Asian woman holding a bag of vegetables

In a society that sees eating as a form of bonding, it’s tough when you have to start being more conscious of what you eat. If the thought of watching your rice portions is enough to make you sad, you’re not alone. But the good thing is, it’s not impossible either. We asked these fit and healthy women about their healthy eating habits. These are easy tips that you could follow, too.

Transition in Moderation

Most people find it challenging to stick to healthy eating habits because the transition is just too abrupt. Habits take years of practice to form, as do eating patterns — you don't just switch them off.

Pilates and restorative yoga instructor Therry Dizon avoids sticking to a strict diet. “I don’t like the feeling of depriving myself. So, instead, I decided to just change my lifestyle by forming healthy eating habits,” she says. Therry decreased her intake of sugary drinks, only allowing the occasional treat. When she noticed her cravings wane, she removed sugar from her coffee. Therry also tries to make better food choices, such as eating pork and beef in moderation.

"I limit my white rice intake; I used to eat two cups when I was younger. When I find myself craving sweets, I try to eat fruits instead," she shares. However, she admits that she occasionally indulges in a cake slice or gelato. "What works for me I think is better food choices and not feeling deprived.”

Go for a Balanced Diet

Fitness buff Maureen Manuel recommends having a balanced diet over doing . According to UCLA researchers, in fad diets, you can lose five to 10 pounds of your weight within the first six months but regain all of it or more in two to four years. Maureen works with a personal trainer who recommends the best food options for her goals.

She shares, “When I do my meal prepping or even groceries, I only buy things that will nourish me and will make me happy. The diet has to be sustainable at the end of the day. Also, if you plan to have treats at home, kindly make sure to place them somewhere you don’t usually go. This will keep you from being tempted! But in the end, do what makes your body feel happy and healthy. New healthy eating habits shouldn’t make you feel miserable.”

Maureen also recommends picking an exercise in the same manner: “Choose ! It has to be something you enjoy because you have to commit to it one hundred percent.”

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Watch What You Eat

If committing to a diet is hard, start by watching what you eat instead. Cyclist Pom Reyes does this by making her meals at home instead of ordering out. “I eat home-cooked food most of the time, so I know what goes into the meals. I also control the amount of salt/sugar/oil that way. Most days, I also swap a meal (usually lunch) with veggie and lean meat salads. It helps keep me full and manage my cravings better,” she explains.

For editor and future marathon runner Sasha Mariposa, skipping sugary drinks is key. “When I was a full-time food writer, I would eat a lot then work out so much the next day, but now that age has caught up with me, I've become more conscientious about what I put in my body. I'm still a voracious eater, and diets, for some reason cripple me. So, I skip especially powdered ones as much as possible. They're sneakily loaded with a lot of sugar,” she says.

Meanwhile, Brazilian jiu-jitsu black-belter Jordana Blanco has this nifty healthy eating tip: “Stay away from anything in a plastic package. Not only is it bad for the planet, but it’s also likely to be processed food, which is bad for you.”

Healthy Eating Habits from an Expert

Pathologist and fitness trainer Cara Young shares healthy eating habits that anyone can grow into. Here are her tips:

  • Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet that includes healthy carbs, lean protein, fruits, and veggies.
  • The recommended is five to nine servings of fruits and veggies a day.
  • Lessen eating fast foods, processed foods and eat more home-cooked meals.
  • Sweets and junk food are allowed but eat them less frequently and in moderation.
  • Sustainability is very important. Something might be effective in terms of eating for fat loss or a specific , but it also must be something that you enjoy and can do for the rest of the year.

Practicing healthy eating habits doesn’t have to be a chore. With the tips above, it’s easier to transition into a healthier diet that you enjoy and won’t make you feel deprived.