3 Ways I Changed My Eating Habits Forever
Do I follow a perfect diet fully devoid of processed carbs, sugar and yumminess? Absolutely not. I love a good gooey pasta dish, and sometimes I get a craving for candy bars that I see no problem indulging in. But, if I look at the bigger picture, I would definitely consider myself a healthy eater. My vegetarian diet is chock-full of fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy fats. Tempeh makes my mouth water. Having a nice cold piece of fruit for dessert is heaven to me. I have no issue leaving food on the plate if I feel full. While I was never a horrible eater, I was like most people following a typical diet that definitely left something to be desired. I have come a long way from my days of bagels and 20-ounce sodas for breakfast, and here is how I did it.
Defined My ‘’Why’’
There is a reason we want the thing we want—it will fill some void within us, it will make us someone we desire to be, it will give us a feeling we crave. There is something behind your desire to eat better, most likely many somethings. Clearly defining these motivators was a key step in changing my diet for good. The more deeply you define the ‘’why’’ behind getting healthier, the easier it will be to make the necessary changes. You will have a strong sense of the benefits you will reap, and this will help you make the decisions that will bring you closer to your desired state of being. If you want to lose weight, why? If you want to be a better example for your kids, why? Keep questioning until you cannot go any deeper.
Laid Out a Game Plan
One of the biggest reasons we fail to achieve health goals is lack of specificity. We say things like ‘’I want to eat better.’’ That is a great intention, but a weak one. Without any concrete plans on how to make that a reality, you will get weak results. You need order, you need a plan, you need a list of actionable steps. People who study motivation have found that this specificity is key to achieving goals. And, writing them down seems to be even more powerful and makes it more likely you will actually do the thing you have intended to do. When I decided I wanted to start eating better, I sat down and wrote out all the ways I could make that a reality. I decided I would cook dinner at home more, and that I would go to the grocery store each week and buy all the food I needed. I decided that I would put together my own breakfast instead of stopping for something greasy and fatty on the way to work.
Our minds are powerful, and in theory, we could change our bad habits overnight. In reality, however, that is unlikely. If we were that mentally strong and healthy, we would not be in the unhealthy positions in which we currently find ourselves. So, don’t try for drastic change that is unsustainable. By making small changes, I showed myself I was capable of eating better. This made me feel good, and this good feeling motivated me to keep doing things that made me feel good. The next time you are out to eat, skip the bread that comes before the meal, or just have one slice. Fill up your plate with a bit more vegetables and a little less meat. Commit to eating fruit for dessert instead of your usual ice cream for just three nights.
If you follow these three tips, I assure you a positive result. You may flub up along the way, and that is okay. Forgive yourself and keep on going.