Top Tips for Changing Bad Eating Habits

February 27, 2013


Bad Eating Habits

Bad Eating Habits

In theory, eating healthier should be easy; we stop eating the bad foods so much and start eating the good ones more often. But, given the dismal success rates of long-term weight loss, clearly this is not the case. Our ways of eating have been deeply ingrained, often times, from when we are young children. We have all sorts of weird stuff going on deep in our subconscious minds that causes us to make decisions that sabotage our efforts at being healthier. But, there is hope and here are some ways to help you accomplish the vital goal of eating better, which is a cornerstone of good health.

Start Small

If you go from eating junk food constantly to swearing off these same foods for the rest of your life, this approach will likely backfire; anything is possible, but if you had that strong of a will, you would probably already be eating well. Making small changes is easier and when you choose goals that you will realistically accomplish, you will feel a sense of progress, which is one of the strongest motivators there is. Maybe start by tackling your excess soda intake with the intention to phase out daily consumption and replace it with pure, fresh water. Switch out your full-fat products for reduced. Cut back on second helpings. Swap your white bread for whole wheat.

Tend to Issues that Trigger Unhealthy Eating

Any action we take starts with a decision, and there are lots of things at play in our lives that can lead us to make the bad ones when it comes to our health. Poor stress management can foster bad eating habits—not only does it make us not care about our health or eat emotionally, it actually produces changes in the body that increase our cravings for unhealthy foods. Not getting enough sleep is also another barricade to better eating habits; numerous studies have linked inadequate sleep to increased cravings for unhealthy foods such as sweets and refined carbohydrates—the theory goes that a lethargic brain is looking for a quick energy boost, which is something these types of food provides.

Commit to Cooking More

Our busy lifestyles, without a doubt, present a major challenge for changing eating habits. We rely on lots of take-out and convenience foods that are loaded with fat, sodium, processed carbs and numerous chemicals. After a long day, the last thing we want to do is cook. The pantry and fridge are bare—we know we should prepare a healthy meal but the last thing we want to do is go to the store and then still have to make the food when we get home. But, with a little effort, you can easily transition to more wholesome food and a reduced reliance on ordering out or unhealthy convenience foods. Stock your pantry with long-lasting foods such as lentils, pasta, potatoes, onions and carrots and bottled sauces. Take some time over the weekend to prepare meals that can last you through the week; prep meals so that all you have to do when you get home from work during the week is cook them. Invest in a slow cooker so you can throw the ingredients in before work and come home to a delicious, healthy meal.

Make Specific Plans and Goals

When it comes to making changes, we need to get specific; we need targets and somewhere to focus our efforts. Just saying you want to eat healthier is a great start, but without specifics, you will undoubtedly falter. Setting mini-goals is a great idea; perhaps, you want to eat more vegetables, for example. A good way to accomplish this mini-goal might be to experiment with different vegetables each day of the week to find which ones you like and would include in your diet more often. You also need to think of the bigger picture and make a plan; you want to change your eating habits, but how? If you never eat breakfast, but want to start, how exactly will you make that happen? What do you need to do to get a healthy meal in your tummy every morning? Figure out the specifics.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing tips on healthy eating and cooking; if you are in need of some equipment to support your healthy eating goals,  Proctor Silex slow cookers and Proctor Silex blenders may be a good addition to your kitchen.


Top Tips for Changing Bad Eating Habits

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Eating Habits

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