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How to Improve your Eating Habits

The foods you eat have big effects on your health and quality of life. Healthy eating is essential for maintaining proper body function and goes a long way towards living disease-free. If you struggle with healthy eating, then you know that breaking these habits can be the most challenging part of the process.

Although eating healthy can be fairly simple, the rise in popular "diets" and dieting trends has caused confusion. In fact, these trends often distract from the basic nutrition principles that are most important.

Ditch Perfection And Embrace Reality

As a society, we tend to have a misconception that physical appearance is a key indicator of health, and it’s just not true.

Any time food (whether the lack of it, the excess of it, or even the utmost healthiest versions of it) starts to control every aspect of our lives, we are no longer the ones in control.

Let’s get back to appreciating food for nourishing our bodies. And let’s enjoy the foods we love in moderation instead of cutting them out completely. A healthy lifestyle is about progress, not perfection.

Educate Yourself On the Best Diet For You

Here's a great rule to live by: If you can't see yourself on this diet in one, two or three years, then it's not right for you.

Far too often, people go on extreme diets they can't maintain, which means they never actually develop long-term, healthy eating habits.

There are some frightening weight gain statistics showing that most people regain all the weight they lost soon after attempting a weight loss diet.

As always, balance is key. Unless you have a specific disease or dietary requirement, no food needs to be off limits forever. By totally eliminating certain foods, you may actually increase cravings and decrease long-term success.

Basing 90% of your diet on whole foods and eating smaller portions will allow you to enjoy treats occasionally yet still achieve excellent health.

Approach The Table with Intention

Eating has become a mindless act, often done quickly. This can be problematic, since it takes your brain up to 20 minutes to realize you’re full.

By eating mindfully, you restore your attention and slow down, making eating an intentional act instead of an automatic one.

Try to eat slowly, chew thoroughly, eliminate distractions by turning off the TV and putting down your phone, eat in silence, focus on how the food makes you feel, stop eating when you’re full, ask yourself why you’re eating, whether you’re truly hungry, and whether the food you chose is healthy.

Mindful eating takes practice, to begin with, it’s a good idea to pick one meal per day, once you have the hang of it, mindfulness will become more natural. Then you can focus on implementing these habits into more meals.

Change Your Relationship With Food

Anything from work stress to financial worries, health issues to relationship struggles may cause emotional eating.

Negative emotions may lead to a feeling of emptiness or an emotional void. Food is believed to be a way to fill that void and create a false feeling of fullness or temporary wholeness.

Finding other ways to cope with negative emotions is often the first step toward overcoming emotional eating. This could mean writing in a journal, reading a book, or finding a few minutes to otherwise relax and decompress from the day.

It takes time to shift your mindset from reaching for food to engaging in other forms of stress relief, so experiment with a variety of activities to find what works for you.

Need Healthy Snack Ideas? Check my suggestions Here

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