When your goal is to lose weight or improve your health, learning how to change eating habits is one aspect that can either hinder or help facilitate your fitness goals. Your eating habits are a key part of your lifestyle, and they can make or break your entire fitness journey, which makes incorporating healthy eating habits the best thing you can do for your body.
Changing your eating habits can be challenging, but it’s not impossible because there are ways to do it effectively. In this article, we will share how to change eating habits.
1. Write it down
Whether you’re changing your diet to lose weight or to feel healthier, you need to implement long-term, meaningful changes. The first step in this process is to create a food diary about what you eat. Write down every bite of food you put in your mouth. This will allow you to see two things clearly: how many calories you are consuming and where you can cut back on extra calories.
2. Make Gradual Changes to Your Eating Habit Goals
You can’t expect to change your eating habits overnight because it doesn’t work that way. Just like achieving your goals, it takes patience and dedication to make your life better. Take one step at a time, like changing your breakfast habits or watching your snacking habits. While both of these things are simple, they can both make a huge difference without you even realizing it.
Persistence is the key, and these small changes will pile up into improvements in your fitness life that you won’t realize until a significant period has passed. Try not to overwhelm yourself when making changes to your diet and lifestyle, instead, remember that every little change you make will benefit you in the short and long term.
3. Know the Difference between Bad & Good Eating Habits
Sometimes it’s not that we don’t want to establish good eating habits, but that we don’t know the difference between bad and good eating habits. For example, just because it’s labeled “low fat” or “low sugar” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you.
We do know that good eating habits are associated with healthy food choices. As outlined by the World Health Organization, a healthy diet includes a combination of different foods. These foods include:
- Staples like cereals (wheat, barley, rye, maize or rice) or starchy tubers or roots (potato, yam, taro or cassava).
- Legumes (lentils and beans).
- Fruit and vegetables.
- Foods from animal sources (meat, fish, eggs and milk). Or, if you prefer a vegan diet, equitable protein sources!
4. Replace Habits
If breaking a habit is difficult, replace it with a new one. If you crave a snack that you know you don’t need, replace that ritual with something else enjoyable: a short walk, a conversation with a friend, listening to music, something that makes you laugh.
5. Monitor The Beverages You Drink
There are several drinks that contain a lot of artificial sugar, such as sodas and energy drinks, which doesn’t mean they are the best drinks to have. Sugar doesn’t just affect your weight goals, it’s incredibly addictive, so it’s best to limit your sugar intake if possible.
Instead of going for a soda with every meal, switch to a healthier alternative like green tea or caffeine. Both of these have antioxidants and caffeine, and both have been shown to help with weight loss and provide you with the energy you need for the day.
Although, you should keep in mind that water is still the best drink to keep yourself from getting dehydrated. Not many people know that being dehydrated can also cause you to binge on more food, so drinking water is the best thing you can do for your body.
6. Control Your Environment
Our surroundings heavily influence our behavior. If you are prone to fall into unhealthy behaviors at a certain time and place, try changing your habits to avoid temptation.
Maintaining your good eating habits over time is the only way to really make permanent changes. To complement your healthy lifestyle and see significant changes in your overall health, try adopting an exercise routine. By implementing exercise into your lifestyle, you will be more inclined to stay focused and make a long-term commitment to good eating habits and a better quality of life.