For many of us, our eating habits and the foods we choose to consume, form part of our daily routine, which if ingrained, can be hard to change. This is especially so, if you have been eating the same diet and food for many years and feel comforted by your current approach! If you are seeking a change, but don’t know where to start, here are some important things to consider before swapping your eating habits.
Understand your why
It’s important to be clear on the reason/s we are seeking change. If we aren’t clear on the why, when the going gets tough, we are more likely to fall off the wagon, so to speak. Each time you are tempted to give up (because it will happen!) think back to why you made a change in the first place and keep this in close focus as motivation to get back on track.
Have a plan
Having a plan is crucial when it comes to sustainable change. If we simply say to ourselves that we want to eat better but do not define what this looks like for us, we aren’t going to get far. Sit down and write out what changes you want to make and how you are going to make them as a first step.
It’s usually best to initially make small changes on a regular basis as opposed to entirely overhauling your diet all at once. An example of this is, starting to eat breakfast daily if you usually skip breakfast only to graze your way through mid morning until lunch on unhealthy snacks. Another goal would be to drink adequate water daily to maintain hydration, regulate appetite and improve concentration. Start with easily achievable goals and once you have these down pat, implement a new change and so on.
If you are very serious about change and have a poor track record of sticking to healthy eating, enlist the help of others. This could be telling a family member or close friend of your plans or even making changes with a friend. Alternatively, seek the assistance of a health care practitioner and schedule in regular appointments until you have a good routine in place.
Do an audit of your kitchen
Having the right equipment to create and store the food we aim to eat when changing our diet is an important part of the process but often neglected. For example, if smoothies will be on your meal plan but you don’t have a blender or food processor, this can create a barrier. Make a list of equipment you will need and go out and buy it, don’t forget to include an array of glass or BPA free containers to store foods in.
Where am I getting my information from?
Finally, we are inundated day to day with health and nutrition information and it’s important to be able to sort the fact from fiction. If you have been inspired to change your diet due to the story of someone else reported via social media, take a step back and make sure you are getting your information from a reliable source. What works for one does not work for all, so be selective in the advice you are following.
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