Habits are hard to change, especially nutrition habits. Food is so important in our lives! We eat multiple times a day and there are many decisions involving food. We often do many of the wrong things when trying to change our nutrition habits.
Here are the top 5 Nutrition Habits you should avoid this year.
5. Don’t ban your favorite foods.
Make peace with your favorites. It may be appropriate to ban them for a time, but don’t write them off forever. Many times telling yourself you can never have another treat again causes over eating, feelings of deprivation, and ultimately feelings of failure and guilt.
A Nutrition Habit to include: try an alternative food to satisfy your craving instead of your favorite, or it that doesn’t cut it, try a small but reasonable portion of your favorite.
4. Don’t overdo the “health foods.”
Just because it is in the “healthy” section of your favorite grocery store doesn’t mean it is actually healthy. Health foods are often marketed based on a trend, but they might miss the mark when trying to meet the definition of healthy.
A Nutrition Habit to include: Remember to focus on eating more whole and fresh foods. Foods made with artificial sweeteners or foods that are “low-fat” are often one of the worst choices. Balance, variety, and moderation are key components to a truly healthy diet.
3. Don’t eat to deal with your emotions.
We often get into trouble when we let our emotions guide our food choices. We like to eat to celebrate–all the things! We eat when we are sad, lonely, overwhelmed, stressed, and so many more! Don’t discount your emotions, but don’t eat in response to them either.
A Nutrition Habit to include: Work on paying attention to your hunger. Try to eat when you are hungry. Stop eating when you are full. Learning to eat based on hunger is a challenge, but with practice you can learn how to do it well!
2. Don’t be unrealistic with your expectations.
Changing habits takes effort, especially when it comes to what you eat. When results are not exactly what you expect, avoid being upset, angry, or feeling like you have failed.
A Nutrition Habit to include: Take this moment to re-evaluate. You may simply need to readjust your goals and make them more realistic. Pick a day each week to brainstorm possible goals, make them specific, and then choose the ones you feel confident you can make. Start small and build on successes. Habits take time to establish. Be patient with yourself!
1. Don’t do it all by yourself.
Support is key in being successful in any type of change, but especially in changes involving your health. It is tempting to try to do it all on your own, but this is often why we fail. Make sure you have an encouraging friend, a helpful spouse, and maybe a nutrition or exercise buddy. Just be careful that if your support fails you, that you don’t give up. Continue on in your progress by finding other helpful support. You may want to consider a professional Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist to help guide you in your journey. A helpful support team is so important when you are trying to make changes that will last.
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