With half of 2021 almost gone, do you think you still have some chance to change your life this year? It’s never late to start a habit because humans evolve and grow every day. Practicing good meal habits is one of the foremost things to inculcate in our routine life. Here is the list of 21 healthy meal habits to get your body on track in 2021.
Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Healthy breakfast can help you decide the mood for the rest of your day. Eating a nutritious breakfast replenishes the stores of energy and nutrients in your body. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as you have gone without food for as long as 12 hours. Eat eggs, yoghurt, dry fruit, bread, whole grains, fruits and milk which are rich in key nutrients such as folate, calcium, iron, B vitamins and fiber. These help you stay energetic until your next meal for the day.
Go Meatless Once a Week
Plant-based diet is gaining more popularity because of its vital nutrients and less harm to the body. It reduces the risk of obesity, cardiovascular diseases and other lifestyle diseases. Eat a variety of green vegetables, plant-based protein such as seeds, legumes, lentils to get enough protein in your meals. Though you are a meat lover, you can go meatless at least once a week to lighten the load on your belly and your wallet.
Include Vegetables in Every Meal
Vegetables are rich in nutrients and minerals that boost proper metabolism in the body. Try different vegetables in a day to have a nutritious and balanced diet. Vegetables are of different varieties such as cruciferous roots and green vegetables. Having a variety of vegetables in every meal makes your meal tasty and nutritious.
Replace Refined Grains with Whole Grains
Whole grains have a variety of healthy nutrients and are naturally low in fat. If you are relying too much on refined grains in your diet, it is the best time to replace them with whole grains such as quinoa, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, millet, oatmeal, popcorn and wild rice. You can use them to make bread, batter and salads at least once a week.
Reduce Caffeine Consumption
Most of us love to kick start the day with a cup of coffee. And even have 2 -3 cups of coffee in a day to stay active. But drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks will reduce your appetite for eating a wholesome meal. If caffeine is a big part of your daily diet, it is important to reduce its consumption as you can experience withdrawal symptoms. However, curbing your caffeine habit will help you become healthier and wiser. It can also improve your appetite for nutritious meals.
Choose Seafood Instead of Red Meat
Red meat is rich in iron, B vitamins and saturated fat while seafood is a substantial source of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, selenium and thiamine. When you are out in a restaurant, you can easily order a seafood dish instead of a red meat to keep your cholesterol levels in check. Reduce your red meat consumption by occasionally opting for seafood more in your regular diet to stay healthy.
Snack on Healthy Foods
Binge eating has become a habit because of the availability of plenty of snacking options. It is easier to snack on potato chips than fried nuts because it is addictive. But if you want to stay healthy, you can replace fried items with baked goods, granola bars, dark chocolate and raw nuts. This does not put on weight and bad cholesterol in your body.
Plan Meals with Seasonal Foods
Eating seasonal foods is a natural way to keep your body in alignment. Buying products that are on sale will cost you less money and also planning meals with seasonal produce will help you stay healthy. These foods are available fresh every day in the market than non seasonal fruits which are frozen or processed. Seasonal foods will have the same nutrients intact compared to non-seasonal produce.
Cut Processed Foods
Eating processed foods may be a convenient option for plenty of you because of its availability. There are a variety of processed foods, such as frozen vegetables, canned meat, dried fruits, baked goods, and pasteurized dairy products. Grabbing a can of soda or a smoothie from convenience stores can make you feel you had a wholesome meal in your mind, but technically you have consumed an unhealthy meal that can change your body’s rhythm and mood swings. Plan and prepare some natural foods, such as salads, curries or soups and take them whenever you feel hungry.
Learn a New Recipe Every Day
Most people hesitate to plan meals because you run out of recipes for new ideas to include in your everyday life. If you are genuinely interested in eating or cooking healthy meals, you can start investing time in learning new recipes and testing out recipes and including them in your meal plan to keep them interesting as well as nutritious for your entire family.
Add Superfoods to Your Diet
Eating nutrient-dense foods can help you stay active and delay aging in your life. Superfoods are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals which help your body ward off diseases and reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases. Include a variety of superfoods regularly in your diet such as berries, almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, kiwi, watermelon, cabbage, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, wheatgrass, coconut, flaxseeds, walnuts, quinoa, lentils, green tea and Greek yoghurt.
Make Your Mealtime Gadget-Free
With smartphones ruling our world, it has become difficult for us to have our meal without it. We have started the practice of watching TV or videos while eating, which has made us less concentrated on our eating habits. Eat at least two meals a day with no gadgets. Chew your food and spend as much time with your food exploring the colours and the nutrients that you add to your body. This will make you a conscious eater.
Eat Less Sugar
Eating moderate quantities of sugar in your regular diet will help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Most of us eat dessert after a heavy meal, such as lunch or dinner. But it is best to limit your sugar intake as much as you can in your everyday lifestyle to curb sugar cravings and unnecessary calories. There are many healthy alternatives you can replace sugar with to maintain your blood glucose levels. It is best to use raw honey instead of artificially processed sweeteners.
Try a New Vegetable or Fruit Every Month
There are plenty of fruits and vegetables which are available throughout the year. In 2021, you can start being a little more explorative. Experiment with vegetables and fruits which are not regularly available in your vicinity. It is easy to get plenty of produce from various parts of the world because of globalization. Be bold to try out new food items every month.
Try a Detox Diet Every Month
Dieting is not the best way to reduce weight or even lead a lifestyle. But detoxing your body occasionally will help you improve your appetite and maintain good gut health. You can try out a detox diet once a month depending upon your interest in fasting. It is best to choose natural foods and drink plenty of water during a detox diet to help you flush out toxins from your body.
Drink Infused or Lemon Water
Water is one of the healthiest food items on earth. It has plenty of natural vitamins and minerals required to replenish our body. Even though it is easier to drink a glass of water after a meal, you can try infusing water with lemon, ginger, mint, cucumber and cinnamon to make infused waters which are tastier and healthier for your body.
Prioritize Protein Intake with Every Meal
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. It makes up a larger portion of a balanced meal. Add a protein to every meal of the day to make you feel full for long hours. This will prevent you from munching on unhealthy snacks in between your meals. You can include lean meat, poultry meat, red meat, seafood, shellfish, legumes, lentils and tofu for meeting the daily requirement of protein in your body.
Make Home-Cooked Meals a Priority
It is easy to order a takeout meal or grab something from the seven eleven store every day for your lunch or dinner. But it is important that you prioritize home-cooked meals in 2021. Cook a nice family dinner with simple ingredients and homegrown produce to create hearty meals every time of the day. These are nutritious, tasty and healthy too.
Maintain a Meal Gratitude Journal
Writing about what you eat is a healthy way to understand your body cravings and meet the daily nutrient requirements. If you can either write or take photos of your everyday meals to be grateful every day. Reading these messages will help you feel how blessed you are in life. Simple pleasures make life interesting to live. Thankfulness is a great habit to practice this year.