To begin, eating healthier starts with eating healthier foods. Without creating a huge list of “eat this” and “don’t eat that” foods, let’s make it simple. As I mentioned in my post, “How To Keep Yourself Motivated,” the fewer decisions we have to make, the less we tax our will power, which means that more will power or self-control is available to us to resist unhealthy foods.
The easiest way to do this is to just purchase healthy foods at the market. The easy way to know which foods are healthy vs. unhealthy is to purchase foods in their natural, unprocessed, unpackaged state. Ideally, you want to purchase single ingredient foods or foods with just a few ingredients and certainly nothing that you’re unable to pronounce.
I’ve mentioned “perimeter shopping” before. Next time you go to the market notice that the outside aisles, the “perimeter” is where you have the meat, poultry, fish, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. All foods more or less in their natural state. If you can find organic foods, those without chemicals or preservatives added, so much the better.
The interior aisles, aside from household and bathroom products, and certain frozen and canned foods, are usually reserved for the packaged and processed foods with chemicals, preservatives, and added sugar.
Make Good Behavior Easier
Rather than focusing on making bad behavior like eating unhealthy foods, more difficult, focus on making good behavior easier- like stocking the fridge with healthy foods and washing them in advance, so you can just grab something to eat when you feel hungry.
And that’s another thing, the next time you get up to eat, take a moment to be aware and ask yourself, are you getting something to eat because you’re hungry, or bored, or upset about something? If you’re honest with yourself and it’s not really about hunger, just drink a glass of water instead. That’ll give you that full, satiated, feeling.
Some Other Things You Can Do
Display healthy foods in a prominent place. You can have fruit or nuts sitting in a bowl on the kitchen counter where you can easily grab them.
Put the healthy food in large containers, which are more likely to catch your eye. I’ll bet if you look in your pantry now, you’ll find a lot of small containers, bottles, and cans that have been sitting there for quite a while, because you really don’t notice them.
Cook or prepare large quantities of healthy foods in advance. Maybe on Sunday, you cook for the entire week or part of the week. That way, you’ll have something you can heat up quickly rather than just grab for the first, easy-to-eat thing you see, which might be a snack food.
Eating healthy does not have to be expensive either. Real, fresh food is what’s good for us.
Be Compassionate With Yourself
Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself eating something that tastes good but isn’t necessarily good for you. It’s going to happen. Don’t make a habit of it and don’t fill yourself with shame and guilt. It’s not an all or nothing proposition.
You don’t go from eating poorly to eating healthy in one step. You don’t go from point A to point B. You go from Point A to Point A1 to Point A2 to Point A3 and eventually you make it to Point B. It’s a process. Forgive yourself and move on.
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