7 Actions for Creating Healthy Eating Habits
Creating a positive relationship to food is essential to creating a healthy sustainable diet. Start to action these principles now and see them form into habits over time. Once embedded into your daily routine, you will find reaching your health goals is much more enjoyable, manageable and worth while as these habits will provide long-term positive results.
Listed below are 7 actions to start eating more healthily:
1. Create a meal plan to support your goals.
Learn more about intuitive eating and seek out specific suggestions about food choices. A health coach will support you to develop a meal plan based on your own bio-individuality and lifestyle requirements. Prepare in advance what you will buy when shopping for food each week rather than just choosing food that takes your fancy as you walk into the shop… Even the most-strong willed amongst us can fall victim to an unhealthy BOGOF on the isle front. Do not deprive yourself, you will only crave it more. Use the the 80/20 (80% whole foods and water, 20% processed food and drink) rule to help you make the best decision.
2. Bring along healthy snacks.
Busy work schedules and social lives can lead to bingeing at night because you did not eat enough during the day. Maintain balanced blood sugar levels to avoid those 4pm slumps by carrying healthy, on-the-go snacks with you such as; a trail mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruit, carrot sticks, homemade granola bars and fresh fruit. Always carry a water bottle with you too.
3. Eat slower and one thing at a time.
Awaken your senses and eat or sip every mouthful you take. Mindfully smell the flavours, taste the textures and chew each mouthful as if it was your last. Slow down and enjoy your food, if you find yourself eating to fast, count your chews and aim for 20 chews before swallowing.
4. Say good-bye to your food guilt.
Feeling guilty about what you just ate does not achieve anything towards your health related goals. This phrase has helped a number of my clients ‘I am choosing the best option available to me’ when dining out or there are limited options available. If you do choose to have your favourite dessert make sure to enjoy every bite, when it is gone be fully excepting of what you just ate and that it is now in the past, you can only control what you do next. Don’t ever be hard on yourself for what you just ate.
5. Become aware of your environmental triggers.
Our eating behaviours are significantly influenced by the environment around us. We will eat more quickly when sat in front of a laptop or TV, consume alcohol when dining at a bar with friends who are drinking alcohol, eat mindlessly when eating at a business lunch, eat more at a buffet… Becoming aware of your environmental triggers gives you back the control and the choice to eat the best way for you, your body and your health related goals.
6. Avoid ‘healthy’ food obsession.
Sometimes there isn’t the option to eat organic kale, wild-caught salmon and quinoa for dinner. Being healthy involves creating a healthy relationship with food and your body. Your body is an amazing machine, think back to before you chose the healthiest option available, your body coped. Feed your body rather than starve it and do not beat yourself up, just as one missed workout doesn’t mean you lose your fitness, one ‘unhealthy’ meal will not undo all your healthy eating habits.
7. Feed yourself what you would feed your best friend who had the same goals as you.
Think of your body as your best friend who has asked you to support her to achieve her goals. Feed her with the best sources of food that provide her with optimal energy levels, weight management and a healthy glow. What you put into your body is ultimately who you will be. Experiment with different foods and learn to listen to your intuition with the guidance of a health coach. Your body is never wrong, learn to listen to what it needs to thrive.
We all have the ability to create healthy eating habits, we just have to figure out the barriers that stop us achieving our best. These daily habits listed can be incorporated into almost any lifestyle. Whatever health goal you have; to lose weight, fuel for marathon training or to banishing food guilt, these principles will help you achieve your desired result.