food

The one thing you need to do to eat healthier, every time

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People are creatures of habit. We try and avoid thinking too much or trying too hard whenever possible. After all, thinking too much or making too many choices uses up an enormous amount of energy, energy that could be better spent doing all sorts of other things.

Fortunately, we can use our natural inclination to be lazy to our advantage when it comes to making the right choices about what we eat.

When you’re heading to your fridge for a snack, or to you pantry to figure out what to cook, there’s one thing you can do that will help you make the healthiest choice every single time.

Just put the healthy food where you can see it.

It might sound obvious, but think about the way your fridge is laid out. There’s probably a veggie crisper at the bottom, right? While that crisper means your veggies stay a little fresher, a little longer, it also means that vegetables are the last thing you see when you open the fridge. Rather than having a bag of carrots or a bunch of celery in your face screaming ‘Eat me! Eat me!’ the first thing you’re likely to see are leftovers, lunch meats or bottles of beer and soft drink.

If you have a few very healthy, easy snacks right at eye level in your fridge, those will be the things you eat first. This isn’t just common sense either, there’s evidence for it. A Cornell University study found that people were three times more likely to eat the first item of food they saw in their house.

The same goes for your pantry. Keep the nuts, brown rice, tinned veggies, wholegrain biscuits, and other low GI, not-too-processed foods right up the front, at eye level, and you’re more likely to reach for them first.

Perhaps your best step towards healthy snacking is to invest in a very pretty fruit bowl, and keep it very visible and well stocked with healthy things. That way, you don’t even have to open the fridge or pantry to see something good to eat.

Of course, if you really want to force yourself to eat well, just don’t have junk food in the house to begin with.

Which isn’t to say you can’t have any treats. For example, these 10 foods have a bad reputation, but they can actually be great for you.

What makes you fall off the healthy eating bandwagon?

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