Are you a weight watcher or a food fixer?
Most of us know the foods that are good for us – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein – as well as food that is bad for us. When weight watching some of us prefer to calorie count poor food choices, because this is the food we like. Others are open to examining what they eat, fixing their choices to better manage their weight and gain wider health benefits. Whichever group you count yourself in, the biggest challenge for the best chance of success is how to incorporate some healthier choices into our daily eating routines. Even small changes can bring big benefits.
Tips to help swap poor eating habits for better eating routines:
1. Become mindful: this is the practice of being fully aware of what’s happening within and around you in the moment. Apply this to food and what you are eating or planning to eat.
2. Make time to prepare a healthy meal. Cooking at home puts you in control, with home-cooked food tending to be far lower in fat, salt, and sugar than restaurant or most processed food.
3. Respect your hunger, which means you should eat as closely as possible to the time you feel hungry, but not starving. Don’t ignore your cravings; there is nothing to be guilty about in having a small piece of cake occasionally, but not as a daily routine. A favourite treat ban may leave you more likely to abandon your diet altogether and overindulge. Your food-life should not be an extreme struggle of willpower versus your cravings – it will crush you.
4. Keep a food diary. Many experts agree this can both make us more aware of what we are consuming and encourage us to eat fewer unhealthy foods. Several studies have shown food diaries promote successful sustained weight loss. Keeping a food diary increases your awareness of what, how much, and why you are eating. This can help you cut down on mindless munching. Food diaries are also great for helping to fix food choices, encouraging food substitutions that are tasty healthier choices.
Make eating real food Just Routine