6 Steps to Changing Bad Eating Habits
How to overcome unhealthy habits that are keeping you from losing weight and getting fit.
6 Steps to Fix Bad Eating Habits continued...
2. Become More Mindful. One of the first steps toward
conquering bad eating habits is paying more attention to what you're eating and
drinking. "Read food labels, become familiar with lists of ingredients, and
start to take notice of everything you put into your mouth," says Gans.
Once you become more aware of what you're eating, you'll start to realize how
you need to improve your diet. Some people benefit by keeping food diaries.
3. Make a Plan; Be Specific. How are you going to start eating
more fruit, having breakfast every day, or getting to the gym more often?
Spell out your options. For example: Plan to take a piece of fruit to work
every day for snacks, stock up on cereal and fruit for quick breakfasts, and go
to the gym on the way to work three times a week. "To say 'I am going to
work out more,' won't help you," says Gans. "What will help is thinking
about when and how you can fit it into your lifestyle."
4. Tackle a New Mini-Goal Each Week. These mini-steps will eventually
add up to major change. For example, if your goal is to eat more vegetables,
tell yourself you'll try one new veggie each week until you find some you
really enjoy. Or look for easy ways to add one more serving of vegetables to
your diet each week until you reach your goal. Try topping your lunch sandwich
with slices of cucumbers; adding shredded carrots to the muffins you have for
breakfast; or topping your dinnertime pizza with sun-dried tomatoes and
5. Be Realistic. Don't expect too much from yourself too
soon. It takes about a month for any new action to become habit. Slow and
steady wins the race -- along with a dose of vigilance.
6. Practice Stress Management. "Focus on dealing with
stress through exercise, relaxation, meditation, or whatever works for you, so you don't
fall back into those bad habits during periods of stress or use food to help
you cope with the situation," advises Foreyt.