TPB Fitness Series: The 5 Habits of Healthy Eaters
We’ve all heard the saying ‘an apple a day…’ but it can be tough trying to actually eat the way we should. My general attitude is everything in moderation- I try to eat healthy the majority of the time but I don’t deny myself treats as a reward (especially after the kids are in bed for the night!). I know this isn’t a perfect philosophy but for the most part it works. Irina’s post this month is loaded with some great tips to help us improve our eating habits and overall health and I love how she always includes some simple ways to incorporate her advice into your day- to- day life without it seeming too overwhelming. What little tricks do you have up your sleeve to help eat healthier?
Healthy eating is a priority for most people and yet such a large number of us struggle in this respect! If you fall in this category, not all is lost!
Over the years I’ve seen healthy eaters consistently demonstrate several habits which are a dramatic differentiator between them and the general population. In this article, I will go over what 5 of these are.
Healthy eaters understand macronutrients
Our bodies need protein, carbohydrates and fats and all three are extremely important! These are called macronutrients, and our bodies were designed to utilize all three, as well as water and a tiny amount of essential minerals and vitamins that our bodies can’t make themselves. Carbs should contribute ~50% of our daily food intake, proteins ~30% and fats ~20%. This is necessary for your body to function properly regardless of whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan or what have you.
Now I want to bust a myth for you: Carbs, proteins and fats are not bad for you, it’s the type you eat that is bad for you, and also the amount.
For example, fruits and veggies are carbs. And so is chocolate. Which one is better for you?
Butter and olive oil are both fats. Which one is healthier?
Finally, our bodies will store anything that’s in excess: it doesn’t care if we give it excess carbs, proteins or fats. If it’s in excess, it will store it!
Healthy eaters understand that carbs, proteins and fats are all important and make sure their diet includes all three!
Healthy eaters understand their own eating habits!
An excellent way to truly understand your eating habits is to hold a food journal over the course of a couple of weeks and see if you roughly fall under the percentages I outlined above. Sometimes it becomes super apparent right away that you are heavy on one of the macronutrients and lacking in another (remember what your body does with excess stuff??). Other times you will realize that you have a habit of eating something sugary after lunch, etc.
Once you understand where you are at, you can start to tweak things. Add some protein if you’re carb heavy, brainstorm an alternative for your sugary snack, etc.
And speaking of snacks…
Healthy eaters pay attention to their snacks and drinks
When you’re thinking about your eating habits, don’t forget snacks and drinks! Those count too! In fact, sugary drinks are incredibly high in calories – and that includes things like your morning coffee.
Alcohol is another big one – here in BC we don’t even know what’s in our drinks, or how many calories they have. But make no mistake, drinks have calories too. And they contribute nothing healthy to your body (although I do agree that they can contribute to keeping your soul happy – I too indulge in the occasional Friday evening drink)
That being said, healthy eaters consistently prep healthy snacks and make water their beverage of choice!
Healthy eaters do meal prep
Meal prep can be daunting but there are some tips and tricks to make it easier. Grocery shopping over the weekend and designating one or two meal prep days can go a long way.
Healthy eaters understand that eating at home and prepping meals ahead of time to avoid eating out is crucial to maintaining a good body weight!
Healthy eaters treat themselves – but don’t do it often!
Healthy eating doesn’t mean you never get to eat anything delicious or indulge in life’s small pleasures. After all, if you can’t let go once in awhile and enjoy the wonderful food we have available to us, what’s the point? Me? I LOVE pastries and popcorn! Throw a croissant my way and I’ll stuff my face immediately with zero regrets. I just don’t do it all the time.That’s the secret!
When people attempt to become healthier, they restrict themselves too much. Treat yourself sometimes – just admit that it’s a treat and understand that there is nothing wrong with that.
Healthy eaters allow for treats – they just limit how often it happens.
Healthy eaters start small
Too many people fail at healthy eating because they do it all at once. I like to teach my clients to just focus on one goal at a time. Maybe it’s reducing the sugar in your coffee, or adding more veggies to your meals. Whatever that one thing is that’s most important to you, start there. Once you’ve achieved your first goal, move on to the next one.
Healthy eating is about understanding macronutrients, your eating habits and minimizing eating out. It allows for treats once in awhile and encourages people to take it one step at a time. How about you? How many of these healthy eating habits do you follow?
Don’t miss the other posts by Irina in this fitness series!
Irina discovered fitness by accident after having her daughter and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. Irina loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.
To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or get in touch through her website. You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:
Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost of gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca
Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series: