How To Break Bad Eating Habits
Everyone likes to indulge in some guilty pleasure food every now and again.
It seems as though the some best tasting foods are the worst for our health. Indulging every now and then is one thing, but eating these things every single day is another.
Once you start down a path of poor diet habits, it’s sometimes difficult to stop. If you have some bad eating habits that you’ve wanted to break, there’s no better time than now, and here’s how to do it.
Get very clear on your current situation:
This is the hardest part. Often times when we’re gaining extra weight or increasing the amount of fat on our bodies, we don’t notice it.
We may try to ignore it. Maybe you avoid mirrors, buy larger clothes so that you feel “smaller”, or think “if no one sees me eat it, then I didn’t eat it.”
Avoiding reality won’t help solve the problem, it only contributes.
You have to challenge yourself to face the problem, address it, and then move forward. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.
Plus, you need a starting point to see how far you’ve come as you get healthier.
Make small changes every day:
You didn’t pick up your bad eating habits overnight and you didn’t gain those extra pounds in a week.
It’s going to take more than a day, a night, or a week to get back on track. However, if you make smaller changes to your habits each day, then over time they will become regular habits.
Instead of saying “I’m going to stop eating sugar!”, instead say “I’m going to cut back on sugar and only allow myself to eat it once per week.”
If once per week is too large a goal, start with once per day
Address Mindless Habits and then change them:
When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing that you do? You might not even be able to honestly say because it’s a mindless process that just happens. For some, it’s go right to the bathroom. For others, it’s get a cup of coffee.
The process is so automatic, that you don’t even realize that you’re doing it.
This can be a great for positive habits such as, exercising, drinking water, sleeping, etc.
However, it can self-sabotaging when it comes to snacking, drinking soda or listening to negative self-talk. In order to change a habit it’s important to realize that the action happens, and then focus on redirecting the behavior.
For example, if you want to stop drinking soda, take notice to when you drink a soda. Is it right after breakfast? Lunch? Whenever it is, replace it with a healthier habit, like drinking a glass of iced tea.
Make it a practice to redirect yourself to something else when you realize that you’re craving a can of soda. This is acknowledging the action and then correcting it.
Then, go for the glass of tea. Eventually, your body will associate the “craving for soda” with simply being thirsty, and you can then get your more healthy choice of water, tea, or a green smoothie.
Good nutrition is always important!
However, it is even more essential if you have a medical condition such as, diabetes, heart disease or other medical concerns. Discuss with your doctor about specific nutritional changes you need to make for your particular medical concerns. Your doctor can help you set appropriate goals for your particular medical history.
Keep a journal and track your progress:
It’s important to celebrate the big victories and the small ones. Focus on changing your habit for that day only.
Each day that you adhere to your plan, make an X or a star on your calendar, or in your journal. Document how you’re feeling. One of the most important parts of habit change is maintaining a positive mindset.
Being positive helps you reduce stress, anxiety, and gives you a greater chance of success.
It’s a Journey:
Changing takes time and thought. But, the good news is that once it becomes a habit, it becomes mindless and you don’t focus on it.
Most importantly, if you cheat for a day or cheat for a week, don’t quit.
It’s about getting back up and starting over. It’s that last time that you didn’t give up that’s going to make the difference.
A significant part of overall good health is about taking care of your nutrition so that your body, which is a gift to you, is able to function at its best for you.
Get yourself on Track!
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