10 Ways to Change Your Eating Habits

by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Published on September 4, 2019

So you are unhappy with your current weight or you just can’t resist the cravings for unhealthy food. Maybe you have tried to change your diet many times in the past and yet here you are with similar results, more or less. Don’t lose faith. Sometimes it takes several tedious failed attempts to actually achieve the goal. And when you do finally achieve it, it will feel glorious.

Just by reading this, you have already made the first step to a clean diet. And in time, your effort will pay off. You are in the right place to learn more about dieting and cleaning up your eating regimen.

This article aims to give you easy to follow and effective ways to transform your diet into a much healthier one in a short time interval. Of course, your weight won’t change overnight, that process is gradual. But your way of thinking about dieting and your actual diet can change overnight. And that is something to celebrate.

Sit back, relax and read thoroughly through the information below.

Healthy eating tips that can change your life

Below are listed the 10 most useful tips that will help you on your journey. We have carefully crafted this list and put in all of the information you will ever need when it comes to proper and clean dieting. If you go by these rules, you will be able to push through even in the hardest and most tempting of times, as having a guide to follow always brings results.

Change the way you think about food

The first thing to do is to adopt a different view of food. Perhaps much different than the one you have right now. Most people think of food as just that thing you have to consume in order to survive and sometimes find comfort while consuming it. While this is true, most of us miss out on the perhaps most important thing there is to be understood about food; food is a building block.

We have to stop thinking about food in one dimension; meaning that we see food only until we consume it and therefore don’t care about it after it has been consumed. We have to learn to think a step ahead and objectively decide if something is good enough to enter our system beyond how good it might taste.

When we think of food in a way such as this, we can perhaps ask ourselves before we eat something if we want it to become a part of us.

Eat the healthy versions of your favorite meals

Just because you have decided to change your lifestyle into a healthy one, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy good food. In fact, the healthier your diet, the tastier the food (1).

There is this common false belief that healthy people eat food that isn’t tasty. They couldn’t be more wrong.

You can still enjoy most of the foods you are already eating and loving, but with a small twist. For instance, instead of eating french fries you can eat mashed potatoes. Instead of deep fried chicken wings, you could have a beautiful chicken breast with some tasty sauce on top. And the list just goes on.

See, there are many ways to prepare food in healthier ways and yet keep it tasty. And when you know a tasty dinner is waiting for you, you will look forward to it. This way you will have a much better experience with the food you eat.

Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure you always have options. It is much easier to make a mistake and eat something unhealthy when you don’t have a better version of it in your home. A surprising statistic is that people have stronger willpower than we actually believe. Statistically, the larger number of people make poor food choices simply due to their limited choices and the smaller number due to having no discipline.

This is why having a full fridge with good options is vital for your journey.

Don’t overeat

Now that we have gotten the first two out of the way, we can focus on the more practical ones.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to calories. Don’t stress too much about ratios (2).

Of course, if you eat a portion of chicken breast, you will consume notably fewer calories than the same sized portion of deep fried wings. But even so, that does not mean you should overindulge into the healthy foods. You have to learn to eat just the right amounts (3). This is not something that can be achieved easily overnight, But with work, it can become the norm.

Most of us keep eating when our stomach has had just enough food. This is because of a phenomenon where the sync between the brain and the body has a slight delay. That means that while you might have consumed enough food, your brain is late to the party and thinks that you need to eat more.

To counter this, you can measure your portions or simply eat slower as to give your brain more time to react and tell you that you have had enough.

Although this takes time, it is extremely useful and can help you quite a lot in the long run. After you have learned to listen to your body, you will realize the actual benefit of being in touch with yourself.

Have at least one snack per day

Snacks are a secret weapon that often gets overlooked.

When you feel like you have to eat something, it is much better to eat a small snack which will postpone your hunger until the time for the next meal comes, rather than overeating and ending up with a confused metabolism. Even worse, when you count the actual calories, it will be like you have had an extra lunch.

