Before we even start to explore the very topic of this blog today, let me ask you this. If you had ice cream sitting in the freezer, would you be able to resist the temptation to eat it or would you give in?
Well…. I wouldn’t be able to resist.
This feeling of not being able to control yourself around certain foods can be tough.. See, It’s because there is a trigger and no this cannot be controlled with will power alone.
Sure will power is helpful and we can all do with a large dose of it from time to time – but firmly believing that either you have will power or you don’t is super limiting and this kind of thinking sets you up for failure before you even begin to work on your goals to break bad eating habits.
The first thing you need to work on are your expectations. You need to come to an understanding with yourself that will power is not the only thing that is going to give you a fighting chance when it comes to some bad food habits.
If you put ice cream in the freezer, and ice cream is one of those things that you can’t resist – then you will eat it. If its cookies in the pantry, or soda on the shelf… whatever your poison is, if it is readily accessible you are already setting yourself up for failure and a painful time even if you do succeed. Yes, there are a few who are strong enough to resist these food temptations but for the most of us, new habits need to be formed, our food choices need to change and only then, we won’t have to struggle every time. Let’s face it, when has depriving yourself of something you want ever worked! It doesn’t and only leads to future failing!
What do I mean?
The goal should always be to replace old Bad Habits with new better ones. Because habits are a part of us, they help us function and operate as an extension of who we are, they’re encoded in us and are never really going to go away unless we really acknowledge them, and start working on adopting new ones.
But this is something that is easier than done. You can’t just expect yourself to form a new habit overnight. It will be process – an approach that will take time, discipline and eventually become a part of how you do life.
However, you must first identify the bad habits that don’t serve you.. Understand the cues and triggers for these bad habits and decide on the changes you need to make in your life, environment and choices to slowly bring better habits into your day..
If you have every failed at breaking bad habits then reading this can likely cause some anxiety. It is not easy people! However, I did my research, failed myself a few times, but then learned that by changing only a few major things in my life, I now have a fighting chance at consciously making decisions about my food, and I also feel good about it too! Not like I am hanging on the edge or like I go without! These are my top tips for breaking bad eating habits:
Tip#1 – Getting Rid Of Temptation
The first thing you need to do is get rid of all the bad, sugary foods that are in your house, or office, or at your desk. If you don’t have them in the house, you won’t be able to eat them!.
But that’s not all the clearing house you need to do. How many of you are following different food accounts on social? And every time you are scrolling down your feed, you come across something that looks super tasty… watch out, these image will trigger you and erode the best of intentions.
I know this doesn’t sound like much but if you really want to get rid of temptations from your life then you must unfollow all food accounts to rid yourself of all things associated with your bad eating habits.
# 2 – Stop Eating On The Run
The second thing that really does work, and I you would have heard it before is to plan out your food… yep, make the meal plan, it’s a lot more powerful than you realize. . If you have a job that keeps you moving, it is best if you have meals prepared for yourself that you can eat on the go. If you are going to be late coming back from work, it’s better if you get the dinner prep going before you leave for working in the morning. The idea is to plan out your meals according to your schedule so that you don’t have to rely on eating whatever you can get your hands on when you get the time. Being hungry while you’re deciding on what to eat is never a good idea. In this case, organization is key people.
#3 – Stop Eating Packaged Foods
Another bad habit that is something to notice, is to stop eating out of packages. Foods that are packaged are prepared to last and will contain ingredients that are not too beneficial for your body. Preservatives, stabilizing agents, and things that are not in fact food at all. So a wise choice will be to take control of what you eat and start cooking meals for yourself. If it wasn’t alive then its not a food! Try shopping only on the out skirts of the grocery store. Stay away from the isles. Get into the habit of reading the labels on your food if you do buy packages. This way you will have control over what goes into your body and you will start noticing what you eat, and educating yourself on what goes into things that are sold to us as “food” but are really not in fact food at all..
Tip#4 – Avoid Mindless Munching
Most of us have this bad habit of munching on food when we’re watching tv or doing some work or even reading a book. It’s something we don’t even notice at all. However, this is one of those bad eating habits that you need to notice quickly.
Instead what you should do is try and manage your portions at every meal. This way you will not only able to control the amount of food you take in but also be able to mix things up with all the right whole food ingredients like some healthy protein, complex carbs and lots of good fats. People don’t eat enough healthy fat, we are scared of “fat” and depriving yourself of the fats your body needs creates hunger, lethagy, brain fog and sugar cravings. Be sure to add in cold pressed oils, nuts, butter, red meats (or other good sources if you’re vegan or veggie) , fish and things like avocados. These foods will keep you full and satisfied so you can avoid the mindless munching throughout the day.
Tip #5 – Change Your Mindset
One of the most important changes you’re going to have to make is changing your mindset. It’s okay to have limitations, it’s okay to even fail but your mindset needs to always point you in the right direction.
You must understand your body’s requirements, you must understand your relationship with food. Whether you’re an emotional eater or do you eat whenever you’re hungry or do you eat whenever you get the time.
Once you have a clear idea for some of these things, then you can map out what you need and start devising a plan that will work for you. Above everything else be kind to yourself, it is hard to change, forgive yourself when you mess up. Don’t have an all or nothing mentality, step it out, one day at a time. Remember change happens over time, and celebrate your wins!
Breaking bad habits and making new ones is easier said than done and won’t just happen overnight. But taking these small steps towards a healthier lifestyle is just the beginning. The key is to remain focused and determined. It’s a long game, but well worth it!
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