Wanna start eating healthier but not sure where or how to start? We feel you!
It can seem daunting to have to completely change up your eating habits, but don't worry, eating healthier is actually a lot easier than you think. It's mostly all about making simple swaps and incorporating more nutritious options into your diet.
Above all, it's important to figure out what works for you, as everyone's body is different. And of course, you can still indulge in your favourite treats every once in a while. ;)
To help Malaysians who want to cut down on dairy products, Nestlé has introduced a new Dairy-Free Range, including dairy-free versions of MILO and Nescafé! Check out more deets at the end of the story.
But first, here are some easy tips on how to start eating healthier from Malaysians who have actually succeeded:
Note: Some names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
1. "Start slow, don't expect your new healthier eating habits to last if you just go sacrificing everything you love right away"
"Start by slowly changing some ingredients, like switching your milk to options made from plants, such as soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk.
"You can substitute rice with cauliflower rice, which is very low carb but just as yummy. Or, you can also swap rice for quinoa instead. It's got a little bit more bite and a more earthy taste. If you love bread, opt for whole wheat or multigrain.
"Just change one thing in your diet at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and you'll be on your way to eating healthier in no time!"
- Shiva, 31
2. "Incorporate more whole foods into your diet"
"Whole foods definitely offer higher nutritional value and they make you feel fuller for longer. However, certain kinds of whole foods can be expensive, so if you're getting packet food, read the ingredients label thoroughly.
"Then, you'll be able to make adjustments to the amount of carbs, protein, and fats your body needs."
- Shin Ling, 29
3. "If you're used to having a heavy breakfast, substitute it with overnight oats"
"Overnight oats can be quite filling even in small portions. And it's so easy to make 'em yummy if you find it too bland. Add fruits, nuts, honey, peanut butter — the choice is yours!"
- Maddy, 24
4. "This is probably unpopular advice, haha, but what I like to do is just have raw veggies to snack on all the time"
"So, let's say even if I eat fried chicken which is 'unhealthy', I pair it by munching on raw carrots, lettuce, or capsicum/bell peppers. That way, I'm not completely cutting out yummy food I enjoy, but I still add in additional veggies and stuff, which I feel is better than not eating any veggies at all.
"The key is to not completely cut out things you like, but to eat in moderation and balance. For example, if you like ice cream, don't sit and eat two tubs every other day, hahaha."
- Tammy, 27
5. "Don't go cold turkey on your favourite snacks because that'll make you crave them more"
"If you're used to snacking on chips every single day, try cutting it down to four or five times a week first. Then, slowly reduce even further to one to two times a week or share a packet with your friends or family members. You can even replace your snacks on some days with healthier options like fruits or nuts."
- Qing, 26
6. "Expect your cravings and optimise your meals to satisfy them"
"In my case, I get hungry every 3-4 hours. I'm not a big eater, but I do need to eat consistently. So, I prepare snacks, smoothies, and small meals at the start of the day.
"When the hunger pangs strike, I can reach out to my healthier, prepped, and well-portioned meals instead of picking up my phone and over-ordering something I didn't need in the first place.
"This has been a better long-term, healthier eating habit for me to curb any bad habits like overeating. You may be different, so accept your natural eating habits, cater to them, and remember that there's no blanket rule on what a 'healthy diet' is.
"Build a healthy relationship with food. You can both love eating and your body at the same time <3"
- Ihsan Ihsani, 26
7. "To reduce your oil intake, master cooking methods like steaming, grilling, baking, and poaching"
"Instead of deep frying, pan frying, and other cooking methods that use a lot of oil, give methods like steaming, baking, grilling, and poaching a try. I promiseeeee that they still result in super yummy food, you won't be losing out on flavour at all!
"If you really cannot live without all the goreng-goreng stuff, boleh consider getting an air fryer, so you can still enjoy all the crispy fried goodness without the oil."
- Fatin, 23
8. "Make healthy stuff accessible to you. If it's convenient, you'll naturally reach for them more often."
"Some things you can do include keeping a big water bottle next to you throughout the day, filling tupperwares with already cut fruits so you can munch on them whenever you want, and putting healthi(er) snacks next to your less healthy ones.
"Also, you don't really need to spend a lot on fancy ingredients. Start by cutting down the amount of salt and sugar in your food. Like, don't add extra soy sauce if the dish already has salt, opt for low sugar boba, use less oil when you cook, just simple things like that."
- Jess, 26
9. "Measure your food portions with the hand portion system: a fist of carbs, a palm of protein, and an open handful of cooked veggies"
"Think about calories in versus calories out. There's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to a healthy diet.
"Your optimal macronutrient intake depends on several different factors, including gender, age, current weight, activity level, lifestyle, diet plan, and goals. You can start with getting to know how much calories your body needs at rest. From there, you’ll learn how to make adjustments to macro nutrients of carbs, protein, and fats."
- Rahman, 30
10. "Instead of being restrictive with your diet, try practising mindful eating"
"You can still enjoy the food you love (yes, even fast food) while trying to get on track to a healthier diet. Try portioning out your meals to a certain calorie threshold, and only eat when you're hungry.
"And if you're trying to lose weight, the important thing to remember is that you should never starve yourself!"
- Sonia, 25
11. "Find out what you like and dislike, it's easier to change your eating habits when it's all the food that you like"
"Healthier eating doesn't mean you have to force yourself to eat stuff you don't like. If you tak suka taugeh, just don't eat that lah, hahaha. Confirm got other veggies you like, right? Maybe it's mushrooms or terung or bendi or bok choy. Incorporate those into your diet instead.
"Not sure what you like? Just cuba try different stuff to find out, then start eating those things more often!"
- Justin, 29
12. "Try something that offers a lot of flexibility, such as a plant-based diet"
"The great thing about a plant-based diet is that it's super flexible. Being a flexitarian, vegetarian, (lacto-, ovo-, lacto-ovo-), and vegan all fall under the plant-based diet umbrella.
"Depending on which one you opt for, you don't even have to completely give up things like meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products, 'cause you can just eat them less frequently instead. It's more about cutting down, not cutting out.
"You can ease into it by picking a specific day to go totally green. It also really helps you stick to the diet if you get creative in the kitchen and come up with plant-based alternatives for your fave meals."
- Prem, 28
If you're looking to change up your eating habits and start incorporating more plant-based things into your diet, check out the new Nestlé Dairy Free Range, which includes dairy-free versions of MILO and NESCAFÉ
Whether you're vegan, lactose intolerant, or just wanna try plant-based drinks, enjoy these dairy-free alternatives to the regular MILO and NESCAFÉ. With these, you don't have to give up your favourite treats, yaaay! Enjoy them with a plant-based twist instead.
Suitable for all, the drinks are made with plant-based ingredients like almond, pea, oat, and soy. They're low in fat, are a source of plant-based protein, and meet the healthier choice logo criteria set by the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
Check out the three yummy variants available:
- NESCAFÉ Dairy Free Almond Latte (contains almond and pea)
- NESCAFÉ Dairy Free Oat Latte (contains oat and soy)
- MILO Dairy Free Almond (contains almond and soy)
The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care.
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