Eat Better in 5 Easy Steps
Eating well is key to good health, everyone knows that. But without time and energy, how can we improve our habits and sustain these changes long term? I asked my colleagues at the SOSCuisine’s Nutrition Team their simplest tips to eat well. They can be summarized in 5 steps. I suggest you start by following one at a time. Once you feel comfortable with one, move on to the next.
1. Cook simple meals yourself
By cooking, you become less dependent on processed products and you make room for fresh ingredients. You can add herbs and spices and this way add flavor while reducing your intake of salt and fat. Your house will smell delicious and you’ll assemble your family around the table and create happy memories. And that’s without mentioning the sense of accomplishment and the savings you’ll make on your grocery bill. You’ll find some recipes to get you started here.
2. Eat more fruits, vegetables and plant foods
Let yourself be guided by American writer and activist Michael Pollan’s statement: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants“. It’s very simple advice as you don’t need to calculate or quantify your diet. Fill half your plate with colorful vegetables, at lunch and dinner. And replace a few meat dishes with legumes, nuts and seeds. You’ll find some vegetarian recipes here.
3. Reduce your intake of sugar
It is possible to become desensitised to sugar: less you eat it, less you want to eat it. But it is a transition that has to take place gently. Start by drinking more water and less soft drinks (for example cocktails and fruit juices, diet drinks and regular soda, etc.).
4. Listen to your hunger
Before eating or helping yourself to a second portion, you need to ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Practice the “Hara Hachi Bun Me”, like the Japanese centenarians who eat until they feel 80% full. Be moderated and leave the table before you feel completely satiated.
5. Eat a bit of everything and savor your food
Eating a variety of foods is the best way to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, simply and without needing to calculate anything. Be open to trying new foods and take the time to savor them. When you take the time to really taste, you’re better able to recognize when you feel satiated. If all you do is chew and swallow, you’re not allowing yourself the real pleasure of eating. It’s by savoring that you become more discerning, are no longer satisfied with ready-made meals, and turn towards home-made foods. Learn to enjoy food again!