If there’s one thing millennials are known for, it’s being very social media-savvy. According to Statista, 69% of American adults between the ages of 18 and 29 use social media to chat with friends, with 56% using Instagram alone. And what do these social media users mostly post? Food photos, especially of beverages. In fact, over the past five years, the proportion of Instagram posts that are photos of food has increased by 17%. So it should come as no surprise that many people are drawn to the platform to try and lose weight.
The thing is, while Instagram can be a useful tool for losing weight, it’s not the be-all-end-all of good nutrition. As with any social media platform, it can be used to encourage unhealthful habits. Specifically, research has shown that Instagrammers are more than twice as likely as average users to post about eating foods high in sugar, and nearly three times as likely as normal users to post about eating foods with little fiber. Now, it’s not unusual for people to feel a little guilty after posting a food photo, especially if they’re showcasing a beautifully presented meal or snack. But if you’re constantly comparing your own image to those of professionally shot food, you’re likely to become discouraged if you don’t match up. And let’s be honest, if you’re not happy with your body, nobody else’s will delight you either.
Eating too much sugar can cause a host of health problems, from tooth decay to diabetes. But it’s still not clear how much sugar people should actually be eating. This is where the link with weight loss comes in. Because for many, eating too much sugar causes them to put on weight. Even more concerning is that as people get older, the effects of sugar on their body become stronger, leading to more weight gain. In fact, for people aged 65 and older, every additional tablespoon of sugar per day was found to be associated with a 1.5-pound weight gain. So if you’re looking to shed some extra pounds, avoiding sugar is a great place to start.
Foster Independence In Children
Indulging your child’s every whim is important in their development. And what better way to do that than by letting them eat what they want? However, this can quickly turn into a problem if they develop a habit of constantly seeking sweets. In fact, it has been suggested that giving in to your child’s every desire sometimes could actually make them crave more food later in life. So if possible, establishing healthy eating habits from an early age is key to creating a long-term healthy relationship with food.
The same goes for adult relationships too. If you want to be independent, eating for yourself is the best way to go about it. Once you’ve established this habit, you can slowly introduce more nutritious alternatives to your child and partner. Forcing them to choose between food and drinks that are healthy and tasty can help to develop their taste buds and make them more receptive to new flavors.
Make Shopping For Food More Fun
Kids grow out of favorite toys and replace them with other interests. This can make unpacking a new toy box a fun activity, especially if you do it with your child. But it can also be challenging when these interests change. Particularly if your kid has a series of demands that leave you with little time to meet them all. This is why having a list of the week’s groceries, with all the necessary items, is such a time-saver.
When you go shopping with a list, you know exactly what you’re looking for. And because you have all the information at your fingertips, you can compare prices and find the best bargains. This means that buying food shopping is not only convenient, but it can also be fun. In addition, kids love to help with the shopping and show off their newfound independence.
Reduce Food Waste
In a world where people are constantly bombarded with images of food that looks better than ever, it’s no wonder that some people are tempted to eat more than they need. However, this then means that some of the food will go to waste. According to the United Kingdom’s Food Waste Reduction Alliance, up to £100 of food is wasted by each person in the household on a weekly basis.
In the U.S., that figure might be even higher. Industry insiders have estimated that up to £200 worth of food is wasted by each person on a weekly basis. This food waste problem causes around 1.7 million meals to be thrown away annually. And because food waste is considered to be one of the most significant problems in developed countries, a lot of attention is being paid to trying to reduce food wastage. One way of doing this is by using leftovers. If you’ve got a roast chicken that was a little bit dry, there’s no need to throw it away. You can use it to make a delicious chicken salad the next day.
If you’ve got a lot of food that didn’t get eaten last week, why not try and make something more out of it. Whether that’s a frittata, a quiche, or a pie, there are countless ways of using up leftovers to cook something new and delicious. This is a great way to reduce food waste and ensure that every calorie you eat gets used efficiently.
Reducing food waste is also good for the environment. According to the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, every person in the UK saves around £156 annually by cooking food they’ll never use and then throwing it away. This is because cooking food and then disposing of it releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. So cutting back on food waste means less gas entering the environment. In the U.S., similar figures are put forward, with each person in the household saving around $213 annually because of reduced food waste. This then leads to less pollution too. If everyone reduces their food waste by just 10% – which is equal to the amount of food wasted in the U.S. each year – then the country would save around $22.3 billion and reduce around 140 million tons of greenhouse gases.
Eating sugar is bad for your health and the environment. Not only does it encourage you to eat more than you need, but it also causes you to put on weight. This then makes you vulnerable to all sorts of health problems, from diabetes to heart disease. To protect yourself against these diseases, it’s important to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Cut back on the sugar as much as possible and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. And who knows? Maybe your efforts will even result in your child asking you to make healthier food choices for them too.