It is so essential to develop good eating habits. Eating well helps us to maintain our weight, gives us more energy, gives us healthier skin, helps with better digestion, helps us get better sleep, and helps to prevent some serious health issues.
But most of us have a hard time developing good eating habits. Some of us don’t know where to start. Some of us have a hard time fitting it into our lives or sticking to it once we’ve committed. Some of us like the taste of the bad stuff too much.
No matter what our excuses, that doesn’t negate the importance of eating healthy. With all of the benefits we are there waiting for us, we have to do it. It all starts with developing habits. Once you’re able to create the habits of eating healthy, you will be able to see all of those benefits start pouring into your life (as well as a lot of weight, health issues, fatigue, etc. leave your life).
Here are five steps to help you develop good eating habits:
1. Educate yourself
To be able to have good eating habits, you have to know what is good! Not just what tastes good. But what is good for your body. You have to know what foods will bring you nourishment, and which ones will bring you harm and get in the way of your goals. So, educate yourself. Read books and blogs. Talk to friends or family who know about nutrition. You can even take a nutrition course. Either way, put in the work to understand what is right for your body and what is wrong. That is the only way you will know how to make the right eating decisions.
2. Set goals
You have to know where you are trying to go and what you need to do to get there. So, set goals for yourself. Set long term goals of what you are trying to accomplish. Then, set more short term, daily goals that will help you get there. Once you set those goals, stick to them.
3. Find healthy things you like
There is no reason why eating healthy needs to be painful. There is no need to force yourself to eat something that you hate. Don’t torture yourself here! There are so many healthy foods out there. You should be able to find plenty of healthy foods that you enjoy. Start with those. Make this an enjoyable process for yourself.
As you do this, you will start to find even more motivation to eat healthily as you see the results coming in. Also, your taste buds will begin to adjust to these healthier foods. As this happens, try to branch out more. With your new motivation and new love of healthy eating, you might find that you can enjoy some of the healthy foods that you used to dislike.
Preparation is vital when it comes to eating healthy. You can have all of the good intentions in the world, but those can get squashed very quickly when you have nothing to eat for lunch, and there’s a McDonalds across the street. Or if you get home from work and you’re starving, and the only thing in your pantry is a bag of Doritos. So, prepare! Make it easy on yourself to eat well. Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods that you enjoy. Pack yourself healthy lunches the night before so you can grab it on your way out the door. If you have a busy schedule, create healthy meals on the weekend that you can eat throughout the week. If you are going to go out to eat, do some research beforehand and find a place that will have healthy options for you.
5. Be realistic
Now here comes the hard part. You must be realistic! When you’re so excited to eat healthy, you may get a bit too enthusiastic. That can be a great thing. If you can sustain it. When you’re setting your goals, be rational. Don’t fill your plans with too many things that you know you can’t achieve. If it’s your personality to go full-force, then go for it! But if you need to ease your way in, that is okay too.
Also, be forgiving with yourself. If you have one too many ice cream sundaes or French fries one day or week, forgive yourself. Reevaluate, learn from your mistakes, and move on. Just be happy with yourself for doing something. Make sure that each day you do a bit better than you did yesterday. Give yourself credit for the progress you’re making and will continue to make.