(WXYZ) – It may seem hard to do, but breaking bad eating habits can be done.
But it’s unrealistic to think you can do this overnight. Research shows making healthier food choices can take a couple of weeks or a couple of months before it becomes second nature.
Our habits are learned and as humans we tend to resist change. It’s best if you start with gradual changes and small goals. Ones you feel you can accomplish, like replacing an unhealthy afternoon snack with fruit, yogurt or cut-up vegetables.
Try doing this only one day a week, then move up to two days and so forth. You’ll gradually ease yourself into healthy eating habits. And you’ll build confidence with every success.
Enjoying food is one of life’s pleasures. But we can be emotional eaters, snacking when we’re bored or stressed. We too easily use food to cope. And often when we choose foods that don’t nourish us, we feel bad afterwards. We develop negative feelings towards ourselves and food as well. When cravings happen, ask yourself if you’re actually hungry or eating to soothe yourself.
- When cravings happen, try to delay eating by distracting yourself. Take a brisk 5-minute walk or talk with a supportive friend.
- Experiment with new foods and healthy-cooking techniques, such as baking and sautéing. It keeps your diet fresh and more interesting.
- Don’t create a forbidden list of foods. Instead eat in moderation but do focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.
- Be mindful and attentive of what you eat and how much you eat. And always think positively about yourself and what you can accomplish.
It’s totally normal to have set-backs. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Start back up where you left off and focus on how far you’ve come and the changes you’ve made. Lifestyle changes do take time so be sure to celebrate all the little successes you make on your new path to healthy eating.
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