each day!
If this describes you, I want you to try your best to cut out soda for a day. Replace it with ice water, tea, coffee, or Crystal Light powder. Any of those options will be a healthier choice. Even fruit juice with its high sugar content looks healthy next to a can of soda!
Option 4: Don’t rely on the vending machine.
If you regularly grab snacks out of the vending machine at work, why not pack a healthy snack each day? Or keep some healthier food options in your desk? It would be cheaper, healthier, and less hassle than walking to the vending machine and debating over the Kit-Kat and the Doritos for 10 minutes.
If you’re used to candy bars, you probably won’t switch to an apple right off the bat, but switching to a healthy granola, beef jerky, or mixed nuts is a good swap. This change might even increase your afternoon productivity!
Option 5: Actually eat a real breakfast.
I never tell anyone that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if you ever have trouble snacking too much during the day, then I highly recommend eating a good, hearty breakfast.
I’m talking a real breakfast like eggs and bacon, oatmeal, fresh fruit, and/or protein smoothies. A ‘breakfast bar’ that is nothing but sugar won’t cut it. You want something high in protein with some fat, too, so you stay satiated throughout the day.
Making just one small change each day can make a big difference. I’m just asking you to give these a shot, one at a time, and see if you can stick with them. You don’t have to do anything radical; just replacing one bad habit with a good one can reap rewards for the rest of your life.
Levi Bloom eats his vegetables, runs 3x per week, and writes for RunnersResource.com to share the joys of exercise and proper eating. But he is human and can’t ignore the vending machine every single day.