1. Be picky
You’re picky with clothes, so be the same with food. Be discriminating with whatever you put in your mouth as compared to mindlessly eating whatever comes your way.
2. Chew thoroughly
Taking the time to chew your food has its benefits; your food will get digested much easier, which means less chances of getting indigestion and constipation. And it seems that we humans were designed to chew our food thoroughly. The more our food is masticated, the more we release saliva that has compounds in it that help break down food and release its nutrients, which will then be more easily absorbed by our bodies.
3. Spend a good amount of time reading the menu
When eating out, most people just scan the menu and, especially when the waiter is already standing by their table, order immediately, not taking the time to really read what’s being offered and the variety of choices available. They feel pressured to order fast, or they are too hungry and want to eat right away; they are wasting the opportunity to have a good look and study the options and look for healthier entrees.
4. Ask the server lots of questions
Again, if you really have to eat out, before placing your order, spend time studying the menu and, even better, discuss it with your server. Ask him/her about the healthier options and mention that you’re after entrees that have fresh ingredients and less fat and sodium.
5. Don’t eat in front of the television
People who eat in front of their TV sets watching television shows are more likely to eat more compared to people who eat on their tables and are less distracted. They seem to lose track of the amount of food they are eating and tend to eat faster, not chewing their food properly.
6. Eat with someone
Having company when you eat means you’re more likely to be mindful of your food and your portions. When you do go overboard, that person can point out to you that you’re overeating already. This is one healthy eating habit that has emotional benefits as well.
7. Prepare your food
Making your own meals is another one of those important healthy eating habits. It means you know what’s going in your food and gives you more control over ingredients, ensuring they are fresh and being able to limit the amount of salt and sugar. You can also make healthier substitutes, such as canola oil vs. butter and honey or stevia vs. sugar.
8. Check if it’s really hunger
Before grabbing that sandwich or chocolate bar, ask yourself: Am I really hungry? Some people eat for comfort, trying to fill an emotional lack and some just out of plain boredom. If you’re bored, try to move about and do something rather than eat. If you’re feeling depressed, address that first and you’ll notice a change in your eating habits.
If you’ve been mindlessly and indiscriminately eating for most of your life, it’s understandable why it can be a challenge to suddenly change into a conscious healthy eater and adopt the healthy eating habits listed above. But you’ve to start somewhere. Small steps are better; take it one day at a time. A less drastic approach is bound to result in a longer lasting success.