There are many reasons we may continue eat unhealthily even though we know we shouldn’t. Sometimes it’s related to the habits of our upbringing–being trained to always clean our plate or the way we were taught to prepare food. Other times it can be emotional, leading us to our comfort foods. Regardless of the cause, we can change the way we eat with some preparation. By cultivating the following methods, you will be on your way to a healthier life.
1. Desire for Change
Embrace the readiness and willingness to change over any fears of failure. Write down the reasons why you want to make the change.
Examine your behaviors and habits honestly. Write down what you eat, or take a picture. A food journal is a proven method for keeping your healthy eating habits on track. Don’t make excuses for unhealthy behaviors and habits, just move past them.
Pay attention to what, when, and how you are eating. Remember that food journal? Jot down notes on anything you feel is important. Watch for any triggers or habits that stimulate unhealthy eating.
Learn healthy eating habits from a reputable source. (You are in the right place!) Don’t chase diets promising quick weight loss or magic supplements. Research supports they are the surest route toward future weight gain. Focus on changing habits, not losing weight.
Plan for circumstances where unhealthy eating happens. When eating out, have a healthy snack before heading out. Remember your reasons for wanting to eat better, and decide what you’ll choose to eat before you arrive. Plan your meals and try new recipes with an open mind.
Approach from the attitude of wanting to do something good for yourself and your body. For too long we’ve been forced to think about changing our diet from a place of shame or negativity. Instead, celebrate all the things your body has done for you. Think about where you want it to take you next. Desire to be good to yourself. Do you feel that you are worth the effort that that it takes to makes the changes?
7. Breaking Old Habits
Approach your new ways of eating with an open mind. Don’t let the preferences of your childhood affect what foods you are willing to try. Our tastes grow up too. Be brave—identify all those healthy foods you’ve bashed over the years and try them again. Use the principles of mindful eating to take yourself off autopilot when eating out. Simply pausing to take a breath before ordering can help break lifelong habits.
Get yourself in “big picture” mode. You are teaching yourself to eat healthy for a lifetime. If you forget a change, brush it off and do it next time. Realize that setbacks happen to everyone and use them as learning experiences. Don’t be discouraged by the scale. By adopting healthy nutrition habits, your body will reach and remain at its healthiest weight.
Joining a group of folks committed to better nutrition is a huge boost to your success. Group or one-on-one support has been shown to be the # 1 predictor of a successful weight management program. Join us at a BalanceWise Nutrition group class, or schedule a consultation with a Balance Health nutrition coach.