7 Science-Supported Ways to Maintain Healthy Eating Habits

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With the arrival of summer and vacation time abound, our eating habits usually tend to suffer. In case you forgot, vacations are full of relaxation and exploring! But between all that exploring, you might find yourself indulging in local food fare and end up eating everything in sight thanks to the longer days. Sure, exercise can help but it's hard to outrun your fork if you can't find time between all that summer fun.

While we understand your love for funnel cake at the theme park, your jeans and tees don't. No matter where you are this summer, it's important to make small changes to our daily habits in order to stay healthy and fit all season long. And best of all, science is here to help!

Plate colors
This might sound odd, but plate colors play a big part in how you eat. While it's known we eat with our eyes, a study from the National Institute of Health suggests plate size and color influences our eating habits. In other words, try to avoid eating off plates that match food, like lasagna on a red plate because there's less of a contrast. When there's less contrast, you end up eating more as a part of conceptualizing the actual size of your meal.

Eat breakfast
For years we've heard skipping breakfast is alright to do, but it's a myth Womanistas. Though many believe that skipping an A.M. meal can save your appetite for dinner, it can actually lead to binge eating throughout the day. Researchers at the University of Munich found a reasonably sized breakfast to be associated with a lower total daily intake, which means starting your day off with something healthy not only provides energy, but also balances energy consumption.

Chew gum
Good news: chewing gum boosts more than just good breath. The University of Leeds discovered chewing gum contributes to the development of satiation. Simply put, it limits our appetites, leading us to feel full and could aid in appetite control. Additionally, research concludes chewing gum for at least 45 minutes significantly suppresses hunger, appetite and curbs cravings for snacks.

Prioritize your pantry
When we shop for groceries on an empty stomach, it can cause some serious regret on purchases we wonder twice about but it's important to toss out what you don't want — or will realistically ever eat again. Look at your pantry or cupboards and prioritize what is necessary. Start with the basics and keep them up front, as opposed to having that sweet smelling cake mix in eye's view screaming to be baked. A report from the International Journal of Obesity discovered just seeing or smelling foods can rouse unnecessary cravings and greatly increase a hunger for "non-cued" foods.

Chew slowly
We live in a world of quick processes with everything readily available at our fingertips. So naturally, when it comes to fitting in our eating habits with the hustle and bustle of a busy workday, we try to hurry up as much as possible. However, the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics reports eating significantly slower leads to a reduced hunger and an increased feeling of fullness. Meaning, treat your food like an Instagram post — take your time to savor the beautiful flavors.


Turn off the TV
We understand you need to catch up with babe Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, but when you watch TV and eat at the same time, you do your body a great disservice. The University of Toronto reports eating in front of the TV increases how much you eat, while delaying the normal mealtime satiation. Not only do you disregard the food on your plate, but you also end up subconsciously increasing that desire for junk and sugary foods thanks to commercials.

Drink water
Cocktails and juices are fun but when you're eating, sip on nature's favorite beverage instead — water. While many believe it to be myth, H2O aids in a healthy weight as it tricks your brain into thinking it's getting full. The University of Illinois discovered those who increase their consumption of water reduced their total daily caloric intake, in addition to saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.