How to Make Healthy Eating a Part of Your Life

How to Make Healthy Eating a Part of Your Life

Everyone is familiar with the benefits of healthy eating. We get to lose weight, feel better, and reduce the risk of health issues down the road. 

The problem is, we fail to eat better despite knowing how beneficial that is for us. Countless people attempt to clean up their eating habits, fail miserably and return to old behaviors within a week or a month.

Luckily, we can employ numerous actionable tactics to make the transition into healthy eating easier. Let’s discuss.

1. Make Gradual Changes

The most important thing you need to remember is that habits take time to develop and break. Too many people make huge and sudden changes, only to overwhelm themselves and seek the comfort of old routines. 

Diets often fail not because of their ineffectiveness but because they force people to make considerable changes to their lifestyle from one day to the next. 

So, the first step to improving your nutrition is to accept it as an ongoing process that will likely take months to develop. In doing so, you can make better choices that don’t necessarily bring immediate benefits but instead put you on the right track to success. 

For example, instead of cutting out all processed foods from your nutrition, start with one healthy meal each day. Sure, doing so won’t lead to massive changes in energy levels, well-being, or physical appearance. But starting with one meal gives you the time to start adjusting to new food choices. 

More importantly, you begin creating a foundation for healthy eating. One healthy meal can turn into two, which can turn into three. But you need to establish the foundation first.

2. Replace Instead of Eliminating

A huge reason why people fail to change their behaviors is that they eliminate foods from their diet instead of looking for replacements. Doing so restricts people unnecessarily, forcing them to focus on what they can’t have and making them believe healthy eating has to be bland and tasteless.

While healthy eating requires a fair degree of elimination, you shouldn’t focus on what you can’t have. Instead, look to replace unhealthy foods with nutritious alternatives. For example, replace:

  • Sodas with green tea, black coffee, and sparkling water
  • Sugary cereals with oatmeal or chia pudding
  • Sports or energy drinks with tea or coffee
  • Store-bought potato chips with homemade kale or carrot chips
  • Candy bars for dried fruit, dark chocolate, and granola bars

Replacing foods is also challenging because you still have to eliminate old habits. But having alternatives makes it much easier to maintain your sanity and avoid feeling deprived. 

3. Make Better Choices At The Grocery Store

The choices we make at the grocery store determine our eating habits. Fill your home with whole and nutritious foods, and you’re more likely to make better eating choices. In contrast, buy processed junk, and you will always struggle to eat healthily. Consider this simple example:

You walk into the kitchen and see a box of cookies on the table. What would you do? Like most, you’d probably take a couple of cookies. The box is the trigger, and eating the cookies is the habit. 

Now, let’s swap that:

You walk into the kitchen and see a bowl of fresh fruit on the table. Sure, it might not feel as appetizing initially, but you will likely take a banana or an apple and snack on it if you feel hungry. 

4. Keep a Food Journal For a While

Keeping a food journal might not seem important, but the temporary exercise serves two critical purposes:

  1. It shows you just how much food you’re eating and what choices you’re making.
  2. It makes it easier for you to track your intake and manipulate it.

When they first start logging their food intake, people tend to realize two things: 

  • They are eating far more than they believe
  • They aren’t eating as healthily as they imagine

These realizations can be helpful because they stop you from lying to yourself and force you to start making better choices. As a result, you:

  • Eliminate mindless eating
  • Make better snacking choices
  • Learn how different occasions impact your choices
  • Begin to learn what dictates your eating choices

For example, someone who eats lots of processed food might not believe this to be true. But looking at the log would prove that belief doesn’t necessarily equal reality. Thanks to that, the person can start making better choices because they have data.

The best part about keeping a food journal is that it ingrains healthier behaviors. It fulfills its duty, and you’re then able to start eating better without logging everything inside a notebook or app.

Conclusion

Many people struggle to eat well because they reform too much at once or rely on short-term dieting tactics. While alluring and sometimes beneficial, such approaches don’t work because they aren’t sustainable. Sure, you can follow a diet for a few weeks, but what happens once it ends?

Improving your nutrition is about making gradual improvements and building habits. We hope that the four tactics above are helpful. Follow them diligently, give yourself time to replace old behaviors, and you will improve your nutrition dramatically over the following months.

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