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27 Ways To Change Your Mindset About Eating

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Looking for tips on ways to change your eating mindset? USA Today article compiled a list of healthy eating habits based on the science behind foods and choices. They consulted multiple health journals, including Harvard Health Publishing. Changing your eating mindset can lead to healthier eating choices and thus overall better health in the long run. Look at the list below:

1. Cook With Fresh Ingredients

When you cook for yourself using whole, fresh ingredients, you can monitor your sodium, sugar and fat levels – something that is difficult to do when you eat out or buy prepared food. Preparing meals at home is also cheaper than eating out.

2. Smaller Food portions

Restaurant portions are often enough for two or three people. Control your portion size by ordering an appetiser or a small plate instead of an entree, or by sharing an entree with a friend. At home, serve meals on small plates, which can make your portion feel larger.

3. Avoid Sugary Drinks

Daily drinking of sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juice increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In addition, the fructose in these drinks does not make the body feel full, so soda drinkers tend to consume more total calories than those who do not drink soda.

4. Coffee Drinking

Coffee drinking is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and may be associated with lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s, although adding sugar can negate some of the health benefits.

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5. Meal Planning

Meal planning can help you keep an eye on nutrients and can ensure you are getting a well-balanced diet. Plan a few meals a week around recipes you and your family like and shop for those ingredients.

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6. Healthy Microbiota

The bacterial colony in your intestines, called your gut microbiota, is connected to your mood, immune system and propensity for chronic inflammatory diseases and obesity. Two great ways to keep your microbiota healthy are eating sufficient dietary fibre and eating probiotics, either in the form of dietary supplements containing active cultures, or by eating fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut.

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7. Don’t Fear Fats

The notion that eating fat makes you fat is outdated. Your body needs fat to function and absorb nutrients, and essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3s, are crucial to proper brain function. Unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish and avocados are considered healthy. The trick is to avoid trans fats and limit saturated fats intake.

8. More Fresh Fruit & Veg

A diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with lower risks of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A new study also suggests that eating more fruits and vegetables may benefit psychological health as well. 

9. Drink Water Before Meals

The importance of drinking water cannot be overstated. It keeps the kidneys functioning – and helps prevent kidney stones – while also preventing constipation and dehydration. It is also associated with weight management. some studies suggest that people who drink water before meals may consume less calories and also lose weight more readily.

10. Don’t just Count Calories

Reducing daily eating patterns to a calorie count overlooks the fact that certain foods contain empty calories with little nutritional value. Some food options contain a significant amount of nutrients per ounce and are more satiating, which may help you consume less calories at the end of the day. Rather than counting calories, focus on eating high-quality foods such as whole grains, vegetables and healthy protein sources. 

11. Eat A Variety of Proteins

Protein is essential to any diet, and luckily, proteins are easy to get from animal and plant sources. Proteins are made from amino acids, and nine of these  – called essential amino acids – are the ones that the human body cannot produce and must ingest from food. Eating a variety of plant protein sources, including legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains can provide the full range of these essential amino acids.

12. Reduce Salt Intake

High sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Because most of the sodium we ingest comes from commercially prepared foods, as opposed to home-cooked meals, it is important to read labels on pre-packaged foods and monitor sodium intake.

13. Eat eggs but not too much

The 2015-2020 dietary guidelines for Americans recommend eggs as a nutrient-dense protein source. Many studies have shown that consumption of up to one egg a day is not associated with increased risk of heart disease in healthy individuals who are not diabetic.

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14. Make a grocery list

Grocery store layouts are designed to sell you more products than you intend to buy, whether or not they are healthy. This is where a shopping list might come in handy.

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15. Snack on Nuts instead of processed snacks

Keeping a container of nuts in your car or purse can help prevent unhealthy snack purchases and even reduce the risk of weight gain. A new study suggests that regularly snacking on small amounts of nuts may prevent excessive weight gain and lower the risk of obesity.

16. Consume Fatty Fish

The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish – especially fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, herring, albacore tuna and lake trout – per week.

17. Limit high-glycemic index foods

Although all carbohydrates are converted into glucose in the body, some are converted much faster than others, causing blood sugar levels to spike. The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates on how quickly and how much they increase blood sugar levels. Eating high-glycemic foods such as white bread and refined sugars can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Foods that are high in fibre, such as whole grains, broccoli, beans and apples with their skin on take longer to digest and therefore the converted sugar is released slower into the blood.

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18. Use Fresh Herbs

Not only is using fresh herbs an easy and cheap way to make everyday foods interesting, it is also a great way to increase your nutrient intake. Leafy herbs such as dill, parsley and basil are nutritionally similar to other leafy greens, such as spinach, and may contain vitamins A, C and K. You can also go your own at home.

19. Pay attention to your body

How often do you feel tired or have an upset stomach after eating? Stress, multitasking while eating, having a food intolerance or not chewing food thoroughly can all lead to indigestion or discomfort. Notice how you feel after you eat. Do certain foods always upset your stomach? If so, you may need to get an allergy test. The first step toward better digestion is simply noticing what happens in your body after you eat.

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20. Get Enough Vitamin D

A 2011 analysis of U.S. adults found that 41.6% were vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is crucial to bone health, and deficiency may be linked to increased risk of heart disease and cancer. This applies even in sun filled countries like South Africa.

21. Healthy Snacks

A 2018 study of online food choices suggests that unhealthy food options may be more influential than healthy options. If this is true, then it is a good idea to keep healthy foods stocked and avoid bringing home junk food. A bowl of fruit, vegetables, hummus or a jar of nuts within easy reach can healthily fulfil snacking urges. 

22. Eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables

Phytonutrients such as beta-carotene and lycopene are often what give fruits and vegetables their distinctive colours and flavours. They may also help prevent disease and have a myriad of other health benefits. A great way to receive the benefits of multiple phytonutrients is to eat fruits and vegetables of all colours. 

23. Eat Whole grains

A diet high in whole grains may reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Unlike refined grains whose bran and germ have been removed, whole grains retain their fibre and nutrients. Fibre helps slow the digestion of starch, which prevents rapid spikes in blood sugar.

24. Reduce consumption of red & processed meats

Although growing evidence suggests that we should limit our intake of red meat – especially processed red meat – many people still eat burgers and sausages. If you’re going to eat red meat, avoid processed and cured meats such as ham, lunch meat and bacon, as they may be linked to cancer and heart disease.

25. Don’t diet or think of foods as “off limits”

Studies have shown that restricted eating (dieting) can actually cause people to overeat and focus on their hunger. It may be about the way diets are framed. A University of Arizona study on food-related warnings showed that dieters who received negative messages about unhealthy food were more likely to want and eat these unhealthy foods. Instead of thinking of certain foods as off-limits, which may lead to guilt and binging, try reducing portions of unhealthy foods and considering them as an occasional treat.

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26. Substitute popcorn for chips

Chips tend to be higher in fat and calories than popcorn, unless the popcorn is the microwaved, butter-flavoured kind. Choose air-popped corn for a whole grain, fibre rich snack that you can eat by the handful.

27. Make small changes, one step at a time

Several studies suggest that making small changes in diet and lifestyle may be more effective and sustainable than sudden extreme changes. Instead of attempting a drastic fad diet, set small, realistic goals like eating one extra piece of fruit every day.

Start your journey to changing your eating mindset today, One step at a time to a healthier better you. As they say “Rome was not built in a day”.

Balanced Healing can assist you in putting together a lifestyle & nutritional plan based on your individual health requirements / food intolerances etc. We do not call it a “DIET” – we prefer to focus on the aspects of ease and convenience to assist in making your life easier.



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