Get Healthier Eating Habits
Healthy Food can be Delicious Food!
by Vicki Handfield
Forget About Dieting!
Forget about dieting! Making your eating habits healthier is more effective and more fun. Dieting is usually about deprivation, or giving up foods you like. Foods are addictive, especially sweets, fats, salty foods — all the foods we are taught are not good for us.
Moderation and Balance
But, ALL FOODS CAN BE EATEN IN MODERATION. Like many other issues regarding establishing or improving healthy habits, it is vital to be working to create BALANCE. But don’t expect perfect balance – it’s always a work in progress.
Delicious Healthy Foods?
One of the keys to better eating habits is "importing" delicious healthy foods. It is a lot easier to eat less of something you love if you are also eating something you enjoy. In time, you will come to love the newer foods almost as much. Using seasonings you like helps a lot too.
Tasty Food Substitutes
To get started, identify the weaknesses in your personal eating habits. Next, we need to find some good substitutes for these foods. The best way to do this is to search online or in cookbooks for some recipes that appeal to you. If you are having trouble finding some good substitutes, a professional dietician can help you with this process, enormously.
Our Get Healthy, Get Happy strategies are interactive. If you begin to develop an exercise habit, your appetite will naturally decrease. One of the more difficult elements is that the appetite often initially increases. Keep in mind that this will pass as you become more fit. Fitness leads to a natural desire to limit food intake most of the time; it does not feel good to work out when you are overly full!
Eatiing Habits and Menus
Next, look at the eating habits for yourself and your family and identify weaknesses or tendencies that make it challenging. For example, kids activities often interfere with healthy eating. Begin to make a menu for the week and do it with your family so you find things that everyone likes. On days when time is tight, schedule meals that are quick and easy to prepare (but still healthy). If you can, cook more than you need for a meal and freeze some portions; then you will have easy-to-defrost portions for future use. Make up your menu before going food shopping so you buy all that you need and not the things you don't need!
Doing an eating journal is especially helpful. It does two things. First, the act of writing your food intake down makes you think twice about what you choose to eat. Second, it give us a record of your eating habits and shows your strengths and weaknesses more clearly. Many people find that they eat healthier earlier in the week and that their choices decline as the week progresses. Identifying these trends helps us figure out ways of working out plans that will help. Be sure you write down everything that you eat — meals and snacks; be honest!
Calories and More
Most of us know all that we need to know about calories, fat grams, carbs and proteins, etc. However, if there is an area you are not familiar with, let me know and I'll help you find the resources you need. I can refer you to a nutritionist as well, who can help you make healthy choices. Our work will focus on making the behavior changes that you need to make in order to lose weight and be healthier.
Drinking more water is one of the most important things you can do, along with eating more frequently. Be sure to include how often and how much water you drink in your journal, this will inspire you to drink more and once you do, you will realize how useful it is; it keeps you hydrated and helps you feel more full.
Goals and Rewards
When we have identified your strengths and weaknesses, we will set up goals to accomplish, on a week-to-week basis. These will be very small goals. One of the most frequent sources of failure is to attempt to accomplish too much. When we identify achievable goals, we are far more likely to succeed. People often imagine that they won't feel very good if they aim for accomplishing smaller goals; however, they are frequently very surprised that they do feel good about making small positive changes! And small changes lead to bigger changes and results.
It is also vital to set up personal rewards for making healthy changes. These need to be small, everyday types of rewards, things that you have control over. They may be things like listening to music, engaging in a craft activity, taking a relaxing bath with oil and candles, going to the movies, going to a concert, having 'me' time, basically anything that feels positive and doesn't include food!
This also sets the stage for increasing your 'me' time and enjoying life more, which also helps a person turn to other things besides food! We all know the phrase 'comfort food' and there are many good reasons someone invented that term! It doesn't feel good, though, to feel like a slave to food. It feels good, healthy and empowering to eat healthy and enjoy some of the many other good things life has to offer!
If you have questions about these healthy eating tips or would like to know more about my 6 step plan to help with lasting life experience improvement, please let me know by contacting me and I will be glad to help you create the positive healthy, happy changes you want to make. As you make these changes, you will be pleasantly surprised at how powerful they are for you.