After I wrote about my decision to stop drinking tea with lunch, it reinforced the fact that we pick up habits that are convenient and easy in our environment.One of the easier ways to make habits stick is to make it convenient (Better than before by Gretchen Rubin is a great book for habits). I was at the food court today and I had to tell myself at least 5 times not to order a drink phew! On the other hand, I felt that living in east Asia had also changed some of my eating habits for the better – at least the ones I observed and chose to follow.
3 Ways my eating habits changed for the better here
Note- A lot of these are gross generalizations but these are some of my observations and they do hold true to some extent in my sample pool. Of course, things are changing lately, but observing people over 30, many of who have traditional eating habits helps. Applicable to adults only.
- Early Dinners – Most Indians I know here have dinner after 8PM while many east Asians usually eat around 6-7PM. I felt this was a great habit and now try to eat dinner earlier. Having a partner who also likes to have dinner before 8 helps 🙂
- No snacking – This is a very bad habit a lot of Indians have. I don’t get why people have to lay out snacks like biscuits, mixture, sweets for eating 30 minutes after/before lunch. Having bajjis, samosas, chips around tea time aka 5PM is why many people can’t have dinner earlier. I notice that not many people here snack outside meal times.
- Less sweet – Most people will find east Asian desserts extremely bland and not sweet enough while east Asians find other desserts ‘too sweet’. This made me come up with my unscientific theory that if I were to train my taste buds (& my future kid’s) to accept less sugar, I would not enjoy ‘too sweet’ foods overall. Uncle doesn’t agree with this theory and feels people should be taught to eat sweets moderately. This was easy for me because I do not like to eat too much sweet stuff.
2 ways my eating habits changed post Uncle
- More veggies – I sometimes used to skimp on veggies because it was acceptable (Ex: Sambar + Rice + Appalam) but uncle insists that a lunch is incomplete without veggies. So, I make an effort to eat more and cook more veggies.
- No food after 10PM – I don’t remember anyone voicing out this rule consistently in my life until Uncle. I have seen many people snack late in the night while chatting away.
I am not perfect and there are times I do not follow these rules. However, I am the sort of person who prefers having clear guidelines (even if I set them for myself) and functions better under them. Breaking these means I have to spend time debating with myself and thus am less likely to do it.
Another gem from Better than before – Decide once and you don’t have to decide again.