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10 healthy eating habits that work

24th July 2017 by Sophie

These positive eating habits may seem simple or obvious, but practising them regularly and consistently is what makes them magic. Each one is easy to do - try introducing them one by one into your daily routine and see if a healthy lifestyle doesn't blossom before your eyes.

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choose foods you enjoy

For us, healthy habits means making good choices most of the time, whilst still enjoying a treat every now and then.

We don’t believe in fad diets, self-denial or complicated rules… when healthy eating is simple and enjoyable, you’re much more likely to stick to it long term. Especially if the occasional biscuit is involved.

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watch your portions

Following a loose portion guide will help you to make the best choices and follow a more balanced diet throughout the day.

In general men are recommended to have two portions of protein, carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit, whilst women are recommended to have one portion of each.

Tip: instead of eating from a large bag or tub, plate up the amount you would want to eat and put the large bag or tub away so you’re not tempted to have more.

healthy portion control guide
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chew mindfully

Our digestive systems are very sensitive. Eating too quickly, on the move or without concentrating on your food can lead to bloating and other digestive complaints.

When your brain is engaged on another task like walking or Whatsapping, your energy, nutrients and blood flow are diverted to your muscles and brain and away from the digestive system so that it can power the ‘in the moment’ task.

This makes it tricky for your body to digest your food, especially protein as you have fewer resources so you end up with a meal that is partially digested.

What we don’t digest often turns into bacteria that later ferments, causing bloating - so make sure you are seated and take the time to enjoy your meal in a relaxed state and with good intention.

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balance protein and fibre

Fibre has been flagged as the next big health focus by the Sugar Report as something we all need more of. Our nutritionist Jess is a big believer in the benefits of dietary fibre, especially when it's combined with protein.

When you eat foods that contain fibre such as fresh vegetables and lentils, you help to slow the release of glucose into the blood, so your energy release is sustained.

how to eat protein and fibre
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eat breakfast every day

Breakfast is so important! When your blood sugar levels are on an even keel, your energy levels are maintained until your next meal and your hormones are in check, without a blood sugar roller-coasting situation and subsequent over-eating or poor food choices being made.

36 healthy breakfast ideas
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pack your lunches

Aside from the more obvious benefits like saving money, packing your own lunch means you know exactly what ingredients are going into it, so you can be confident that you’re giving you body the things it needs to get through the afternoon.

Include some good fats with your lunch from whole food sources such as whole nuts and seeds in with your salad, or good quality extra virgin salad dressing to keep you satiated and supplied with key fatty acids to fuel your brain and your cells.

Jess, graze nutritionist

Some great healthy lunch snacks to add to your lunchbox could be some nuts or seeds sprinkled onto your salad with some chicken, boiled egg or tofu.

what does a nutritionist eat for lunch?
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snack smarter

Snacking can help people maintain a healthy lifestyle, as long as they're snacking on foods that they love and their body loves back!

I always suggest keeping a healthy snack on hand to enjoy when your body needs a pick-me-up between meals. Being prepared with your snacks is super important so you don’t find yourself empty handed as you are hungry and walk passed a vending machine - nobody ever made a wise meal choice when they were 'hangry'!

Jess, graze nutritionist

A combination of protein and fibre makes for a more satisfying nibble, so try and include these nutrients into your daily snacks and meals.

why you should keep snacks in your bag
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stay hydrated

Hydrating your body should start the minute you get out of bed in the morning - your body's gone 8 or so hours on a water fast.

I recommend having a big glass of water first thing in the morning and pairing it with the juice of half a lemon to kickstart your digestion.

Don’t forget to keep drinking water throughout the day – set a water reminder on your phone or Outlook calendar or keep a litre bottle of water by your desk with interval markers on. Whatever jogs your memory and reminds you to keep on sipping.

Top tip: Try drinking your liquids at least 15 minutes before eating and then up to an hour after. Digesting food is a delicate process, and your stomach and intestines work very hard to break everything down, absorb nutrients and utilize them. Drinking water with meals dilutes those digestive enzymes so your digestion has to work extra hard to get the same result and it becomes less efficient.

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avoid artificial sweeteners and diet drinks

These drinks create a toxic build-up in the body and mess with hormones, especially insulin. Keep your dinks clean and stick to water with the juice of fresh limes or lemons to jazz it up.

When it comes to alcohol, keep the base of your drinks as sugar-free as possible, so soda water with squeezed lime in there is a thirst-quenching winner!

how to cut out sugar
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get a proper night's sleep

There are three crucial things the body does while you’re in a slumber - your brain recharges, your cells repair themselves, and your body releases important hormones.

A good sleep really is a fundamental part of feeling refreshed and energised throughout the day and if you don’t get enough sleep, and quality sleep, it can leave you feeling groggy and under-performing.

The negative effect on your decision making can also leave you reaching for poor food choices to get that short term energy boost.

reboot your sleep pattern
sophie graze kitchen

By Sophie, graze blogger.

Sophie is our London-based blogger, queen of content and all things writing at graze HQ! She loves working with the taste expert team to bring their recipes out into the world.

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