Improving Your Eating Habits
Are you looking to improve your eating habits?
Do you understand the importance of viewing food as medicine?
This information for the CDC is insightful.
When it comes to eating, we have strong habits. Some are good ("I always eat breakfast"), and some are not so good ("I always clean my plate"). Although many of our eating habits were established during childhood, it doesn't mean it's too late to change them.
Making sudden, radical changes to eating habits such as eating nothing but cabbage soup, can lead to short term weight loss. However, such radical changes are neither healthy nor a good idea, and won't be successful in the long run. Permanently improving your eating habits requires a thoughtful approach in which you Reflect, Replace, and Reinforce.
REFLECT on all of your specific eating habits, both bad and good; and, your common triggers for unhealthy eating.
REPLACE your unhealthy eating habits with healthier ones.
REINFORCE your new, healthier eating habits.
Reflect, Replace, Reinforce: A process for improving your eating habits
Create a list of your eating habits. Keeping a food diary for a few days, in which you write down everything you eat and the time of day you ate it, will help you uncover your habits. For example, you might discover that you always seek a sweet snack to get you through the mid-afternoon energy slump. Use this diary[PDF-36KB] to help. It's good to note how you were feeling when you decided to eat, especially if you were eating when not hungry. Were you tired? Stressed out?
Highlight the habits on your list that may be leading you to overeat. Common eating habits that can lead to weight gain are:
Eating too fast
Always cleaning your plate
Eating when not hungry
Eating while standing up (may lead to eating mindlessly or too quickly)
Always eating dessert
Skipping meals (or maybe just breakfast