The habits that make us: The power of nutrition


by Baylor Scott & White Health

Oct 16, 2023

Nutrition isn’t just about the food on your plate; it’s about the life you can create with every mindful bite. What we eat is a choice that directly impacts our energy, mood and overall vitality. You can find joy in every meal, knowing that you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to thrive.

The choices we make about what we eat are an act of self-care and love. Whether you're starting your journey towards a healthier diet or looking for tips to improve your nutrition, each day provides a new opportunity to make progress toward healthier nutrition habits.

In this installment of The habits that make us series, we’re exploring how healthy nutrition habits can make you unstoppable in every aspect of life.

Nutrition: A foundation for wellness

Our bodies are like finely tuned machines and the fuel we provide them with matters. Proper nutrition not only helps maintain a healthy weight but also plays a pivotal role in preventing chronic diseases, boosting immunity and enhancing mental clarity. It's the cornerstone of your well-being, which means that adopting healthy eating habits can be transformative.

Balance is key

Try to incorporate a wide array of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats into your meals. Each food group brings its unique set of nutrients to the table, and by diversifying your plate, you ensure that your body receives the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it needs.

Portion control

Pay attention to portion sizes to avoid overeating. It's easy to misjudge, so consider using smaller plates, measuring portions or practicing mindful eating to savor each bite. Remember, it's not just what you eat but how much that counts.

Hydration, hydration, hydration

Water is life's elixir. Proper hydration is essential for digestion, circulation and overall vitality. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Need a break from plain water? Herbal teas and infused water can make the hydration journey more exciting. Listen to your body and ensure you're giving it the hydration it needs. You’ll immediately notice the difference.

Mindful eating

In our fast-paced world, we often rush through meals without truly savoring them. Make mealtime a mindful ritual. Sit down, chew your food slowly and engage all your senses. By being present in the moment, you'll not only enjoy your food more but also become more attuned to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Many people find turning off the TV or putting down their phones is really helpful to stay focused on eating. Why not try it tonight?

Plan and prep

Success in healthy eating often starts with planning and preparation. Ordering takeout or snacking on chips is easy but not often the most nutritious. Design a meal plan for the week, create a shopping list and stock your kitchen with wholesome ingredients. Preparing healthy snacks and meals in advance can help you resist the temptation of less nutritious options when hunger strikes.

Treat yourself, in moderation

Many dietitians recommend an ‘all foods fit’ approach. Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite treats but do so mindfully and savor the experience. It's all about moderation and finding that sweet spot between nourishing your body and satisfying your cravings. The more you restrict yourself, the quicker you may lose interest in achieving those healthy goals.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Changing your nutritional habits can be challenging, but you don't have to do it alone. Share your goals with friends or family members who can provide support and encouragement. Consider seeking advice from a registered dietitian or nutritionist for personalized guidance. With a support network cheering you on, you’ll see the positive changes in no time.

Progress, not perfection

Remember, nobody's diet is perfect. Celebrate your victories (no matter how small) and learn from any setbacks. Meal prepped for the week rather than ordering take out? Reached for an apple instead of a candy bar? Nice work. Building healthy nutrition habits is a journey, not a destination. Be patient and congratulate yourself when you make a healthy decision today that you wouldn’t have made last year.

Nourishing your body with wholesome foods is a beautiful gift you can give yourself. So, embark on this journey and know that each positive step you take toward healthier nutrition habits is a step toward a brighter, more vibrant future.

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