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eating habits

At a time when the term 'clean eating' saturates our newsfeeds, it can feel like you're failing if you don't buy organic, cook from scratch or juggle avocados between TRX classes.

And life is complicated enough without forcing yourself into a corner when it comes to diet and nutrition, right?

So, sticking to five simple rules as often as possible is all you need to do to keep your physical health and emotional wellbeing in check.

1. Eat when you are hungry

And ONLY when you are hungry. If ever there was one rule to follow, it is this one.

Yes, it means forgetting all about this “finish your plate” plea you heard so much as a kid, but it is essential.

Basically, remember that your body isn’t a trash bin: don’t finish your plate if you are no longer hungry, and don’t say yes to the birthday cake in the office if you feel full already. 

2. Eat your fruits and veg first

The idea here is not to only eat fruits and veg, but to eat as much as you can.

Automatically, if you only eat when you are hungry, that will reduce the amount of junk you put in your mouth. 

3. Stay away from processed food

There are so many reasons to eat homemade food and to keep processed food at bay.

It is healthier, cheaper and most importantly, it tastes so much better!  

4. Do not waste food

Buying in bulks is a good idea for long shelf-life products (rice, pasta, canned food) but sometimes, good deals can end up costing you more if it all ends up in the bin.

Learn how to buy according to your needs and freeze your leftovers. 

5. Do not prevent yourself from enjoying social times

The one and only exception to rule #1 is holidays and family reunions. That’s right, you should have a slice (or three) of cheesecake at your cousin’s communion if you feel like it, just keep it in mind during your next exercise session and push yourself that bit extra.

Depriving yourself from enjoying social times because you want to lose weight or be healthy is too much of a waste, and life is too short to be constantly dieting. 

 

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If you find yourself ordering cheeseburgers more than salads, well, maybe you're just going to restaurants where the volume's been turned up a bit too high.

That's what a new study published in the  Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences suggests.

It's no surprise that the volume of music affects how we feel, as it has a direct impact on both heart rate and arousal. This research found that the volume of ambient music even affects our decision on whether we eat healthy or unhealthy food.

"Restaurants and supermarkets can use ambient music strategically to influence consumer buying behaviour," Dipayan Biswas, PhD, a marketing professor at the University of South Florida Muma College of Business, told Science Daily.

The research was carried out at a cafe in Stockholm, Sweden over several hours and multiple days. The cafe played a loop of ambient music from different genres at either 55 decibels (Db) or 70Db .

The foodstuffs sold at the cafe were categorised as healthy, non-healthy, or neutral (with the last group reserved for items like tea or coffee).

Researchers found that 20 percent more customers bought unhealthy food when they heard louder ambient music while dining compared to those who ordered while exposed to quieter music.

Below is a table with the percentage of healthy, unhealthy, and neutral items sold during each period:

 

55Db (295 items sold) 70Db (254 items sold)
Healthy – 32 percent Healthy – 25 percent
Non-healthy – 42 percent Non-healthy – 52 percent
Neutral – 26 percent Neutral – 23 percent

So next time we're watching what we're eating, we'll ask the manager to turn down the volume!

Are you surprised by the study's findings?

Trending

It looks like 4:3 dieting could be the diet plan of the future.

The plan, which involves eating what you want on one day and then fasting the next, let’s those without will power add some balance to their eating habits.

On the fast day, you are advised to have a 400 calorie meal and a 100 calorie snack. Drink plenty of water, have tea and coffee and eat pre-packaged meals with extra vegetables.

On your normal day, you are advised not to deprive yourself and just eat what you want.

The theory behind the 4:3 diet is that the fast days help you identify when you’re actually hungry, so this way you only eat when your body needs it.

Your stomach can also shrink, which means you avoid over-eating on your non-fast days.

It nearly sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?

Trending

No matter how devoted you are to weight loss fads, the only way you can truly maintain a healthy weight is if you follow a balanced diet.

Since it isn’t always easy, here are a few ways you can make some tiny adjustments to your eating habits:

Listen to your body
Try not to eat out of boredom. Instead, listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry.

Don’t skip meals
When you skip a meal during the day, you compensate for the missed meal and this causes you to overeat. Instead, eat regularly throughout the day.

Cut down
Instead of filling your plate, cut down on your portion sizes and add some variety to your meals.

Plan ahead
When you plan your meals a week in advance, it ensures you get a good mix of different foods and nutrients in your diet.

Be patient
Make small changes as you go along and you will eventually see the changes in your body. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

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