Breaking bad eating habits can be challenging. Learn how to eat healthy by altering your eating routine.
If the idea of changing your diet to be healthy seems daunting, realize that changing your behavior means not only breaking bad habits but adopting healthy eating habits as well. These strategies can help with both:
1. Write it down.
Whether you are changing your diet to lose weight or feel healthier, you need to implement long-term, meaningful change. One of the first steps in this process is to establish a food journal of what you’re eating. Write down every morsel you put into your mouth. This lets you see two things clearly: how many calories you’re taking in, and where you can cut out extra calories.
2. Put your phone to work.
Most smartphones have apps that help you track calories, carbohydrates and exercise. You can also use certain phones as pedometers to tally how many steps you take each day.
3. Be here now.
Try to practice mindfulness when eating. Avoid distractions such as your phone, TV, reading materials, etc. Put your fork down between each bite and devote all of your attention to what you’re doing. Eating is supposed to be a pleasure, after all!
4. Don’t skip meals.
Meal skipping just sets you up to eat more to make up for the lost calories. Try to stay on a schedule of three meals per day.
5. Choose smaller portions.
Get those measuring cups out and learn exactly what 1 cup of food looks like. This will help you make informed choices about healthy portion sizes.
6. Use small plates.
This one’s pretty simple: It’s harder to overload on food when your plate can only hold so much.
7. Eat only one serving.
Practice savoring your first serving and not going back for seconds. When eating at home, serve plates in the kitchen rather than leaving the serving plates and bowls on the table.
8. Replace habits.
If breaking a habit is difficult, replace it with a new habit. If you’re craving a snack you know you don’t need, replace the ritual with something else that’s pleasant: a short walk, a conversation with a friend, music, something to make you laugh.
9. Control your environment.
Our surroundings heavily influence what we do. If you tend to fall into unhealthy behavior when you’re in a certain place at a certain time, try changing your routine to avoid the temptation.
10. Don’t tempt yourself.
You know your weaknesses, so don’t bring home foods you know you’ll overindulge in.
There are many reasons to lose weight — whether to get ready for surgery or be more heart-healthy. This simple approach to eating can help you get started. Watch this video with advice from a Vanderbilt nutrition expert, and see this My Southern Health story for more help with portion control: http://spr.ly/6181DUO2B
Posted by My Southern Health on Wednesday, July 11, 2018
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