Posted on July 23rd, 2020 by Caitlyn Miller
This first step into changing your eating habits is setting small goals along the way. This is more attainable and a more realistic way to change your eating habits. Making fast and sudden changes, for example, drinking nothing but “weight loss” shakes, can lead to short term weight loss. However, this is neither healthy nor a good idea and will not help you reach your long term goals.You must improve your eating habits and be thoughtful when doing so.
Table Of Contents
- Mindful eating
- Eat slower
- Read food labels
- Cook more
- Zero starving
- More water
- Meal prep
- Zero regretful eating
Mindful eating can be described as having an awareness of the food and liquids you put in your body. This is observing and being thoughtful about what you put in and the amount you put in, listening to your body and being aware of it (i.e. fullness, satisfaction). Achieving this helps you have a strong relationship and foundation with food. This will really help set new healthy habits. Pay attention to your meal when you’re eating, not your TV or computer. This will help you feel more satisfied and stop eating when you actually become full.
Eating slower is better for digestion, better for hydration, leads to feeling satisfied, and better for weight maintenance. This will also help you pay closer attention to your food and what you are putting into your body. I’m personally not the best at this. I have always been a fast eater and I have to constantly remind myself to slow down. A good tip for practicing this is, sip on a drink (preferably water). This will give you time to slow down.
Read Food Labels
Getting in the habit of reading food labels is a great way to start becoming familiar with what you are putting in your body. Sometimes people are unaware of how much sugar and/or sodium they are putting in their body. This is especially true when it comes to packaged foods. I always look at the ingredients and the macros on a food label before I buy it.
When you limit eating out and increase the amount you are cooking, you have a better knowledge of what you are putting into your body. This also allows you to control your portion size. I know if you eat out and the food is REALLY good, you will keep eating until it’s gone. Whereas, if you cook at home and are in charge of how much you put on your plate, you will be better at portion control.
I have always believed that the main success to reaching your goals (whatever they are) is routine. I thrive on routine, especially when it comes to my nutrition. This is because it becomes a habit. So even if one day I’m not really feeling doing something, it has become a habit for me and I will do it anyways. I like to eat meals around the same time every day (relatively speaking) and my main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) are close to the same every day as well. If you are someone who likes variety, you could have 3-4 different meals you really like to eat and alternate between those every day.
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Please, please, please, please, DO NOT starve yourself. This is probably the worst thing you could possible do when you are trying to eat better (and just worst thing period). I understand that sometimes we get so busy that we don’t remember to eat. I get it, trust me. However, this is doing more harm than good. When you are “starving”, you are more likely to binge and/or eat something that is not healthy. Plan out your meals and always have “on the run snacks”. My blog post talks more about on the run snacks.
Staying hydrated is SO important for your health and your metabolism. I am always surprised when people tell me they don’t realize or care how important staying hydrated is for their body. Always keep a water bottle with you throughout the day and sip on it. If you like sweet and bubbly drinks, try to drink fruit-infused water or seltzer water. I’m not a big carbonation person, but my husband LOVES the sparkling ice drinks. I have researched them and they are decent to drink. The taste is good, carbonation is strong, and the sugar and macros are pretty low.
I highly recommend meal prepping as this saves money and time. I typically meal prep two days out of the week and I’m set for lunch and dinner for 3-4 days. This works for snacks as well. You should have an idea of what snacks you want to eat for the week. This will help stop you from reaching for a snack in a vending machine, gas station, etc.
Zero Regretful Eating
Never beat yourself up about eating something. We are human and we all have cravings. As I’m typing this, I’m eating pizza and drinking wine. AND THAT IS OKAY! We need breaks and we all crave things. Eat the food and then move on. Do not get angry and disappointed at yourself. Getting caught up in eating the “right” food can be dangerous to your mental health. Everything is about balance. Wake up the next day and start over by practicing your healthy eating habits.