Life is about choices. Every day we make lots of choices. From what time we will get up, to what we will wear, where we will go, and what we will eat. Every meal we make a choice whether to move towards our goals or away from them. Below are ten steps you can take to improve the choices you make every time you eat.
#1. Set Yourself Up For Success
It is much easier to make the right food choices when you have those foods available to you. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy, ready to eat foods. Fruits and vegetables are always a better alternative to processed junk foods, but you can’t be expected to eat them if they are not available when you are hungry.
#2. Make Daily Eating Goals
Never underestimate the power of setting a goal. Write out your meal plan for the next day before you go to bed. In the morning review it and then watch how much easier it is to make the right choices come mealtime.
#3. Avoid the Hunger-Thirst Trap
Many times people will experience sensations of hunger when their body is actually in need of fluid. To avoid these hunger sensations make sure you stay well hydrated throughout the day. Find a way to keep water with you wherever you are. Sip on it throughout the day.
#4. Progress Not Perfection
Focus on making progress in your eating behaviors. Avoid the perfectionist’s trap of trying to eat perfectly all the time. Everyone “falls off the wagon” at times. Look for small, attainable steps that you could take to improve your eating today. Over time these small steps of progress will add up to a lifestyle change.
#5. Treat Yourself
Give yourself the opportunity to have a treat every once in a while. Some people have a treat meal once a week. Others have a small piece of candy one time each day. Psychologically, the treat serves to recharge you and makes it easier to keep on track with your eating over the long-term.
#6. Out Of Sight = Out Of Mind
Move tempting foods out of sight, and avoid places that might be too tempting to resist. In your refrigerator, move tempting foods into the bins, or to the lower shelves so that they are not at eye level. In your pantry do the same. Move those cookies to the lower shelves, or behind the healthy foods. Many people find it helpful to freeze tempting foods, because it requires thawing before eating and can provide just enough delay to avoid impulsive eating.
#7. Get Help
Not sure what you should be eating? Then get help from a fitness or nutrition professional. Or review the diets and eating habits of those who have the body you would like to attain. Often times just knowing what to eat can make a world of difference in someone’s eating habits. There are many great nutrition articles available right here on ShapeFit to get you started.
#8. Take it Slow
If you struggle with not feeling full while eating, then slow down the rate at which you eat. It takes 15 minutes for your brain to get the message you’ve been fed. Slow down the rate that you eat, or take a five-minute break half way through your meal. Give the body time to send the fullness signal up to your brain.
#9. Record Your Nutrition
Keeping a record of what you are eating allows you to objectively analyze your eating behaviors. Studies have shown that recording food alone causes individuals to eat less. The two most effective factors reported by those who have lost weight and kept it off are regular exercise and food recording.
#10. If Your Favorite Chair Is In The Kitchen, Get A New Favorite Chair
The kitchen is for eating. If it is not time for you to eat, then avoid the temptation by going to another part of the house. You may even want to get outside to reduce temptation even more. If you tend to watch TV near the kitchen you may want to move to another TV that is farther away to reduce the temptation to scavenge during commercials.
Begin incorporating these ten suggestions into your life as see if they make it easier to change your eating behaviors.