10 Eating Habits To Adopt In Your 30s
- Anoush Gomes
- 6 Min Read
- Fact Checked
Let’s face it, healthy eating habits are probably the hardest to maintain – especially as you get older. While we all love the comfort of home cooked meals, most times life’s situations can call for unhealthy eating. But as you know, the older you get, the more important it gets to take care of your body – and a lot of that has to do with adopting a healthy diet plan in your 30’s especially. This is a time where most of us hit the slumps talking about the “young days” when we were fit. That, though, is simply untrue. Your eating habits have a lot to do with maintaining your physical health – it helps your vital organs work at their optimum much longer. This puts you at a lesser risk from suffering chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and even riskier conditions such as heart disease. You may not be thinking about that when your minds are most occupied with your day-to-day life, but you should be mindful of what you eat.
We’ve put together a list of 10 eating habits to adopt in your 30s, so you don’t have to. Incorporating anything – especially new tasks – can be anxiety causing and stressful. But, we’re going to help you understand the benefits these eating habits have, allowing you to see how what you eat matters a lot in the long run.
10 Eating Habits To Adopt In Your 30s
(1) Cook your meals
Often, it’s hard to be mindful or pay attention to what we’re eating when we’re eating out. There are many things in fast food for example that we know are not good for us at all. This, of course, would include the high fat, sugar and cholesterol content of almost everything that’s deep fried. Try to cook some of your meals at home to begin with. This will help you be more mindful of the ingredients you use, giving you many opportunities to choose healthy options. You can also control the fat and sugar content to some extent but choosing how to cook your meal, and portion control. You’ll be surprised how cravings are easier to manage when you have healthy options to choose from.
(2) Make protein a priority
While it may be a cliche joke that our bones start to give out on us as we age, it’s not a completely false statement. Our organs, muscles, and hormones are all affected by what we eat, and protein plays a big role for us when it comes to physical health. The body uses protein to help heal and maintain the health of tissues in your body. Also, a lot of us tend to have the habit of giving into our cravings and boredom cause hunger. Protein is said to reduce appetite and hunger levels, allowing you to feel satiety faster. This is because protein is not only healthy but also very filling. Furthermore, protein aids in muscle strength and also reduces your risk of fractures and osteoporosis as it also aids bone health.
Protein rich foods include:
– lean meats such as lamb, beef, pork
– seafood such as fish, crab, clams, prawns
– poultry such as chicken, duck, turkey
– dairy products such as eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt
– nuts such as almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews
– veggies such as lentils, peas, beans
(3) Say ‘no’ to diets
Crash diets, liquid diets, fad diets – or whatever else, can seriously harm your body. While maintaining a healthy BMI is the right thing to do, how you go about it also matters. Make sure to listen to your body, get regular physical checkups and understand what type of nutrition will help it thrive. Quick weight loss or weight gain isn’t the answer – gradual and careful nutrition is a huge part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Speaking to a dietician will help you understand how many servings of what part of the food pyramid you should be eating to be giving your body the essential nutrients. Diets, although they work for some, won’t work for you.
(4) Limit your caffeine intake
You’ve heard this before, and you know the drill – but let’s break it down anyway. Who doesn’t like a cup of coffee or 4 right? It may seem like the right thing to do to make sure you’re fully awake and ready for the day ahead of you. But, caffeine withdrawal and addiction is real. High consumption of caffeine can have some serious impacts such as
– increasing your risk of heart attacks
– raising your blood pressure
– increasing insomnia
– causing headaches and indigestion
– leading to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
(5) Don’t drink your calories
We know it’s easier to chug a milkshake or a smoothie instead of eating a well coursed breakfast – but let’s tell you why you should drop that habit. Most times it’s either coffee, some energy drink, sodas or juices. These are usually chosen because they are “low” in calories, or even at times meal replacements. It is important to remember that these will not satisfy your hunger, and definitely do not have the nutrients that your body craves from your food intake. Not to mention, the sugar in those drinks are definitely in excess. Overtime, drinking your calories can also lead to weight gain because you’d be drinking more to satisfy your hunger.
(6) Meal prep as often as you can
Most times we tend to order in, or eat quick frozen meals, because we can’t all cook everyday. Meal prepping has become a trend in recent years, especially among those that are healthy lifestyle enthusiasts. While it may seem hard at first, it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Not to mention, it also allows you to eat more home cooked healthy meals often. Choose one day of the week to prep your meals for the week – this could include all the basics such as veggies, fruits, protein, carbs and even healthy fats.
(7) Learn to portion control
Portion control is something that is often not practised, but it has many benefits to your health. Appropriate portion sizes helps your food digest better, and helps you feel fuller faster and longer. At times, overeating can also cause insulin resistance, which can put you at risk of diabetes. Portion control can be easily practiced by of course meal prepping, but also being conscious in measuring your meals. Giving your veggies and protein more priority than your carbs and fats is also another way to go.
(8) Practice healthy snacking
We’re human, and cravings can be hard to resist. We’re not saying you can’t have a fast food burger once in a while, but healthy snacking should also be part of your lifestyle. Eating quickly or eating while bored is very common, and at times it can be hard to resist the hunger pangs. But, instead of ordering fried food, you can choose to satisfy your hunger with healthy snacks such as fruits, low sugar crackers like roasted chana, mixed nuts, veggies (carrots and ranch, bell peppers and guacamole and celery stick etc), Greek yogurt with honey, and many more.
Watch the video below by dietitian Pooja Bohra to know some healthy snacks to replace your junk food cravings with,
(9) Be mindful when eating
Eating slowly can help you understand the true state of your satiety and stop you from overeating. Your brain sends out signals in 20 minutes to let you know you’re full. This also helps a great deal with portion control, on top of avoiding indigestion, excess gas, acidity and nausea.
(10) Limit your salt intake
Salt is one of the biggest causes of increased blood pressure, which allows a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Salt is a huge part of many cuisines, including Indian cuisines, but cutting down can help your health both short and long term. Adults are to eat no more than 3-4g of salt a day.
Mindful eating comes with practice, but eating habits are a huge part of a healthy lifestyle. Adopting these eating habits in your 30s will allow you to better take care of your body as you age – keeping your bones and muscles stronger, and your vital organs functioning at their optimum. You are in charge of your physical health, if you choose to be and really, all it takes is one step at a time.