Many people struggle to get started when they’re advised to improve their Nutrition habits. Here are some tips that can help us achieve sustainable positive change.
Firstly, it’s important to take a step-wise approach to make dietary changes. One or two small changes each week will lead to more sustainable change than trying to make many drastic changes all at once.
Step 1. Make a list of your Eating Habits
Note down every single thing you literally eat every day, whether or not they are healthy! This will help you figure out your Nutrition habits and will provide you with a chance to improve it.
Read food labels carefully. “Many pre-packaged foods such as sauces, marinades, and spice mixes can all contain elements you don’t wanna ingest, as do ready-made meals and snacks,”. Crisps, pretzels and other savory snack foods are also included.
By paying close attention to the types of food, and the amounts, you’re eating, you’ll begin to have better control over your hunger and the types and amounts of food you eat. This will thus help you improve your nutritional habits.
Step 2. Replace those unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones
For example, in reflecting upon your eating habits, you may realize that you eat too fast when you eat alone. So, make a commitment to share lunch each week with a colleague, or have a neighbor over for dinner one night a week.
Other strategies might include putting your fork down between bites or minimizing other distractions (i.e. watching the news during dinner) that might keep you from paying attention to how quickly — and how much — you’re eating.
Step 3. Eat Mindfully
Eating mindfully is a phrase that gets thrown around quite often but if you begin to understand what it actually means, you’ll understand why doing so is so important.
Just as many people simply eat food or exercise, eating mindfully is a practice that allows you to control food intake and hunger rather than being controlled by hunger and the temptation to finish your meal.
Of course, this works in conjunction with food tracking, but having a better understanding of how to eat intuitively for your own body will allow you to have real control over what you eat and how much of it you eat.
Step 4. Exercise is the key
As per Harvard, “Whether you’re 9 or 90, abundant evidence shows exercise can enhance your health and well-being. But for many people, sedentary pastimes, such as watching TV, surfing the Internet, or playing computer and video games, have replaced more active pursuits.”
- Reduce your chances of getting heart disease. For those who already have heart disease, exercise reduces the chances of dying from it.
- Lower your risk of developing hypertension and diabetes.
- Reduce your risk for colon cancer and some other forms of cancer.
- Improve your mood and mental functioning.
- Keep your bones strong and joints healthy.
- Help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Help you maintain your independence well into your later years.
Step 5. Persistence: Don’t Give Up
As trying all these can be boring and tiring, it’s important for you to keep your cool—and not use dessert as a reward for a cleaned plate. Do you know, research out of Aston University shows that using food as a reward could unintentionally teach your body to rely on food to deal with emotions.
So, keep this in mind, as you may know, “A River Cuts Through Rock, Not Because Of Its Power, But Because Of Its Persistence.”
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