Considering what, when and how you eat is extremely important if you want to have a healthier body and therefore a longer and healthier life. That’s why today we check out the essential habits for healthy eating, with a few before, during and after tips.

 

Healthy eating: before tips

Before munching on any food, you should always make sure it contains the crucial nutritional values your body needs, and that you’re physically and emotionally ready to engage in the act of eating. Here’s what you should do before eating:


  • Choose the proper meal:
    select varied foods from different types and colors -fruits, vegetables, etc. - so you have a higher chance of taking the amount of minerals, vitamins, carbs and other ingredients your body needs.
  • Avoid unhealthy fats: contrary to what most people believe, fats are extremely important for our bodies. However, you should always reduce your consumption of saturated and trans fats, which can be find in animal products and highly processed foods.
  • Relax: to digest your food properly it’s essential to be calm, since stress can thwart your digestion and keep you from absorbing the nutrients you need. Don’t rush your meals, and take your time to eat them properly.

 

Healthy eating: during tips

Now, one of the most important parts of healthy eating is to consider how you do it, a fact we usually forget while we’re distracted or rushed. Here are some tips on what you should do when you’re eating:


  • Consume the right portions:
    begin your day with a large breakfast, then have a considerably smaller lunch, and finally avoid dinner and snacks 14 to 16 hours before the time when you’ll have breakfast the next day. You can also have small healthy snacks in-between big meals. Eating the right portions of food is great for controlling your weight and giving your body exactly the amount it needs.
  • Eat slowly: when you take your time to enjoy your food, the process of signals between your digestive system and your brain works better, helping you to not overeat and absorb the ingredients you need.  
  • Pay attention to your body’s needs: if you’re feeling close to being full, don’t try to keep stuffing food into your system. This is a signal sent by your brain, so obey it and avoid overeating.

 

Healthy eating: after tips

You’ve had your meal, and now it’s time to return to your activities or rest for a few minutes. However, what you do after having a meal is as important as what you did before and during. Here are the tips for after eating:


  • Don’t involve your body in strenuous activities:
    forget about walking, swimming or doing any sort of exercise directly after eating, since this will keep your body from processing your food properly. Sleeping or taking a bath is equally unhelpful, since they’re both process which hinder digestion.
  • Don’t eat fruits or consume tea after a meal: although both are good for you, consuming them right after eating makes processing the ingredients of the fruits and the iron in your meal considerably more difficult.
  • Massage your stomach: a great and easy way to help your digestion is to massage your belly clockwise and anti-clockwise, since this stimulates blood flow and bowel movement.
  • Keep your body hydrated: as the day goes by, your body will need water to keep working and it will send you signals you might confuse with hunger. Consume water regularly so you don’t feel the temptation of overeating, and to keep your body running smoothly.

 

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Sources:
Helpguide.org. Healthy eating. http://www.helpguide.org/life/healthy_eating_diet.htm
Medimanage.com. Facts or fiction: 7 things not to do after meals. http://www.medimanage.com/my-diet/articles/facts-or-fiction-7-things-not-to-do-after-meals.aspx
Mercola.com. Studies show eating more slowly benefits your health and waistline. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/14/chewing-food.aspx
MSN. 7 things to avoid after eating. http://arabia.msn.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/227420/eid-adha-4/
Ping Ming Health. Healthy habits after eating. http://www.pingminghealth.com/article/1522/healthy-habits-after-eating/
Self. 20 ways to eat healthier right now. http://www.self.com/body/food/2009/06/20-ways-to-eat-healthier/