Top Healthy Eating Habits You Should Be Aware Of!

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Top Healthy Eating Habits You Should Be Aware Of!

Eating habits

Many of us have eating habits when it comes to health. Some are excellent, while others are less so. Even if you’ve been eating the same way for years, it’s not too late to make changes.

Making abrupt, drastic changes, such as eating only cabbage soup, can result in short-term weight loss. However, such drastic changes are neither healthy nor wise and will fail in the long run. Permanently improving your eating habits necessitates a systematic approach that includes reflection, replacement, and reinforcement.

  • REFLECT on all of your eating habits, both good and bad, as well as your common triggers for unhealthy eating.
  • REPLACE your bad eating habits with good ones.
  • REPEAT your new, healthier eating habits.

Make a list of your eating and drinking habits. For a few days, keep a food and beverage diary. Make a list of everything you eat and drink, including sugary beverages and alcohol. Make a note of when you ate or drank the item. 

This will assist you in identifying your habits. You may discover, for example, that you always seek a sweet snack to get you through the mid-afternoon energy slump.

It’s important to remember how you felt when you decided to eat, especially if you ate when you weren’t hungry. 

Were you exhausted?

Are you stressed?

On your list, highlight the habits that may be causing you to overeat. The following are examples of common eating habits that can lead to weight gain:

  • Eating too quickly
  • You should always clean your plate.
  • Eating when one is not hungry
  • Standing up and eating
  • Dessert is always consumed.
  • Meal skipping

Consider the unhealthy eating habits you’ve identified. Ensure you have identified all the triggers that cause you to engage in those habits. Determine which ones you want to work on first.

By reviewing your food diary, make a list of cues to become more aware of when and where you’re triggered to eat for reasons other than hunger. Take note of how you typically feel at those times.

 Non-hunger eating is frequently prompted by an environmental cue or a specific emotional state. Common reasons for eating when not hungry include:

  • Seeing your favorite snack food when you open the cabinet.
  • At home, watching television.
  • Before or after a stressful work meeting or situation.
  • Coming home from work with no idea what to make for dinner.
  • Having someone offer you a dish that they made, especially for you!
  • I’m passing by a candy dish on the counter.

On your list, circle the cues that you face on a daily or weekly basis. While the Thanksgiving holiday may be a trigger for overeating, for the time being, focus on cues you encounter more frequently. 

Eventually, you’ll want a strategy for as many eating cues as possible.

For each cue you’ve circled, ask yourself the following questions:

Is there anything I can do to avoid the situation or the cue? This option is best for cues that do not involve other people. Could you, for example, take a different route to work to avoid stopping at a fast food restaurant on the way? Is there somewhere else in the break room where you can sit that isn’t right next to the vending machine?

Replace:

Replace bad habits with new, healthier ones. When you reflect on your eating habits, you may realize that you eat too quickly when you eat alone. So, commit to sharing lunch with a coworker once a week or having a neighbor over for dinner. Another tip is to rest your fork between bites. 

Distractions like these keep you from paying attention to how fast and how much you eat.

Slow down your eating. Eating too quickly may “clean your plate” rather than focusing on whether your hunger is satisfied.

Eat only when you are truly hungry, not when you are tired, anxious, or experiencing another emotion other than hunger. If you find yourself eating for reasons other than hunger, such as boredom or anxiety, try to replace it with a non-eating activity. A quick walk or phone call with a friend may help you feel better.

Plan your meals ahead of time to ensure a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Reinforce:

Habits take time to form. It does not occur overnight. When you engage in an unhealthy habit, stop immediately and ask yourself, “Why do I do this?” How long have I been doing this?

What modifications do I need to make? Be careful not to criticize yourself or believe one mistake ruins a day’s good habits. You’ve got this! It only takes a single day!

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