Healthy Eating Is About Little Habits, Not Big Changes

Mar 22, 2013 by

Everyone knows they should be eating healthier than they are, but it is difficult to stick to a healthy eating routine that works. The obstacles that prevent us from having a healthier diet are not usually physical, as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein are just as accessible at the supermarket as other more unhealthy foods. The biggest obstacles are sometimes psychological, as it is difficult to resist our emotional temptations and cravings for food.

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Photo: now.tufts.edu

One of the biggest mistakes that most people make when trying to eat healthy is thinking that it is “all or nothing.” They get on a “health kick” after overindulging and feeling a bit bloated and they try to transform their lifestyle 100%. They eat nothing but salads, go to the gym five times per week and make themselves power smoothies every morning. They will ensure they don’t eat anything that isn’t super healthy and natural.

However, the problem with this is that these healthy behaviors have all come on too quickly and they haven’t been integrated into the person’s lifestyle. Therefore, they are impractical and will be quickly abandoned. As soon as that person doesn’t have time to go to the gym, or doesn’t have any fresh veggies in the fridge, or craves a pizza to break the monotony of salads, they will abandon everything and slip back into old habits. Their new healthy habits are too much, too quickly and they do not integrate well into their own lifestyle.

All the good that this “health kick” has done will be lost, as it is not sustainable for the long term.

Change Small Habits, One at a Time

So how do you practice healthy eating in a sustainable way which you will be able to keep up for the long term? The trick is to figure out what small changes you can make to your lifestyle that you will be able to keep up for months, years and even forever. This is the opposite of a crash diet; this means implementing lifestyle changes that will leave you feeling healthier, slimmer and happier for the long term.

For example, one small change you can make is to put together your own healthy lunch for work instead of getting fast food on your lunch break. It only takes 10 minutes the evening before to throw together a sandwich, an apple, some baby carrots and a few crackers and cheese. You can even ask an expert, such as a nutritionist in Chandler AZ, to help you come up with some easy and quick healthy lunches.

Once you establish this habit, it becomes second nature. However, this small change will make an impact over the long term to help you lose weight and feel healthier. You’ll have more energy at work in the afternoon too, as you won’t suffer from post-burger-and-fries sleepiness.

Another easy small change to make is to swap out your junk-food snacks for healthier choices. It’s fine to munch on snacks while you watch a movie with your family, just trade the greasy potato chips to crunchy broccoli with low-fat dip. Or switch the sweet sugary candies for grapes or raisins.

These little changes will not be difficult to make, but they make a big difference.

About the Author: Cassandra Peters is a blogger and mother of three who lost 30 pounds by making small changes to her diet over several months and has been able to keep the weight off for a year.

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