Habits run our lives. Adopting these Healthier habits will help you finally lose that unwanted weight, no dieting or calorie counting here. Gain back control, enjoy food again, and be free of the dieting rollercoaster. Learn these life-changing habits and stop the overeating that keeps the numbers on the scale higher than you want.
#1 Eat More Vegetables (and Fruit)
Even if you think you eat a lot of produce, there is only a 10% chance you are eating enough. The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise adults to consume, on average, 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits daily. (Note: 2 cups of leafy greens equals 1 cup of vegetables.) (1) According to the CDC, a whopping 90% of Americans don’t meet these goals. (2)
One source of cravings, those pesky things that throw us off track, is vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Vegetables and fruit contain these in abundance. They also have fiber which helps you feel satisfied, thereby less likely to overeat.
#2 Eat on a Schedule.
Food’s call is powerful. You might find yourself snacking at inappropriate times and overeating if you’re not careful. To avoid these pitfalls, learn one of the most critical healthier habits of eating on a schedule. Eat three meals per day, with, at most, two snacks between meals.
Don’t nibble here and there, and don’t skip meals. Skipping meals will make you feel hungry and cause you to overeat later. Have three meals you enjoy and make you feel satisfied.
#3 Practice Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a fancy term for “stop eating at night.” The common practice of nibbling all day long, snacking before bed, and waking for a midnight snack has to stop. Your body needs a rest from digesting all that food you are stuffing in it.
Also, when you have a reduced eating window, at least from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am, you eat more calories at each meal. This leaves you satisfied. This healthier habit goes a long way to reducing your waistline.
#4 Eat Protein with Every Meal and Snack.
Of these healthier habits, this is one of my favorites. Here we focus on adding something, not taking something away. Adding protein to every meal and snack levels out one’s blood sugar. Reducing blood sugar crashes helps prevent unnecessary cravings and snacking.
#5 Eat Slowly.
People who eat fast tend to eat more than those who eat slower. Slowing down allows you to savor every bite, enjoy your food and reduce the feeling of needing to overeat. Pay attention to what you eat and how much you eat. Take time to be grateful for the beautiful food you are privileged to eat every day.
#6 Replace stress eating.
Yes, hiding in the pantry and eating cookies because you are stressed contributes to weight gain. Before you eat, ask yourself if you are bored, stressed, or tired. Notice what patterns arise around this, specific triggers, or times of day this happens.
Craft a new strategy to get through these challenging times. Decide you will call a friend to chat instead of eating more. Go for a walk, walk into another room or step outside.
#7 Move your body.
If you don’t have the regular habit of moving, go for a daily walk, take yoga classes a few times per week or try dance lessons. Every day look for ways to move your body to reduce stress and keep it functioning at its best. Knowing you are taking care of your body by exercising also helps you want to eat healthier and not offset the good work you just put in.
#8 Eat Less Sugar.
Sugar triggers overeating by causing backlash sugar crashes and also primes our taste buds to keep eating. Try eating more sweet vegetables such as root vegetables (ex: carrots) or squashes (ex: pumpkin) to keep sweet cravings in check. And, with time, you can train your taste buds to find the natural sugar in fruits to be enough.
#9 Drink Mostly Water and Drink it Throughout the Day
Drinking more water helps keep your body hydrated and flush out toxins, helping you feel better and not reach for junk to feel good. And, if you drink enough water each day, you will feel full longer and avoid overeating.
#10 Cut Back on Alcohol
If you drink alcohol, cut back on how much you consume. Alcohol can pile on the calories and lower your resistance to making good decisions – such as not eating that late-night take-out pizza.
Download this simple cheat sheet for more Healthier Habits here.
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(2) Lee SH, Moore LV, Park S, Harris DM, Blanck HM. Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations — United States, 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1–9. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7101a1external icon.
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This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always be sure to work with your healthcare practitioner before making any changes.
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