This is a guest from mindofhabit.com. I included this post because I believe habits are the best way to create better nutrition. They allow you to incrementally improve your nutrition in a sustainable way that lasts for life. This is in direct opposition to the all or nothing diet. Enjoy!
You understand that eating healthy is important but you’re struggling to make it a habit. Eating healthy is essential to our health. The right tactics will allow you to form healthy habits that last for life!
Make it Public
People give up too easily. They want to give up without giving their new diet a chance. To be able to see results from your new diet you have to be consistent and give it time.
Telling others about your decision to eat differently either in person or on social media forces you to stay accountable. Accountability will make you stick to what you’ve started. It will keep you motivated to stick with your new habit.
Avoid Snowball Foods
When you grab a snack food like chips or crackers you can blow through an entire bag without noticing. These snowball foods make it hard to control what you eat. Eat these foods in moderation and when you do eat them mindfully! Enjoy those snowball foods like the treat they are.
We are all subject to the environment that we live in. If you have bad food laying around the house, you may fall back into your old habits.
Don’t even give yourself the option. Remove all the bad food from your home, throw it away, or give it to a friend. We only have a certain amount of willpower. Having bad food around will use it up!
Ensure that when you go grocery shopping you are not buying any more junk food. Avoid going to the store hungry to avoid buying all those high craving foods.
Ask For Help
Tell a significant other or your friend group that you have decided to eat differently. You’re looking for someone that will support you in your new goals. Someone that appreciates your need for change and can pick you up in the tough times.
This makes it easier to stick with your habits since they “will have your back.”
Track What You Eat
There are tons of food tracking apps and journals out there that will help you write down exactly what it is you are eating. Do I think it’s necessary to calorie count? No, I don’t, but I do believe that whats get measured can be improved.
Track your food to see exactly what you are eating, and when you are eating, so you can start to notice patterns. You may realize you want snack food around a specific time. Be prepared to bring a healthy snack along. Do this for a few weeks to clarify your actual eating habits.
Be Open To Trying New Foods
When we begin a new diet it often requires us to eat foods we have never tried. It’s very important that you come into it with the mindset that you want to try something new and you are committed to making it work.
Start with what you like and branch out to other similar items. Spinach can actually be pretty close to kale! Season it with your favorite seasoning to get over the first aversion.
Eat At The Table
When you eat on the couch and watch TV it is easy to get sidetracked and eat much more than intended. When we eat and watch something at the same time, we don’t pay attention to what we’re eating or how much we’re eating.
Eat at the table with family. Not only is this better for your health, it helps strengthen our relationships with the ones we care about most
Eat Until You Are Full
Humans have a very hard time stopping themselves from eating what is in front of them. In this age of abundance food is readily available all the time. This wasn’t always the case making eating in moderation extremely difficult.
To eat in moderation you must have the self-discipline to stop yourself once you are full. Once you have eaten enough, save the rest of the food for later.
Another trick you can use is when you dish up, grab a smaller plate. This will make your brain think you are eating more than you actually are. You can also wait 20 minutes after finishing to see if you really want more. Eat slowly and enjoy to increase satiety!
Giving yourself a reward for eating healthy is the last step to completing a habit. It’s also one of the most important steps. Rewards are extremely important and are essential to the habit loop.
It’s okay to have designated cheat meals as long as they are designed as a reward. These rewards are supposed to help keep you motivated and stop yourself from burning out.
If you are going to cheat, make sure it’s done correctly.
How to make eating healthy a habit is very important to your long term health and something you want to make sure you do as early as possible in your life. Habits are like trees, the longer they are present the deeper and deeper their roots go.
If you cultivate the habit of eating healthy at a young age, you can build a healthy nutrition habit for life.
This blog post was written by Jeremy Valentine from https://mindofhabit.com/.