Tips for Healthier Eating
At some point along the road of life, most of us set out to improve our eating. Often getting started is tricky, but most often it's consistency and maintenance that are the challenge. Here are 5 ways to support you in starting a new healthy eating habit and making it stick.
1. Take an inventory: Make a list of the "healthy" and "not so healthy" eating habits you have. Number the "not so healthy" habits for both a) importance to you in changing it b) confidence you have in yourself to address it. Choose the habit that a and b most closely align.
2. Keep it simple: Focus on making one healthy change at a time. Complete overhauls rarely work. Don't try to attack all the "not so healthy" habits at once. As your confidence in accomplishing one change grows you'll likely be motivated and have increased confidence to make further changes.
3. Focus on more: Try to work on incorporating more of the "healthy" habits, rather than focusing on cutting out the "not so healthy" habits. For example, don't say "I can't have any soda". Rather, "I will drink 32 oz of water, then if still thirsty I can have soda." When the "healthy" is included, the "not so healthy" often falls by the wayside. You'll find your tastes and cravings change over time.
4. Make a list: When grocery shopping, make a list ( you could even make a meal plan to base your shopping list from). Review the items that you usually buy. Is there one "not so healthy" item you can leave off this week? Then replace it with a healthier option. Again, keep it simple and don't try to make a complete overhaul. This will contribute to more immediate or longer lasting changes. Stick to the list and avoid shopping when hungry.
5. Make time for a meal: Studies show families who eat together, especially healthy meals, maintain a healthier weight and have better emotional health. Put away the electronics, tv shows, and distractions. Focus on your eating. When distractions are removed, you can more easily focus on cues your body sends regarding hunger and satiety.