Developing healthy eating habits is an important part of being healthy. Eating well can help prevent disease, maintain a healthy weight and improve your mood. It can also reduce your risk for developing certain conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Eating healthy is a long-term goal that requires change to both the way you think about food and what you eat. Changing your eating habits may not be easy, but it is possible to make small changes that will add up to big health benefits over time.
In order to develop a healthier eating pattern, you need to identify what kind of eater you are. There are four recognised eating types, according to experts at noom (opens in new tab). Once you’ve identified your eating type, it can help you to understand how it impacts your lifestyle journey and stay committed to your healthy eating goals.
A habitual eater craves routine and structure, following the same meals and exercise routine every day. Often, this is because of work, family or other commitments that can be difficult to manage without regular structure in your day.
For people who are habitual eaters, it is important to try to break the routine at times and eat with other people or in different environments. This can make you more aware of the reasons why you are eating and give you an opportunity to practice mindful eating.
An emotional eater is someone who eats not because they’re hungry, but to satisfy an emotional need. This could be to celebrate a success, comfort themselves or distract themselves from emotions such as sadness or boredom. Emotional eating can lead to overeating, particularly of high calorie and sugary foods.
A critical eater tends to take a very black and white approach to their diet. They may only eat certain foods, which they consider to be “good” or “bad”. These foods are considered “safe” and “forbidden”, and the individual can become obsessive about what they are eating. Critical eaters can suffer from binge eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa.
A healthy diet consists of a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups in recommended amounts. It is important to avoid processed foods as much as possible, as they typically contain large amounts of added salt, sugar and fat, which can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, tooth decay and heart disease. It is also important to consume enough protein, fibre and vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium.