Around this time every year, it’s common to hear about people changing their eating habits in an effort to lose weight, or simply attain a healthier lifestyle.
The problem: Many fad diets cause people to crash and burn and give up on their goals long before they begin to see results.
At Pure Modern Living, we believe in safely and naturally adjusting eating habits in order to accomplish your health or weight loss goals. In fact, simply resetting a few of your eating habits to establish better routines often proves most effective when it comes to making lifelong changes to how you eat.
What changes can you make to establish better eating habits for the New Year? Keep reading to find out…
Tip #1 - Keep a Food Journal
Many of us overeat because we simply aren’t paying attention to what we’re eating.
Think about it…
How many times have you sat on the couch and ate an entire bag of chips simply because you weren’t paying attention? Or, how many times have you grabbed a small piece of chocolate out of a treat jar, only to realize you’ve eaten 8 Reese’s peanut butter cups in just a few hours?
Being mindful of what we put into our bodies is the first step and keeping a food journal can help you keep track of it.
Everytime you eat something, write it down. Doing so will help you keep track of how much you’re eating as well as what you’re eating.
Tip #2 - Drink a Glass of Water Before Enjoying a Snack
Let’s be honest...we all have fallen victim to boredom eating at least once in our life.
This happens because food is like a drug to our body. It releases feel good chemicals when we eat. When we are bored, our body craves a release of dopamine to feel good again, therefore our brain tricks us into thinking we are hungry.
In fact, GuidingTech says this about eating when bored...
“Many foods do contribute to an increase in dopamine production, but it’s junk food that gives us that dopamine spike we so desire when bored. These foods are specifically designed with this in mind: the salty, sugar, fatty goodness evokes a feeling of reward. In fact, this logic can also be applied to emotional eating, i.e. why some people eat an entire tub of ice cream when sad.”
Drinking a glass of water is a great way to test if you’re truly hungry or not and can help break this cycle.
Hypothetically, if you’re not actually hungry, drinking water will fill you up to the point you’re not craving food anymore. If you are truly hungry, your body will still “ask” to be fed.
Tip #3 - Clear Out Your Pantry
Changing your eating habits is an adjustment as we get accustomed to eating specific foods. In fact, we can actually develop addictions to different products, especially foods that are high in sugar.
Knowing this, the best way to reset your eating habits is by eliminating all the “bad” stuff out of your pantry.
If it’s not on the shelf, than you can’t grab is whenever a craving arises--it’s as simple as that!
After you’ve cleaned out your pantry, be mindful when you’re shopping to not bring the foods that tempt you back into your home. Instead, stock your fridge with healthy snacks like fruit or pepper slices.
Tip #4 - Take a Probiotic
When your body is lacking nutrients, your body had a natural instinct to eat more frequently to replenish whatever nutrient is missing.
The problem: so many foods (especially processed items) don’t have the vitamins and minerals our bodies crave.
So, what do probiotics have to do with missing nutrients?
Probiotics help nurture healthy gut systems. And, healthy gut systems better absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. When your body is getting more of what it needs, it’s desire to consume additional nutrients decreases.
Overall, healing your gut can help you more quickly shed excess weight and most importantly maintain a healthier body.
Tip #5 - Switch to Smaller, More Frequent Meals
Last but not least, switching up how you eat your daily meals can help you form better eating habits.
Eating 3 large meals during the day is standard for most people, but it's not always the best for your body.
First and foremost, if you abstain from eating during the day and wait for larger meals, you tend to overeat during meal times. Think about it…how many times have you been so hungry that you’ve eaten two or three helpings just to quench your hunger?
Second, when you’re hungry your blood sugar begins to drop. When this happens, we often crave unhealthy foods that are high in sugar. It’s a natural response as our body is looking for a faster way to regulate blood sugar levels.
Snacking on unhealthy foods between meals is just as bad as overeating during meal times.
The solution: Turn your three meals into 6 smaller meals that you eat throughout the day.
Doing so will keep you fuller during the day, lessen your cravings, and keep your blood sugar levels better regulated. It will also ensure that you’re eating quality foods (as long as you’re cooking healthy meals) instead of snacking on junk food throughout the day.
Adopting healthier eating habits doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon of trying crazy crash diets or getting rid of all your favorite foods. It’s as simple as making a few days changes while being mindful of your eating habits so you can live a happy, healthy life.
Best of luck!