Three Things to Do This Week to Help You Eat Healthier
1. Plan your dinners for the next five days.
Meal prep (prepping several meals at once) is great, but it’s not for everyone. An easier way to make sure you eat healthy? Plan out your meals for the week. Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to make, go food shopping for the ingredients. When you get home hang the list of daily meals on your fridge. This scheduling of meals will decrease the odds of getting take out, prevent food waste, save you money, and last but not least, will result in healthier eating. When you prepare your own meals (vs. eating out) you’re in charge of the ingredients. An added benefit to planning your weekly meals is that your household will also know what the plan is (list on fridge) and can help out by defrosting or cutting up ingredients before you get home.
2. Eat slower.
How long does it take you to consume a meal? Three minutes? Five minutes? If you’re typically the first one to finish at the table you might want to consider slowing down. Recent studies show that people who eat at a slower pace are less likely to be obese . When we eat too quickly our stomach doesn’t have enough time to send feelings of fullness to our brain which can result in overeating. Another study asked men to eat ice cream at varying speeds and measured the amount of satiety hormones (what makes us feel full). The result? When the men ate the ice cream more slowly they reported more feelings of fullness . At the start of your meal, set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes and make your meal last that long. To help you slow down, concentrate on chewing your food more and appreciating the flavor of the food. It also helps to always eat at a table so you’re just focusing on the food. After all, you just put all that effort into preparing a meal – you should enjoy it!
3. Make your own coffee.
Not only is buying your coffee every day bad for your wallet, it’s not doing any favors for your waistline. Did you know that when you order a coffee with cream and sugar that can mean anywhere from two creams and sugars to five creams and sugars? It depends on the size you order. When you make your own coffee you are in control of what goes into it. Better yet, skip the sugar and creamer altogether and try a latte with skim milk and cinnamon. Not a morning person? Buy a coffee maker with a timer and wake up to the smell of fresh brew.
1. Hurst Y, Fukuda H. Effects of changes in eating speed on obesity in patients with diabetes: a secondary analysis of longitudinal health check-up data
BMJ Open 2018;8:e019589. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019589
2. Alexander Kokkinos, Carel W. le Roux, Kleopatra Alexiadou, Nicholas Tentolouris, Royce P. Vincent, Despoina Kyriaki, Despoina Perrea, Mohammad A. Ghatei, Stephen R. Bloom, Nicholas Katsilambros; Eating Slowly Increases the Postprandial Response of the Anorexigenic Gut Hormones, Peptide YY and Glucagon-Like Peptide-1, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 95, Issue 1, 1 January 2010, Pages 333–337, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2009-1018
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