Our eating habits refer to our relationship with food. They affect our eating behaviours and choices, as well as the state of our mental and physical health. Eating habits can be either healthy or unhealthy, depending on whether or not they include eating a balanced diet composed of mostly vegetables and fruits, eating the proper amount of calories every day, practising an active lifestyle full of exercise, drinking plenty of water throughout the day and eating small meals frequently rather than three large meals per day. Learn about your eating habits with this guide.
What is Your Eating Habit?
Eating, a necessary task for survival, offers numerous health benefits and can be a fun and rewarding experience if done right. But what is the best way to eat? The answer differs from person to person because everyone has different eating habits. To find out what your eating habits are like, you first need to define eating habits.
There are two types of eating habits: good eating habits and bad eating habits. The first is necessary for optimal health, while the second may lead to obesity, coronary heart disease and other medical conditions, as well as increasing mortality rate. Figure out what type of eater you are with this guide and choose the eating habit that sounds most like the one you adopt often.
What are the Different Types of Eating Habits?
Are you a healthy eater? Do you have a strong addiction to green vegetables and similar healthful food, or do you live off junk food because you're too busy to cook? Everyone has different eating habits and they're all just a part of life. It's important to remember that there are benefits and costs to whatever eating habits you have, but that doesn't mean they aren't still true for you.
Developing healthy eating habits can do great things in improving your health by potentially reducing stress, keeping your weight stable, or even helping treat eating disorders. And best of all, eating healthy can help you feel better about yourself! So, what are some of the eating habits that best describe how you eat?
The Picky Eater
Do you only eat a few select foods? Do you get overwhelmed when there is a lot of food in front of you? Do you have anxiety about eating new foods or being around people who are eating different types of foods from what you usually eat? If any of these things sound familiar, then it's likely that this is true for you.
The Impulsive Eater
Do most people say that they're constantly hungry because they never feel full enough after eating one meal, let alone their entire lunch or dinner? Do you often experience episodes of binge eating because it provides an escape from other feelings that are troubling you, such as boredom? Oftentimes, eating can become a way of coping with stressors in your life without thinking about the consequences. If these things are true for you then it's likely that this is what describes your eating habits best.
Eat Till I'm Full Eater
Most people eat until they feel full and stop eating at some point before feeling exceptionally stuffed. If eating until feeling full is your definition of fuel eating, it's high time you assessed how you actually feel after eating a large meal. If it makes you feel more sluggish than energised, perhaps this eating habit isn't working for you.
The Enthusiastic Eater
Do you generally enjoy eating, but aren't conscious of your eating habits? Do your eating habits depend on the situation and what's available to eat in different places (for example, eating healthy when you're at home and another way when you go out)? Most people fall within this category; we typically do whatever we can get by with, whether it is eating a lot or eating little. If this describes your eating habits best then it's likely that this overall style also reflects how well your diet is balanced.
The Conscious Eater
Do other people describe eating for you as something similar to a hobby or even an obsession that rules over everything else in life? Do you feel guilty eating certain types of food, even if it's just every once in a while? If sticking to a healthy diet plan is something that you take great interest in and care about very much then this is the best eating habit for you to have.
Often, where you eat also pretty much describes whether or not your eating habits are good. Do you spend more money eating out than eating at home? Eating out can get expensive! Also, many restaurants give portions that are too big for one person. So, do you find yourself throwing away leftovers often? This can end up leading to unnecessary waste of food which is unfortunate because 1 in 5 Australians live with food insecurity.
Do you agree that it might be more efficient to buy groceries and cook your own food instead? This can be healthier as well as cheaper, so if eating at home is a way of eating that you prefer then this is the best eating habit for you.
What Constitutes Healthy Eating Habits?
Eating healthy means maintaining a balanced diet. This means eating the right amount of healthy food in order to maintain a healthy weight and improve overall health. A person's weight affects their health - being skinny does not necessarily mean they are healthy! Being overweight can lead to a host of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc., whereas being underweight can also cause just as many problems. A balanced diet includes all food groups, but most importantly, contains mostly fruits and vegetables with moderate amounts of protein and carbohydrate intake.
Ensuring a healthy diet packed with a wide variety of healthy foods not only prevents unexplained weight gain or drops in body weight, but it will also boost your energy levels throughout the day.
Tips for Healthy Eating
How do you know what to eat? Firstly, stick to foods that have not been processed as much. Many packaged or pre-packaged foods can be high in sugar or sodium which leads to health problems such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. Second, cook food at home if possible so you know exactly what goes into it, whereas eating out can lead to eating unhealthy foods that are difficult to avoid eating. And last but not least, make sure that your diet contains the four major food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein and grains.
Here below are some helpful tips on how to eat a healthy meal:
- Eat breakfast every day to regulate weight, lower stress levels, increase concentration and prevent impulsive eating
- Get 25g protein with every meal. Choose lean proteins, which you can get from fish, chicken and eggs, over fatty foods like cheese or bacon
- Buy healthy snacks such as dried fruits and nuts
- Cut out the salt where possible
- Cook with spices instead of eating pre-packaged sauce or eating out
- Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day
- Choose whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates
- Drink water in place of soft drinks or other sugary drinks
Whether eating one meal at home or eating a few meals away from home, maintaining a healthful diet is an achievable goal that can lead to great benefits if accomplished! What's more, it helps prevent eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa, and leads to proper development of the mind and body. Remember, eating should be fun and rewarding, not stressful or depriving. Don't get tricked by advertisements for unhealthy foods because eating healthy won't break the bank!