The Two Most Effective Ways to Establish a Healthy Eating Habit.
While the majority of people desire to eat healthily, they are up against forces considerably more powerful than they realize.
Sure, we'd like to eat healthier, but why do we continue to fail? Why, despite our greatest efforts, do most of us acquire weight over time?
To devise a better strategy, we must first assess the immense forces we face. Then we must strengthen our resolve by implementing one or both of the fantastic techniques listed below.
The Opponents We're Up Against
Let's pretend you'd want to eat a better diet... Take a look at what you're up against:
- You wake up hungry and rushed, knowing you want to cook something wholesome with vegetables or maybe some oats with fruits and nuts, but it's too much work and takes too long. So you grab a quick bowl of cereal or a croissant from the coffee shop.
You'd want to have a salad for lunch, but there's a party at work, and you have a variety of unhealthy options in front of you, all of which seem delicious. Maybe your coworkers ask you to lunch and you can't resist eating the same burgers or fried dishes they do.
You're trying to stay away from sweets, but you're at a family event and have been surrounded by delicious pastries all day, so you cave in.
- You've been eating well for a few days, but your nighttime snack cravings get the better of you, and you binge. This is your body's hormone signaling in action, pushing you to eat in order to stay inside a certain weight range (your bodyfat set point).
- You're tired, you've had a hard day, and all you want to do is unwind with a few bites (comfort foods).
I'm sure at least a few of these will be familiar to most of you. Maybe they are all too familiar to you; you've been fighting them for years.
The odds are stacked against us:
- We don't have enough time or energy to accomplish things properly, so we choose for ease.
- Social pressures that drive us to follow in others' footsteps
- It's tough to reject tempting meals on a daily basis, owing to a combination of high-reward foods and a lack of discipline.
- As our bodyfat levels begin to drop, our bodies send us signals that we need to eat more (bodyfat set point)
- We have a long-standing habit of using food to reward or calm ourselves, dating back to childhood.
Most of us don't always have the ability to overcome all of these really powerful pressures. As a consequence, we win a few battles but lose the war as a whole.
In the face of such powerful adversaries, what can we do? Are they unstoppable?
We won't be able to defeat them. When we vow, "I'm going to start eating healthier tomorrow!" it will just take more concentrated effort than we usually think.
There are two methods for dealing with these demands that are both successful.
First and foremost, change your environment.
The bulk of the variables listed above may be eliminated by entirely changing our environment. Now, I understand that many people (teenagers, for example, or family members) may not have complete control over their environment... However, there are certain modifications that may be done to help.
We'll be able to battle the powers above us better if we can make additional modifications like this. See if you can make more changes than you normally would - if you want something bad enough, you can generally find a way to get it done.
Consider the following scenario: you have only healthy options to choose from throughout the day, and you have nutritious meals prepared (you made them on Sunday). You get up, have a healthy breakfast, carry your healthy lunch to work, avoid the unhealthy restaurants preferred by your coworkers, and instead read a book while enjoying your delicious dinner. You have a healthy meal ready to heat up and enjoy when you get home, as well as nutritious snacks for when your energy starts to fade in the afternoon. If you are hungry late at night, you can eat fruits.
Once your surroundings have changed, you will default to healthy most of the time. When you don't have a choice, do your best and don't worry about the minor details.
- Get rid of any unhealthy foods in your home and replace them with healthier options. If you can't do everything, strive to get as much done as possible. Speak with your neighbors and ask for their help.
- On Sunday, make a list of healthy foods to prepare ahead of time.
- Keep a supply of healthy snacks on hand in case you get hungry.
- Bring a healthy lunch to work. Look for a nice spot to eat this meal.
- If you want to go out with your friends, seek for venues that provide healthy options. Tell them you can only order the goods you've selected in advance.
- Prepare or purchase something healthful to bring to parties or family gatherings. Keep a safe distance from the potentially dangerous things.
- Plan ahead of time and bring a variety of healthy snacks with you on your journey.
- At work, give healthy options and avoid places that serve unhealthy foods.
- Enlist the assistance of your family and friends in your quest for a healthy lifestyle. Set a goal for yourself to achieve. Inquire if they can assist you. Don't get irritated if they refuse to join you or stick to your plan.
These are only a few ideas. Others may spring to mind, but these are a few ideas of how to modify your surroundings to encourage a healthy transition. It's far more important than we realize.
Obtain some assistance and accountability
The second most successful way to make a change is to make it social — enlist the help of friends, family, and/or coworkers, join a challenge with you, or hold you accountable for the changes you want to make.
This is true for every habit, but it is especially true when it comes to eating behaviors. That's because our friends, family, and coworkers have the most effect on our eating habits. We won't be able to resist dessert for long if they try to push us to eat it all the time. We'll probably perform a lot better if they eat healthful meals and snacks with us, or at least encourage us to do so.
Here are some suggestions:
1.Create a challenge and invite your friends and family to participate. Make it a team challenge at your office instead.
2.Enlist the assistance of one or more accountability partners, and report to each other on a daily basis. Once a week, at the absolute least.
There are three more places where we can make improvements.
While they are the two most successful transformation methods, there are a few more factors to consider:
- Change your coping mechanisms. Many of us struggle with utilizing food as a coping technique for stress, negative feelings, and other issues. That has been the case for a long time. We must develop new ways to deal with stress, anger, and sadness in order to break this old pattern. When these feelings occur, you must deliberately choose a different way to deal with them: talk to someone, go for a walk or run, take a hot bath, sip some tea, or meditate. If you do this on purpose for a while, you'll notice that you don't need food to cope any more. By the way, the same is true when it comes to rewarding oneself for a job well done.
- Learn to be kind to yourself. What do we do when we feel bad about ourselves? We usually turn to our comfort foods for support. However, we may start cultivating self-compassion. You won't need as much food to feel better if you do this on a regular basis.
- Consume healthful meals with awareness. When people see eating healthy food as a sacrifice, such as eating something they don't like only because it's good for them, they detest it. Instead, try to be mindful of what you're consuming and take something positive out from it. Can you learn to love the flavors of bananas, avocados, and garlic-and-olive-oil sautéed greens over time? Eat slowly, carefully, and happily.
It may appear like there are a lot of changes to make, and there are. You don't have to finish all of them at once, though. Make it a weekly aim to start implementing some of these changes, gradually learning new coping techniques, changing your environment, and obtaining more support and responsibility.