Creative Ways to Improve Your Eating Habits
Out of all the habits that we wish to improve, eating habits are the most difficult. These habits were formed in our childhood, and it has been highly influenced by our culture and our upbringing. Changing them can mean changing our way of life, and this requires a sheer amount of willpower. We have presented some creativity hacks to make your journey tad less complicated and more enjoyable.
Why think about improving eating habits?
Healthy eating habits are one of the keys to happy living. However, the biggest danger in changing your eating habits is the effect that it can have on your body. A major lifestyle or eating overall can lead to serious weight loss and other medical problems, and hence research shows that small changes in our eating habits can keep us safe from the miseries of unending dietary restrictions.
The creativity hacks that we present will help you to make those small interesting changes that will not only improve your diet but will help you quickly adapt to a new way of life. Here are our three hacks:
#1: Create your own food manual
#2: Customize your kitchen
#3: Try meal color variety
Hack #1: Create your own food manual
A Food manual, popularly known as a food diary helps you to monitor your food intake, and make subtle changes to it. It draws your attention to the types of foods you consume and makes you aware of the impact it has on your overall health. The best part about having your own manual is that you can adapt it to your circumstances, make your own mistakes, and improve it as you move ahead.
Action Plan #1: Your Food Manual
Many people call it a food diary or a food logbook. However, we are calling it a food manual as it is not just a daily record of your eating habits, but a book of instruction and knowledge.
It is a ‘Health and Nutrition Tool’ that you can refer to and even share it with others. The food manual will help you to monitor your eating habits and establish a pattern in which you can convert it into a habit.
Let’s understand the primary purpose of a food manual.
The main purpose of a food manual is to understand the following five questions about your eating habits:
Why you eat – Was it a regular meal or ad hoc eating?
What you eat - Is it home-cooked or readymade? Is it fried, baked, steamed, boiled, etc.?
When you eat - Do you follow a regular eating time, or do you snack when you feel so?
How much you eat – What are your food portions?
Where you eat – Do you eat at home, or office, or somewhere outside?
Every day, write specific answers to the above questions and examine them weekly and monthly to establish a pattern of your food habits. To avoid problems with recollection, write down the food items as and when you consume it. You can do it for the first four weeks, and can share it with your food consultant to understand where you can improve.
You can use the Penzu online diary to create your own food diary. If you need a printable one, you can use the templates available at vertex42. If you are using books, then Rachel Ebuehi gives you the best page-by-page description of how you can write it down.
Action Plan #2: Superfood Days
Another best way to infuse creativity in your food manual is to create your own superfood days. Research about various nutrient-rich foods and design your own food breakfast platter days. For e.g. you can make your own Super Veggie Bowl Monday, Greeny Tuesday, Detox Wednesday, Super Grain Thursday, Salad Friday, Juicy Saturday, etc. You can follow a similar pattern for your lunch and dinner, and thus develop a full course meal menu for yourself.
You can use Habitify to note down and track your eating habits. Read about the unique uses of Habitify here to make a positive change in your life.
Our next hack will take us to the heart of our home - our kitchen.
Hack #2: Customize your kitchen
Your journey to a healthy self begins from your kitchen. Researchers have found that you are prompted to eat what you see prominently in your kitchen. So to become healthy, we need to eat healthily, and to eat healthily, we need to ensure that our kitchen is equipped accordingly. The solution? A customized kitchen. Should this be an expensive endeavor? No.
Terry Guillemets famously said,
“Clutter Smothers, Simplicity Breathes.”
Our kitchen customization hack is built on this principle of simplicity. This is because you don’t need a complete overhaul of your kitchen to improve your eating habits. Just a few tweaks and you are set to make your habit transformation simple and hassle-free.
Our eating habits and our food decisions are determined by the environment around us. A small change to our kitchen can make a big difference. In short, when you enter your kitchen, you should be prompted to eat healthily.
The first law of healthy kitchen states: If a food is in your possession and/or near you, you will eventually eat it.
Action Plan #1: Decide your stock
The following two-step process will help you makeover your kitchen:
Step 1: Think about what you need to get rid of: Go through your food manual and check with your consultant as to what changes you need to make. Make a plan of what type of food you need to get rid of from your kitchen. The best would be to talk over with your family regarding your health plan and make them join the wagon.
Tip: If food is junk, they don’t belong in your kitchen.
Step 2: Prepare a stock of healthy foods: Stock your food cabinets and your refrigerator with healthy fruits, green vegetables, and other healthy food items. If you cannot remove the junk food due to family members who prefer them, then put these at the back of your cabinet and stock the front with healthy foods.
Tip: Find alternatives to your junk food and make a list of what you would replace it with.
In short, the kitchen makeover we are talking about is about your food and not your furniture, and cabinets. This article best explains how you can create your own kitchen.
Action Plan #2: Personalised Cutlery
Now let’s turn our attention to your cutlery.
Researchers have concluded that overindulgence of food is one of the major factors of medical problems. For example, a study conducted in 2005 stated that the amount of food on a bowl or a plate increases the food intake as it reduces one’s self-control. In short, a person can overeat simply because he has huge portions in front of him. What is the solution?
Avoid bottomless bowls. Redesign your bowls, plates, and cutlery. There are two ways of doing it. First, use your existing plates and design your food portions. Second, purchase new cutlery according to your portions. This article states in detail how you can decide your portions according to your need.
The following products will help you in this regard:
Portion control tableware, which is cutlery that provides plates to guide you to take the correct portion of food.
Portion Control Food templates, are simple tools that are of different shapes that you can put over your food and decide the portion that you need and remove the rest that falls out of your template.
Protein, Fats, and Baked Good templates are tools that you can hold over protein foods, fatty foods, and baked goods to select the right amount of food and chuck out the rest. Each template is of a different size.
Let’s move to our third hack, which will add color to our plate and our health!
Hack #3: Try Meal Color Variety
Winneshiek Medical Center has stated that a regular intake of colorful foods boosts our daily intake of overlooked nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. The following description gives us a look at what different color of our food means:
White color helps is reducing bad cholesterol
Orange and yellow color protects our nervous system
Purple and blue color helps prevent heart disease
Green color reduced problems related to eye problems
Red color helps protect hypertension and high cholesterol
Prepare a list of fruits and veggies that fall into the color that we discussed above and prepare a menu that you would like to try each day. Here is a list of some fruits that you can try for each color:
RED: Raspberries, Tomato, Watermelons
GREEN: Kiwis, Zucchini, Broccoli
WHITE: Garlic, Bananas, Onions
YELLOW: Sweet Potatoes, Mangoes, Lemon Juice
PURPLE: Purple Cabbage, Blackberries, Eggplant
Each fruit and vegetable develops the color through natural chemicals that has various nutrients for our benefit. Prepare each day’s menu by including one color, or a variety of colors to not only enhance your food intake but add a dash of creativity to your plate. Since processed food can never give us all the essential nutrients, it is necessary to include whole natural food into our diet.
To get all-around benefit from the type of food that you intake, we strongly recommend you to follow the Healthy Eating Pyramid, a food guide that helps you understand the proportion and types of food to eat every day.
La Rochefoucauld famously said, “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” We don’t want our food to kill us inadvertently and hence we need to develop a system to self-monitor our food intake. Discipline and willingness will help us achieve it.
Our health is dependent on our eating habits, and our habits are dependent on our diligence. The Habitify platform is designed to help you imbibe the needed discipline to help you build, improve, and strengthen your habits. You can learn how to develop a habit and track your habits using Habitify.
So, what would be the next item on your plate? What can you do to make your diet more attractive? Let us know in the comments section below.