How To Change Your Bad Food Habits
We all know that eating healthier is a good idea. But resisting those indulgent foods in the fridge can be challenging. And when we’re feeling stressed, it’s even harder to find the willpower to make nutritious choices. Fortunately, new research shows how you can break bad eating habits and replace them with healthy ones.
The secret is mindfulness, a practice that’s been shown to have many benefits for health and happiness. You can apply it to eating habits. Here’s how:
Accept Your Cravings Without Judgment
When you’re stressed out or tired, it’s hard to resist a craving for something sweet, fatty, or salty. So when one comes up, say these kind words to yourself: “This is just my body asking for what it needs.” When you take this attitude, the craving loses some of its power over you.
Reframe Your Cravings as “New Healthy Habits”
It is advantageous when you’re craving unhealthy food, like chocolate. It reminds you that the craving is mostly your body saying, “Come on, give me what I want.” So instead of saying, “I don’t want to eat that,” say to yourself: “I want to make a healthier choice.” It makes it easier to say yes and change how you’re eating.
Move Forward With Your Plan As Soon As You Notice Yourself Slipping Into Old Habits Again
Just like a diet, a new habit might require some effort at first to keep going. But after a week or two, things tend to take off and fall into a routine – and before long, you’re not thinking about how much harder it is to eat healthy than you are.
Focus On the Rewards Of Making Healthier Choices While You Work On Developing New Habits
When you make a healthier choice, it feels good and helps motivate you to keep at it. That’s why people often get hooked on their healthy habits. Instead of thinking of them as a chore, think of them as a reward – and take some time each day to focus on the positive feelings they bring up in you, like feeling more energetic or more excited about life or achieving something great for yourself.
Use All Your Willpower When You’re Deciding Whether To Make A Healthier Choice Or Not
When a healthier choice comes up, like deciding whether to eat something, remind yourself that you’re trying to develop new habits. Then use your willpower to choose the healthier alternative and don’t give in. If you don’t have much willpower, that will indicate that you need to work on not giving in to your old habits even though they might seem more tempting.
If You Slip Up And Make An Unhealthy Choice, Think About How It Brought Up A Positive Feeling And See What Else You Can Learn From It
We all have good days and bad days – but when one comes up while working on your new healthy habit, focus on the good feelings it brought up in you and see what else you can learn from it. Just because you made a mistake doesn’t mean that it’s over and that your new healthy habit is ruined. Telling yourself that you blew it is not very helpful. So find some way to look at the experience the next day and decide what you can learn from it.
Focus On How Much Healthier You Are When You Make A Healthier Choice, Rather Than Dwelling On The Fact That It’s Hard To Stick With Your New Healthy Habit
It’s not easy to stick with a new healthy habit, so don’t make things any harder for yourself by dwelling on that fact. Instead, focus on how much healthier you feel when making a healthy choice and see if this makes up for any setbacks you might have had while implementing your new healthy habit.
Set Realistic Goals For Yourself
If your goal is to eat only healthy food, then if you whip out a donut as soon as you’re done with work, you’re probably not going to stick with it for long. On the other hand, if your new healthy habit is about a more complex behavioral pattern, such as being less critical towards other people or trying to be less shy, then you need to give yourself some time to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.
Make Sure That You Have The Support Of Others When Trying To Implement Your New Healthy Habit.
A strong support system is valuable, especially when you feel the urge to make bad food choices or make lousy food habits. Start with a small goal, and when you’ve successfully achieved that, then work on bigger goals. For example, make a list of all the things you have to do before going out for a date or an event. These will be your distractions when you’re not able to distract yourself in another way.
Practicing Mindful Eating
It is one of the most challenging practices to put into place, but it has many benefits. To practice mindful eating, you must first eat mindfully to focus on how good each bite tastes and how full or satisfied it makes your body feel. If mindful eating is done regularly, it becomes easier to do it while out at events or special occasions. To eat mindfully, you must be fully present and not eating just because it is time to eat or because food is in front of you.
Changing your bad habits is a tough thing to do. You’ve been doing it this way for so long that the change feels natural, and it can be hard to break those habits with new behaviors. The truth is, changing our bad habits has more to do with getting used to a new pattern than with willpower or coming up with a clever plan.
Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to help you wean off those unwanted habits. You can follow the tips above and see how it changes your lifestyle forever.