To help you incorporate healthier eating habits into your lifestyle, we asked nine founders and executives to share their personal strategies for healthy eating habits to try. From eating six small meals for balanced nutrition to planning meals for healthier decisions, these leaders offer a wealth of insights into maintaining a balanced diet. Here are nine expert recommendations for healthy eating habits to try:
- Eat Six Small Meals for Balanced Nutrition
- Eliminate Processed Foods
- Switch Coffee for Morning Water
- Practice Portion Control
- Limit Fried Foods
- Prioritize a Balanced Breakfast
- Mindfully Listen for Hunger Cues
- Try Morning Fasting
- Plan Meals for Healthier Decisions
DEEPER DIVE: Ranking Arizona: Top 10 resorts for 2023
Eat Six Small Meals for Balanced Nutrition
For the past four to five years, I’ve been eating six small meals every two hours versus the typical three meals. Most of these meals incorporate healthy protein, such as nuts, cheese, yogurt, lean meat, eggs, nut butters, and lentils.
I combine the protein with a complex carb. Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and rice are some examples. This keeps me full, and my energy level is consistent throughout the day.
I’m not a big breakfast eater, so I typically try to stick to small, 200-calorie meals throughout the day, including lunch, and then end with a nice 500-calorie dinner.
I try to stay at 1,500 calories on weekdays by following this system so that I can indulge a little on the weekend. This allows me to enjoy a guilt-free night out!
Eliminate Processed Foods
I have eliminated almost all processed foods, including crackers, pre-made meals, cereals, deli meats, etc. This change has given me better energy, sleep, and my blood pressure and cholesterol levels have improved dramatically. Also, the switch has led to over 60 pounds of fat loss over the last 15 months.
Switch Coffee for Morning Water
Taking a cup of coffee with sugar in the morning used to be my routine, but by midday, I would feel sluggish and tired. However, since I started drinking a glass of cold water in the morning, I’ve been feeling more energized and ready to face the day. I’ve also been more productive and engaged at work.
Our bodies naturally become dehydrated at night because we stop drinking water when we sleep, yet we’re still losing water through sweat and excretion in urine from the kidneys. Starting your day with a glass of water rehydrates your tissues and organs, increasing energy levels and flushing toxins from your body.
Practice Portion Control
Mindful portion control significantly improved my lifestyle. Instead of just considering what I eat, I pay close attention to how much I consume during meals.
By using smaller plates and bowls, pre-portioning snacks and meals, and being fully present during meals without distractions, I’ve learned to savor each bite, chew slowly, and appreciate the flavors of my food.
This practice has helped me avoid overeating, prevent discomfort, and feel more in tune with my body’s hunger and satiety cues. It’s not only balanced my diet but also enhanced my overall health and well-being by making me more appreciative of the food I consume.
Gregory Schwaid, Medical Director, One Medical Center
Limit Fried Foods
Health is one of the aspects of life I value the most, so I take it very seriously. Thus, my healthy eating habits are many and varied, one of which is limiting fried foods. Biting into a crispy piece of fried chicken or French fries is savory and amazing, but too much fried food is linked to a host of health complications. Instead, I air-fry or bake my dishes, which cuts out a significant amount of added calories and fat.
Prioritize a Balanced Breakfast
Having a balanced breakfast every morning is one healthy eating habit I’ve successfully incorporated into my lifestyle. I used to skip breakfast or eat something fast and unhealthy, but I realized how important it was for kick-starting my metabolism and providing essential nutrients to fuel my day.
Now, I make a point of eating a variety of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats for breakfast, such as whole-grain toast with avocado and eggs or a smoothie with fruits, yogurt, and nuts. This habit not only keeps me energized throughout the day, but it also assists me in making better food choices in general, which contributes to my overall well-being and health.
Mindfully Listen for Hunger Cues
One healthy eating habit I’ve incorporated into my lifestyle is practicing mindful eating. Instead of rushing through meals or eating while distracted, I take the time to savor and fully enjoy each bite.
By paying attention to my body’s hunger and fullness cues, I can better gauge when I’m satisfied and avoid overeating. This habit has not only improved my digestion but also helped me make healthier food choices as I am more attuned to my body’s nutritional needs.
Try Morning Fasting
One of the healthiest eating habits that impacted my lifestyle the most was the decision to fast every single morning. I realized that eating food and ingesting calories before noon weighs on my body and mind, and I feel much better now that I fast every morning and eat only in the afternoon.
Apart from feeling better and brighter, this eating habit also helped me lose some extra weight and improve my overall discipline in both work and my personal life.
Plan Meals for Healthier Decisions
Planning meals in advance enables me to make healthier decisions and ensures that I have readily available nutritious options.
By setting aside time each week to plan my meals and snacks, I can construct nutritious and well-balanced menus. This practice helps me avoid making rash food choices, particularly when I’m occupied or stressed.
In addition to allowing me to make a purchasing list with all the necessary ingredients, meal planning reduces my likelihood of making unhealthy impulsive purchases. A well-thought-out plan encourages me to cook at home more frequently, which allows me to regulate the ingredients and portions.
Meal planning has had a positive effect on my eating habits, making it simpler for me to maintain a balanced diet and bolstering my overall health.