Eating right can be tricky with our hectic schedules, and many of us know that our eating patterns are less than ideal. Read on to find out what you can do to help improve your eating habits with some simple alterations to your normal routine…
Eat right in the morning
You don’t have to eat as soon as you wake up, but you do need to eat within an hour or two of waking up. This is really important! Not eating breakfast puts your body into starvation mode, and means that calories are preserved rather than burnt. People who skip breakfast to try and lose weight are therefore likely to have the exact opposite effect and end up storing more calories than before! If you eat breakfast regularly, you are in better control of your weight. Eating in the morning also helps you to avoid pigging out at lunch or dinner time. If possible it’s a great idea to have some protein with your breakfast (e.g. an egg or yoghurt) as protein keeps you fuller for longer.
Eat right before your workout
It is important to give your body some fuel pre-exercise, especially if you work out early in the morning. If you’re not a big breakfast person, or you don’t have much time before you exercise, eat something easy-to-digest like smoothies, soups or yoghurts. If you have a few hours before you work out, then just have a regular meal at your normal time with some carbs (bread, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables) to keep you going through your workout.
Eat right after your workout
After a decent workout your body is going to be a bit low on fuel, so try and eat something within 45 minutes of finishing exercise. Your muscles will particularly thank you for fruits, vegetables and whole grains at this time, so that they can rebuild their stock of carbs. A bit of protein can also help the muscles to recover optimally.
Eat right before you shop
If you are the one who has to do the food shopping in your house make sure that you eat before you go to the shops. Shopping while hungry be dangerous! Another good tip is to make a list before you go, and stick to it!
Eat right when you eat out
Resist the urge to go crazy when you go out for dinner! Menus are designed to make us want the food, so just be sensible when choosing, and make sure you don’t go entirely overboard with your ordering. One way of guarding against this, is to make sure that you don’t arrive at a restaurant so hungry you could eat the table. Try and manage your meals that day so that you are hungry but not absolutely ravenous by the time you arrive.
Eat right at night
So many people eat light meals during the day and then stuff themselves silly at night. This is not good for you! When you do most of your eating at night, your brain and muscles don’t get the fuel they need during the day for your daily physical and mental activities (i.e. school). It is instead best to distribute your calories evenly throughout the day, with many dieticians recommending having 5 small meals a day rather than 3 big ones. If you have a tendency to snack in an evening after dinner, it can be a good idea to brush your teeth as soon as you have eaten. This normally puts you off eating anything more.