The first step is to brace yourself for the challenge; it goes without saying that bad habits are hard go break. When you’re trying to eliminate something that has become a part of your life, you are bound to encounter resistance, and see your willpower seriously tested. You are in for a marathon in which that old addiction will tempt you at every step, trying to lure you back into that old vicious circle.
The first tip is to slow down when you eat. People who eat faster consume more calories because their brain doesn’t have the chance to recognize that the stomach is full. Eat prepared meals at the table. Instead of choosing finger foods that can be eaten quickly, always eat food from a plate with utensils and at a table, to program yourself to identify when meal times are and are not. Select more salad on your plate. Salad is an excellent choice since the bulk of it fills you without ramping up the calories and offers fiber and other nutrients to any meal.
Make no mistake. Bad eating habits can negatively impact your life. You can rapidly gain weight and depending on the food you eat, how much exercise you do or don’t do you could develop dis-ease overtime associated to bowel, kidney function, heart, liver and brain, in addition to other things.
At the end of the day, you will require a determination and level of commitment, will power, to sustain you through and stop you reaching backwards towards old habits.
An effective step is to remove temptations in your house or workplace. Keep food out of sight in the pantry and fridge. If you still find it difficult to avoid walking to the kitchen countless times to stare at the food you are not going to eat, then try to store a minimum amount of food in kitchen cabinets and in the pantry, which means you need to stop buying as much while you are embarking on a new food lifestyle and never store your favorite foods in the house. Keep on hand only those foods that require preparation before they can be eaten.
A good, brisk walk each day will increase blood flow to the organs and can cut out 250 calories. Aim to skip dessert, but not breakfast. Breakfast literally means, to break the fast. Aim to simply replace non healthy foods, with healthier ones, such as plant based and vegetables rich in chlorophyll and antioxidants. The aim is not to lose weight, but that will be the result. A leaner, healthier version of yourself will result when sticking to a plant based diet, with no junk food in sight. Experiment with what you’re willing to let go of: the Grande latte you usually enjoy at 10 AM; the buttery movie popcorn that’s become a nightly habit. Target foods you don’t especially love and stop eating them and those foods you love, eat them in moderation or find healthier alternatives.
Another consideration that is critical when upgrading your food eating habits is to understand when you are hungry or when you are just emotionally eating. Rate your hunger. Ask yourself, “how hungry am I on a scale of 0 to 10?” 0 means you’re starving and woe to anyone who gets between you and the fridge! 10 means you’re not hungry and you can function in that moment until you check in and rate yourself again.
Planning your food a day in advance ensures that when that emotion or a challenging time of day hits, you are not tempted by incompatible foods as you try to combat old habits. Plan your meals and ensure you have your trigger times well covered and plenty of food and/ or options all day long so that you no longer have to resist all those choices. When you do this, the old emotions and trigger times of day will still happen, the difference is you made the choice about your food intake yesterday when your emotions did not have a grip on you.