It can take just over two months to form a habit1. That may seem like a long time, but the benefits can be well worth the investment. Below are a few tips that you can easily follow to start eating healthier, including some bad eating habits to avoid. Remember, to stay on track, it can be a good idea to keep a diary or set yourself challenges.
Use a calorie counting app
The NHS recommends roughly 2,500 calories a day for men and 2,000 a day for women2, and the best way to moderate this is with a calorie counting app. Most are free to download, and many even track your nutrients at no extra cost.
Crisps and chocolate are a quick way to tip your fat intake over the edge. If, like most of us, you’re fond of a snack, have a packet of nuts or grains to hand. Alternatively, satisfy your hunger with guilt-free low-fat treats like carrots and hummus or some of the options in our healthy food and drink section.
Eat smaller meals often
One of the best habits you can take up is to eat smaller portions more often instead of three big meals. If you can, prepare your meals in advance to get a good supply of nutrients throughout the day. Eating like this can keep you feel fuller for longer and speed up your metabolism3.
Cut down on saturated fat
Everyone needs a bit of fat in their diet4, but too much of the saturated kind can raise your cholesterol and lead to heart disease. Look at what you’re eating and make simple changes like swapping butter for olive or sunflower spread.
Drink more water
As well as preventing dehydration, getting six to eight glasses of water in a day can flush the toxins in your body and improve your digestion5. If you often forget to drink water, buy a reusable bottle and keep it nearby.
Stop skipping breakfast
Eating breakfast can kickstart your body’s calorie-burning cycle (your metabolism). If you find the same breakfast cereals boring, explore other high fibre and low-fat alternatives like rye bread or overnight oats with fruit.
Cook your takeaways
Everyone loves a takeaway, but have you ever thought about cooking your own? There are delicious recipes online for all your favourite cuisines. What’s more, making your takeaway means you can regulate your salt and sugar intake better.
Load up on fruit and vegetables
Your five-a-day should form the basis of any healthy eating habit. Are you struggling to get yours in? Try chopping bananas on your porridge or using snack times as an excuse to try more exotic fruits like mango and pineapple.
Sticking to your habits
The key to healthy eating is balance. Overeat of the same thing, and you’ll be missing out on essential nutrients and vitamins. At the same time, it’s ok to have a treat if you’re getting enough of the good stuff. Why not mix up your shopping list with delicious foods you’ve never tried before? If you’re stuck for inspiration, check out our food and drink page for a range of healthy ingredients.
Last updated: 22/04/2020