If you have made a commitment to increasing your physical activity, a natural next step is to look at your eating habits. When it comes to eating, we have strong habits. Some are good (“I always eat breakfast”), and some are not so good (“I always clean my plate”). Permanently improving your eating habits requires a thoughtful approach in which you Reflect, Replace, and Reinforce.
- REFLECT on all of your specific eating habits, both bad and good; and, your common triggers for unhealthy eating.
- Create a list of your eating habits. What you eat, when you eat, where you eat and are there common feelings that lead you to eat.
- Highlight the habits on your list that may be leading you to overeat or make unhealthy choices.
- Create a list of “cues” to become more aware of when and where you’re “triggered” to eat for reasons other than hunger.
- REPLACE your unhealthy eating habits with healthier ones. Don’t change everything you identified that could be improved. Choose one or two habits to change at a time so you are not overwhelmed with the changes. Plan your shopping list and your meals ahead of time to ensure that you eat a healthy well-balanced meal.
- REINFORCE your new, healthier eating habits and be patient with yourself. Habits take time to develop. It doesn’t happen overnight. If you slip back into your old habits, don’t give up, just begin again.