As we have said, to tackle overindulging when very hungry, do not be afraid to have a small snack. Studies have shown that snacks help lose weight in the long run as they let you prolong the time frame between main meals (4).

There are many healthy and tasty snacks out there such as bars or simply fruit.

Don’t be too strict on yourself

You don’t need to be a math guru to know that it is much more beneficial to allow yourself chocolate in small portions once a day than depriving yourself and then going all out and eating full chocolate in a few minutes.

It is very important to not deprive yourself of small treats. A great thing to do is to reward yourself with good treats and look forward to them. Many people do deprive themselves and eventually give in to the cravings, and make a terrible dieting decision that throws their metabolism off the charts.

Your best bet is dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa but there are many other healthy treats out there. It has been proved to help with focus and nurture the brain.

Keep track of your success in order to motivate yourself

Although the main goal should be being healthy and losing weight just a byproduct of that, keeping track of your weight loss, can be very motivating. No matter how small the loss, it will push you and make you willing to become even better than you already are.

But weight is not the only factor. You are finally getting better at resisting urges for junk food? Great. That is a success. Has it been a month and you have grown used to your new way of eating? Amazing. That is a success as well.

You should learn to recognize your improvements in everything and use them for motivation. Many people use weight loss as a major driving force in their diet.

Start small and gradually increase

It is quite normal to initially be intimidated by everything and we understand you completely. That is exactly why we want to encourage you to start small and slowly push out of your comfort zone.

If you still cannot give up some food that is not necessarily healthy, that is okay. Find a different thing that you can exclude from your diet and make room for healthy things. Even if you only decide to eat one healthy meal per day, that is still better than no healthy meals.

If you start with one healthy meal a day and afterward two, and then eventually three, when you look back, you will see a gradual increase and an expansion of your comfort zone.

Make sure you sleep enough

While this might seem like quite a distant point when it comes to dieting, sleep has been correlated with our metabolism and plays a major part in our food consumption as well (5).

6-9 hours is a good rule of thumb. Make sure you don’t sleep less than 6 or more than 9. In time you will be able to find that sweet spot and take charge of your sleep regimen.

After you have established a good sleeping pattern, you will be able to reap the benefits.

To explain further, you need to make sure the time between meals is always in proportion and never let for too many hours to pass as this will make it harder on you in the long run.

Become friendly with water

Apart from being essential to our lives, water is a very good beverage to drink. Not only does water nurture your metabolism, but it also helps you postpone meals. Quite a similar effect as snacks. Have you ever thought you were hungry but then after you drank a glass of water, you felt like you could go a bit more without eating? That is because we sometimes mistake thirst for hunger. When we are properly hydrated, we are more mindful of the state of our body. Especially with hunger.

Water will always be better than soda or any other beverages such as juice. So make sure you consume water daily and in healthy amounts (6).

Do make sure you don’t drink water right after eating because that will slow down digestion and is going to make you feel heavy.

Eat off smaller plates

This trick will make your brain think that you are eating more food as the plate will look much fuller. It is great for starting out but you can use it forever. In this article, we have talked about the brain and the body, and we think this idea of making yourself think you have more to eat is very beneficial and quite easy to utilize. Although it might sound a bit silly, this method is tested and truly works (7). Sometimes we have to trick our body in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Conclusion

We have presented you with some of the best information out there. It is up to you to use it wisely and utilize and incorporate it into your new healthy lifestyle.

Whether you are just starting out or it is your first time dieting, this guide will be of great help on your journey.

Always keep in mind that failures are only there to motivate us to do more. Stay strong and don’t give up. Not even when it is the hardest. By doing so, you will achieve goals you never thought possible.

There is no short way to a healthy lifestyle or losing weight. It is a long process from which we learn and improve. By starting small and making baby steps, we can eventually reach new peaks that we have never reached before.

References

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5719018/
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763382/
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4760881/
(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27184274
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK20359/
(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5598018/

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