Sometimes it’s not so much about what you’re eating or drinking, but rather the habits you’ve built up around them. When it comes to making changes to your diet, behaviour change is just as important. Here are some tips to help you master better food habits.
Healthy food habits
- Try to stick to structured mealtimes. Not only is routine good for our mental health, but it will also encourage good eating habits.
- It may not be that you’re eating the wrong food, but just eating too much of it. Portion control is your friend, so maybe consider using smaller plates.
- The Eat Well Plate is a great tool to help with a balanced diet. It shows what percentage of your meal should be fruit and veg, carbs, proteins, and dairy.
- You should still be aiming to get five pieces of fruit and veg in to your diet each day. If you are struggling to source fresh products at your supermarket then have a look at frozen or dried options. If you’re not a fan of fruit or veg, look for other ways to get your five-a-day, like adding a spoon of dried fruit to your morning porridge or make a smoothie with frozen berries.
- Having snacks in the house is half the problem, so if you don’t buy them, the temptation won’t be there. Or at least, try not to buy too many snacks.
- Eating should be a social activity, so if you’re isolating with others, why not try to eat at least one meal a day with others, not only for social interaction but also to maximise ingredients? Slow cookers are great for stretching out ingredients, and you can freeze what you’ve made as well.
- Use this spare time to dust off the recipe books and try out some new recipes.
- Getting stressed about what to make for each meal? Turn cooking into a family activity and get your kids involved. Teach them simple recipes and techniques.
- To avoid wastage, get creative with what ingredients you still have in the house, rather than having to go back to the shops. Websites like Tasty and SuperCook are great for suggesting recipes based on what you’ve got in the house.
Healthy drink habits
- Sometimes we mistake hunger for thirst. Next time you’re feeling peckish, try drinking a glass of water.
- Keeping yourself hydrated is so important. Not only are their proven health benefits of drinking lots of water, but if you were to become unwell with the coronavirus, staying hydrated is vital, as 50-60% of our body is made up of water.
- One way to increase your water intake is to always have a full glass or bottle in front of you, as you’re more likely to drink it if you can see it.
- If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding fruit (lemon or lime work really well) to add flavour.
- Tea and coffee are fine to drink as part of a balanced diet, but as they contain caffeine, try to drink them in moderation.
- Avoid drinking your calories with high sugary drinks. Always check the label and try to buy sugar-free where possible.