It can be difficult to break your existing eating habits and change your diet to something healthier. Our brains are wired for foods higher in salt, fat, and sugar. If we've been eating these for a while, it's easy to reach for those foods. How do we make the transition?
Become aware of eating habits
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In the beginning, it's going to be really tough to break the old eating habits. That's ok! You might find yourself reaching for unhealthier food out of habit rather than out of hunger. This will take time to change. Recognize that this change is as much about becoming aware of the old habits as it is about changing them and incorporating new ones.
Charge up your willpower!
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It will take some willpower to eat healthier. You will need to put more conscious thought and effort into stopping your old habits and making healthier choices. To maintain your willpower, change one habit at a time. By doing this, you will be able to focus your efforts on that one habit and do it well. Make sure you recognize your wins and accept your setbacks as well. Don't beat yourself up if you fall! Staying positive will help you maintain the willpower. Reward yourself strategically to maintain your willpower, and listen to your body. Start reading how much willpower you have and need to make the changes you desire.
Begin with small changes
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Small changes mean you can keep going about your day as usual without much more effort. You can keep enjoying most of the food you eat even as you gradually phase some of it out. Just like compound interest in your bank account, those changes will compound on a regular basis. Soon, you'll be eating healthier with less effort and see the changes to your health that you want to see!
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It's natural to feel anxious and intimidated by the change you're trying to make. You might have an idea of where you want to go, but you don't quite know how or where to go next. Changing these habits day to day can also be difficult. Remember to congratulate yourself on having the courage to take these steps! They're definitely not easy.
Breathe. Let yourself pause to get your bearings. You are taking your body through a change. It may not always feel fun, and that's ok too. Accept that even as you remind yourself of where you want to be.
Find the Easy Changes
As you make the transition, some of the changes will be tougher to make and some will be easier. Keep note of these. As you continue in your journey, you can structure the changes to make your journey easier. Rough day today? Ease up on a tougher habit. Feeling up to more of a challenge? Ramp up the intensity on a tougher habit.
Also make it a point to find the habits that lead to the most change or satisfaction. You can use these to make the day or week feel better as you change your habits and see the results.