How You Can Make Healthy Eating A Habit
If you have tried to quit smoking, drinking coffee or eating sugar, you will know that habits are hard to break. Much of the focus out there is around stopping bad habits. But not much thought goes into creating habits that are good for us.
Yes, forming new habits takes a bit of planning and mindfulness. But, once those habits are in place, life gets a whole lot easier!
So, how can you apply this philosophy to healthy eating?
We all know the basics of eating healthy and what we need to do. However, it can be hard to put that knowledge into practice.
Instead of embarking on a strict diet or overwhelming yourself with intense health goals, why not try to build small but significant healthy eating habits into your lifestyle.
Every change has to start somewhere and taking small actions now can have a big impact down the track.
Here, we share some great tips and advice on how to turn your healthy eating choices into a habit.
How You Can Make Healthy Eating A Habit
Stock Up On Options
Even with the best intentions to eat well, it can be hard to make healthy choices when you are busy or stressed and have to make an effort. Save yourself the trouble of finding something good to eat by filling your fridge and pantry with good options once a week. Stock up on nutritious snacks like fruits, vegetables, nuts, hard boiled eggs, hummus and grainy crackers. That way, you can grab and go when you are in a rush. Or cut up some veggie sticks in the weekend and have them ready to go in the fridge, then the hard work is already done.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Sometimes, it is all about convenience and temptation. Also, it is about knowing your control levels. Some of us may need to rid our houses of chocolate, chips and other unhealthy items altogether so the temptation isn’t there. However, you may be able to tuck them at the back of the pantry and save them for a treat. Remember, out of sight, out of mind definitely works.
Keep fresh fruit and healthy items on the bench to remind you to choose them.
Focus More On Adding Than Taking Away
Instead of obsessing about cutting unhealthy foods out of your diet, try to focus more on adding healthy foods. That way, you won’t feel like you are missing out. Plus, when you get in the habit of eating well-rounded meals and snacks, you won’t need to reach for those less than ideal foods just to fill the gap. The first place I recommend you starting is just focus on adding more veggies into your diet at every meal – think wilted spinach with your eggs for breakfast, or avocado, kale and/or cucumber in your smoothie, coleslaws and salads to accompany lunch and stir-fries and raw veggies with dinner too.
Put Snacks On A Plate
Hands up if you have ever sat in front of a movie with a bag of lollies and suddenly found you’d eaten them all?
Portion size and self-control can go out the window when you are eating straight from the packet. It is better to put the correct portion into a bowl and enjoy it with restraint, and choose some healthier options to snack on.
Make Changes Gradually
Nobody says you have to clean out your pantry and immediately start making perfect choices all day, every day. In fact, if you set out with an all or nothing approach, you are more likely to fail.
Instead, set yourself the goal of making small changes day by day, or even week by week. Start your day with warm lemon and water, having a nutritional breakfast and getting to bed earlier as 3 main focuses – commit to doing this for at least a week and then take note of how different you feel. You might notice less sugar cravings, less coffee cravings and having more energy. It really is that easy.
Try to avoid buying, preparing or eating while you are distracted. This is one of the key reasons for poor food choices and overeating. Pay attention to what you buy, cook and consume instead of grabbing and eating on autopilot. Eat slowly, really savour the flavours of every bite and learn to listen to your body, so you know when you are truly hungry, and when you are full.
Keep A Food Journal
If you really struggle to eat healthy, then look at keeping a food journal for a short amount of time. Those who write down everything they eat are far more likely to stick to healthy eating habits than those who don’t. It is all part of the mindfulness of nourishing ourselves.
By writing down what you are consuming, you are more conscious of what goes into your mouth. It helps you to form those healthy eating habits and when you’re about to make unhealthy ones, you’ll find you don’t want to write it down, therefore don’t eat it. Just try it, it really works! You don’t need to do this forever but even if you did it for 2 weeks, you’ll gain a huge amount of insight to the areas that could be improved.
Healthy Eating Exposed
Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean bland and boring food or depriving yourself of the things you love. You can still enjoy treats in moderation and your favourite naughty snacks on occasion.
The idea is to have those underlying healthy habits so that it doesn’t matter if you want dessert at a restaurant, or some chocolate at Easter. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Get experimental; try a new ingredient, recipe, spice, or cuisine once a week. Check out the Recipes section on my website HERE, there is so much to choose from.
Simply let yourself enjoy your food, and you will be reaching for an apple instead of a cookie (or try making some healthy cookies) before you know it. 🤞
And it is always easier to do something like this with support. Instead of feeling isolated and pressured to get it right on your own, why not join a tribe of like-minded women who are all working towards the same goals, but in a supportive environment. If this sounds great, then the Wicked Healthy Tribe could be for you! Check out more info on The Wicked Healthy Tribe here, and join the waitlist so you’re the first person to find out when the doors open up again soon.
If you’re coming through First Steps for New Zealand business owners and would like to know the different ways I could help support you on your health and wellbeing journey, please CLICK HERE.