8 Healthy Eating Habits For a Happier, Healthier You

Good nutrition starts with healthy eating habits. When you’re eating well, you feel better. It’s that simple. You’ll lose inches off your waistline, have more energy and your ticker will keep happily ticking for much longer.

I’m sure you’ve heard about steaming your broccoli to keep it maxed-out on vitamins and nutrients and eating smaller, more frequent meals keeps your metabolism rockin’. Those are great tips and will definitely make a difference, but there are other eating habits that you pick up over a lifetime which, when left unchanged, can sabotage your mission for a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Check out these eight healthy eating habits to get you moving toward a healthier, happier you.

  1. Be one with the agua: Water helps fill your stomach and is a powerhouse when it comes to a healthy metabolism, body and skin. Keep sugary drinks to a minimum and opt for some high quality H2O instead
  2. Pass on big plates: Large plates generally mean bigger portions, because meals don’t look like they’ll be as satisfying if there’s a ton of space between foods. We eat with our eyes before our stomachs even get a chance to chime in. Scale down the dish and your mind will be as convinced your full as your stomach is
  3. Don’t eat ‘all you can eat’: It sounds like a no-brainer, but we’re easily seduced by massive amounts of food at moderate to low prices. Buffets make wads of cash playing on this simple fact. Then, once we’ve been sweet-talked into buying our meal ticket, we have to “eat our money’s worth,” which translates to being over-stuffed and feeling guilty about eating so much
  4. Shake it, don’t bake it: When you’ve had a rough day, don’t reach for a brownie, turn up a jam. Many of us have been programmed since childhood to cure what ails us by indulging in a treat. Instead of turning to rich, fatty comfort foods, crank up a guilty pleasure on your iPod and dance off the mental muck. Exercising (yeah, I went there) is uplifting and energizing, burns calories AND is totally guilt-free. Well, unless your guilty pleasure has anything to do with a Copa or Cabana
  5. Lay down your weapon: Setting down your fork between bites and talking to your family will give your stomach time to figure out that it’s full. There’s a delay between swallowing a bite and the message getting to your brain that you’ve had enough. If you take your time when you’re eating, you’ll fill up before you’ve overeaten
  6. Waste not, want not modified: No one likes to waste, but if you fill up before your food is gone, you’re not obligated to keep eating. Take your time. When you’re full, make a mental note of how much is left, and put it in a container to warm up later. Then the next time you plate your meal, think about how much you actually ate and serve yourself those portions
  7. Rotate your plate: Don’t eat all of one food at a time. Rotate what you’re eating so you can enjoy all of the different flavors and textures of your meal without feeling like you’re missing out on anything
  8. Use your napkin: If you sit down to something that has a little more grease in it, like a slice of pizza, dab off the excess oil with your napkin. You want the main event, not the extra greasy calories

Working toward being healthy is a process. There’s no magic pill or mega-super-awesome-body-changinator machine that’s going to transform you into a fit and healthy leotard-wearing aerobics instructor overnight. The first step is being aware of what needs tweaking and then you can take action. Take your time and make changes little by little. The power to live a healthy, happy life is absolutely yours, and it begins with healthy eating habits.

Live well, mamas! Your kids are watching!

Photo: flickr.com/photos/camusa/451488836

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