There isn’t a single living person on this planet that hasn’t succumbed to some form of diet in their life. No matter how hard we try to reshape our eating habits, after a week or a month we indulge ourselves in some delicious and forbidden delight. Which is not a big deal, right? Well, if you are striving to completely alter your unhealthy eating habits, then you must find suitable food and eating regime and then do your very best to stick to it. It may take diligence and patience, but if you set your mind to it and implement some of the following ways to overhaul unhealthy eating habits, you are undoubtedly in for success.
Start off gradually
Don’t expect much result if you break your eating immediately. Waking up one day and deciding to make a change is a good idea, however, your physical and mental health is at stake, so it is advisable to take baby steps. Instead of cutting out your favourite foods, you can start your new eating regime by avoiding the “bad” carbohydrates but still eating some of the foods that you enjoy. Of course, fast food should be out of the question, since it consists of empty calories. Later, try replacing your favourite foods with healthier versions. Opt for fruit instead of chocolate, or go for whole wheat cereals instead of white flour, and so on.
Plan and prepare healthy meals in advance
In order to overhaul unhealthy eating habits, you need to be surrounded by quality and nutritious foods. “I don’t have time to prepare healthy meals” and similar excuses will only push you back because you can always find the time. You can make a chicken salad with some vegetables and pack it for lunch the next day, or in the morning get breakfast and lunch at the same time at a health food store. Maintaining a balanced calorie intake is crucial when you strive to overhaul unhealthy eating habits, so even at work, you should order only healthy choices as well. For instance, at companies like My Muscle Chef you can find fantastic meals that you can schedule and pre-order according to your nutritional plan, Your lunch at work should consist of proteins, “good” carbohydrates, low sugar products, and veggies, if possible, so think in advance.
Don’t skip breakfast
Even if you are in a rush, and when you are overwhelmed with chores and obligations, one thing that you mustn’t do is skip breakfast. Morning is the time of the day when our body feels refreshed, and physically equipped for new challenges, and it simply requires fuel. One very negative thing is also eating excessively during breakfast and then skipping other meals. Make a toasted sandwich with tofu and tomatoes, make some healthy oatmeal, or prepare a delicious smoothie with Greek yoghurt, spinach, and blueberries. This healthy option will give you enough energy and stamina to survive the day, and it would make you feel full. If you still feel hungry afterwards, you can eat a handful of cashews, nuts, or walnuts before lunch.
Control your sugar intake
Focusing on single food groups and only eating an abundance of vegetables is not the best solution either. You will easily get saturated and quickly return to bad eating habits. The same rule applies to sugar intake. Our body requires a significant amount of sugar intake, but that doesn’t mean that you have to eat a whole cake. On the contrary, you should eat a piece of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, but you should have decent control of your sugar intake. Eliminate drinking sodas, flavoured waters, juices, and sports drinks. You might not be aware of this fact, but sodas contain a catastrophic amount of sugar, even though they may write zero sugar. Any form of refined sugar can be extremely harmful to your body and health. Therefore, eating a pudding a week, won’t be that negative.
Go for hearty snacks
When your goal is to set healthy eating habits, the worst adversary in achieving that goal is snacks. People grab snacks or eat between meals for numerous reasons. Usually, it is because they are hungry, and that represents a quick decision, or because they see someone else eating crisps, and the urge arises, or simply you feel like snacking. Nevertheless, mass-produced snacks are simply unhealthy, even if we don’t want to admit it. Greasy, fatty, sugary and salty. All adjectives that symbol unhealthy food consumption. But there are ways to continue snacking the right way, and that is by choosing healthy snacks. Think nuts, cashews, unsalted peanuts, veggie sticks with hummus, whole grain crackers, low-fat cheese or yoghurt with berries, the list is endless.
Avoid starving yourself
As already specified, if you want to overhaul unhealthy eating habits, you should go on a mindful diet, or completely stop eating some of the negative foods. Eating substantial meals during the day is a good way to break unhealthy eating habits, but you need to bear in mind that you want to continue with that food regime long after you lose some weight. Dramatic dieting can only result in shocking the organism because it loses energy and stamina. For that reason, and many others, avoid starving yourself, and go for healthy dieting. Rather than cutting out whole food groups from your diet or denying yourself your favourite foods, try eating smart, delegating your meals, prepare and cook fresh, tasty and colourful meals.
In the end, it all comes down to our brains. Sometimes when we see or smell delicious foods, we can avoid not eating them. However, eating the whole pack of pizza, or the whole plate of lasagna instead of a piece or two is a big no-no. Learning how to fight the urge of eating somehow delicious, but unhealthy food takes mindful practice and patience. Try sitting down without distractions while you are eating (no TV, no Internet, mobile phones, and so on), eat slowly, chew every bite, and know when to stop.
Like with many other things in life, forming quality and healthy eating habits takes moderation and self-control. Savour every bite and enjoy your food.