Want to lose weight? Well, that begins with developing healthy eating habits. You could be working out at the gym for hours on end but you still wouldn’t lose weight if you don’t change your eating habits first and foremost. It all comes down to math: the calories you consume should be less than the calories you burn to lose weight. Your workout session, therefore, should be complemented by a good diet for you to get that summer bikini bod in three months. A good diet means more than ditching your favourite burger with fries; how you eat your food also matters. Here are such healthy eating habits you must master to lose weight and get fit:

Stop skipping breakfast

Do you make a beeline to your laptop each morning to search for weightlifting belts online instead of eating breakfast? That needs to stop right now. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for the handful of you who might not know. During sleep, our bodies slow down the metabolism process significantly. It picks up in the morning when we wake up, however only if we have enough fuel in the form of a well-balanced breakfast. When our bodies don’t get food in time to satiate hunger, especially in the mornings, it goes into a “store all energy” mode, resulting in the calories you consume later in the day becoming more likely to be stored as fat. Your body thinks you are skipping breakfast because food is scarce so it saves every extra calorie you consume, making your fatter. Do not let this happen and eat a healthy breakfast each morning.

Stop drinking soda

Sparkling sodas and other such drinks are loaded with sugars that will instantly increase your blood sugar level. Most millennials are used to drinking sodas and similar beverages after a meal by habit. You are not doing yourself any favours with a habit like that. The benefits you might get from a healthy meal can be completely reversed by a calorie-laden soda can. You can turn this bad habit around by switching to healthier beverages like sugar-free fruit juice, or better yet, water. Nothing hydrates better than a glass of water so simply drink one after meals instead of trying to compensate with an artificial beverage.

Eat more proteins

Majority of the food we eat—bread, rice, potatoes—contain carbohydrates that digest extremely quickly to become simple sugars. The problem is, when our meals are digested real fast, we become hungry for the next meal too quickly, resulting in more meal time, and thus calories. You can counter this by eating meals with more proteins and fibres that take a longer time for your body to digest. Chick peas, whole grains, soybeans and lean meat are packed with proteins and fibres that take longer to digest and will cost your body more energy to do so. That means you won’t get hungry for another sandwich too soon.

Eat at the dining table

We are all too used now to eating in front of the television set or the computer. Bet you didn’t know that this habit actually leads to consuming a lot more calories than a meal eaten at the dining table. It’s not that hard to believe; when we eat in front of a screen, our attention is fixated on what’s on the screen instead of focusing on what we are putting in our mouths. Therefore, as if by automation, our hands keep moving food to our mouths without second thoughts. When we eat at the dining table, on the other hand, our attention is on the plate in front of us so we are better suited to decide what to eat, how much to eat and, importantly, when to stop. These are all good reasons to stop eating in front of the television or the computer right now. Don’t think that you can portion control while watching TV, that’s impossible. Focus on what you eat each time to better control your calorie consumption.

Additionally, try to eat homemade meals as much as possible instead of ordering takeout. Restaurant food, no matter how expensive they are, tend to be loaded with hydrogenated oils and sugars. You are in a better position at home to determine what goes into a meal and how healthy an ingredient is. You can only reach your diet control goals if you are willing to pay more attention to what you put in your mouth and when.