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Breaking bad habits can be a difficult task at hand, but it is all in your mind. How do you perceive food, and do you have a reason to eat such things? Many people eat bad food because it feels good, but we should be eating food to fuel our bodies not to comfort our emotions and taste buds. On the flip side if you are craving something that you should only eat every once in a while then there is nothing wrong with treating yourself. Don’t over-treat yourself, portion control is the best habit to practice. We all know many of our bad eating habits may come from how we were raised. For example, your culture could play a role in your eating habits. The other components of bad eating habits can be because of work, stress, family, or lack of knowledge. And yes, I said family because this can play a major role in our diet. For example, moms have to cook for their families, and just because they chose to change their eating habits, sometimes it is not that easy to get the entire family on board.
Below I am going to list some things that can help you break your bad eating habits:
Food Journal: A food journal may seem time-consuming, but really it is not hard. In your journal you may include what you eat daily, and your goals. This will help you become mindful of what you are eating and hold yourself accountable. “Are you eating to fuel your body?” I would use my food journal not only to document what I eat, but I would write my grocery list and if I’m following a specific diet. I would document my cravings and how I’m feeling during my diet. This is my way of getting to know my body. Please do not skip doing a food journal it plays a vital role in breaking your bad eating habits”.
Making your own space for food: If you live with others this can be challenging but communication is key. In your kitchen designate a cabinet only for your food this will steer you away from seeing bad foods mixed with healthy food. The same goes for your refrigerator. The term “out of sight out of mind” really is true. If others you live with like to eat unhealthy food have them store it in a section of the house where you're unable to see it. For example, I tell my family to store theirs in the garage.
Cooking separate meals for yourself: When you have to cook for a family you may find it hard to cook something different for yourself, but don’t make it harder than it has to be. This is where knowledge comes into play. For example, if you made baked chicken, steamed veggies, and white rice. Have a smaller portion in carbs and a protein and load up on your vegetables. If you are able to make a healthier carb for yourself like boiled sweet potatoes then do it.
Portion Size: Eating big portions of food is a bad eating habit when we stack our plates with all the comfort food we love. We are eating to stretch our stomachs, which makes us have a larger appetite in the long run and then we eat more. Always eat small portions and add more vegetables than anything else to help keep yourself full.
Drink your water: Water is so essential for your body. Drinking lots of water can help you weigh less. It will help you not get hungry too often and you will intake less juice. Drinking water has so many benefits! It helps to flush toxins and bad food out of our systems so that we can weigh less, have clearer skin, and feel better!
Eat on time: Sometimes we can’t control the time we eat due to our busy schedules, that is why it is always important to have a small healthy snack or two stored in the car or in our bags. Snacking before your next meal will keep you from overeating and possibly eating the wrong things because you are so hungry. Always have a healthy snack between your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Try one new healthy recipe a week: This will help you slowly transition into making better food choices. This will teach you how simple it can be to make healthy meals and help you to be creative by making your own healthy dishes.
Read Books: Breaking your bad eating habits involves educating yourself and rewiring your brain and taste buds. The more you know, the more successful you will be at breaking your bad eating habits. Read books that teach you about nutrition and that also motivates you to break your bad eating habits. I will list some books below that can help you along your journey. Everything that I wrote I have done. Just remember that it takes time to break these habits. Take your time and don’t be so hard on yourself. One day you may not drink enough water or write in your food journal for the day and let that be okay. Just like how it took me some
time, it will take you some time as well. Lastly, always reward yourself for having a good week or month. Treat yourself, buy a new outfit, or dedicate some time for self-care.