Changing your eating habits is a positive lifestyle change that offers you many benefits. Of course, many people make the decision to eat a healthier diet to lose weight and look good. Others make this healthy lifestyle change because they want to live a healthier life for personal reasons, such as wanting to keep up with their kids or live long enough to see their great-grandchildren born. Whatever your reasons for making this healthy lifestyle change, you may need a little help getting on, or staying on track.
Waking up tomorrow morning and telling yourself you will never eat another unhealthy meal again may be possible for some, but for many it’s a difficult challenge. Health experts recommend making small changes to begin with, incorporating healthier foods into your meals and working your way up to a complete menu change. For example, rather than forgoing everything in your life all at once and ultimately feeling deprived and depressed within the first three hours, try a small change, such as skipping the sugar and cream in your coffee. Wait a few days or a week and make another change, such as limiting your carb-filled favorite meals to once or twice a week, replacing them with healthier meals. Continue making small changes until your body gets used to the changes and it becomes a habit.
Don’t Forget to Indulge
Nothing is worse than telling yourself you cannot have a Girl Scout cookie, winning your internal war for a week, and then succumbing to your craving by eating the entire box of thin mints – in addition to half a box of samoas. When you feel the need to indulge, do it. The key is to do it in moderation. Eat the Girl Scout cookies, but limit yourself to one or two. If it helps, keep junk food out of the house. Deprivation is never a good idea; moderation is.
Do Your Research
It’s easy to get rid of all the sweets in your house to prevent yourself from eating them, but sometimes you just want something sweet. Before you find yourself running to the corner gas station for a package of oreos and a soda, do your research. There are plenty of foods that are both sweet and filling that won’t make you feel guilty after eating them. Try keeping watermelon in the house, or dipping a few strawberries into dark chocolate – which health experts recommend for good skin, an improved mood, and prevention of heart disease – and snacking on those. Just keep in mind that even with its great health benefits, chocolate is still high in saturated fat and sugar, which means you should limit your intake to less than three ounces per day.