Food Habits For Better Health More Effective Than Just Dieting

Many people start a new diet at the beginning of a new year, whether to shed some kilos or stay in shape. However, they end up leaving in the middle because these diet tips focus on subtracting certain foods or food groups altogether. Instead, in 2024 January, make a resolution to eat better. Here are a few habits to cultivate that give you more health benefits than dieting alone.

Ditch the scale

First, understand that body weight is not a reliable indicator of your health. Body Mass Index or BMI was an old standard that makes no sense now. A heavier-set person may have more bone density with a lesser fat percentage. So, it definitely doesn’t mean they are unhealthy or obese. If you want to lose weight, focus on body recomposition and adding muscle. Losing fat is a better way than shedding pounds.

Eat fiber-rich foods

Eat fiber-rich foods

Add Microbe-Friendly Foods

Listen to your gut; quite literally! Good bacteria residing in your intestines are helpful in regular bowel movements and elimination of toxins. This will be possible if you add dietary fiber often. The American Society of Microbiology says that fiber-rich foods help nourish your gut microbiome and reduce your calorie intake. So, by incorporating whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, you potentially promote overall health.

Learn from the Blue Zones

“Blue Zones” are the regions where people have more longevity compared to the rest of the world. The term “Blue Zones” was coined by  National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner, which includes the area of the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, etc. Their diet is heavily plant-based and whole foods. By emulating their diet, you can contribute to your overall health benefits. Start by including legumes in your meals, and have fruits, nuts, and vegetables frequently. Stop eliminating carbs entirely, but choose quality carbohydrates like beans, whole grains, and lentils. The added fiber in these substances may reduce the risk of diseases and aid in weight management, per the website

Blue Zones diet

Blue Zones diet

Diversify Your Diet

While saying no to packaged and refined foods, it is more practical to pick diverse foods. Try out new things like spices from foreign lands, fermented foods like kimchi, nutrient-dense recipes like acai bowls, etc., to keep your food choice varied. Cooking at home with organic ingredients is always more advisable than store-bought things that contain additives. 

Add diversified diet

Add diversified diet

Opt for Meal Sequencing

How much you consume is not the only issue, but you should also consider “how” you eat. The sequence in which you intake macronutrients plays a big role in your gut and overall health. “Meal sequencing” means starting with vegetables and proteins, then going to carbohydrates. This order makes you feel full and you eat fewer carbs. Besides, adjust your meal timings more than counting calories. According to, eating per your natural metabolic rhythms, i.e., a big breakfast and a small dinner, will control blood sugar levels.

These practical adjustments are much easier to do than strict diets. They instead encourage a more mindful and balanced approach to eating. Here, the emphasis is on embracing sustainable, healthier eating habits that support long-term health goals.

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