1. Don’t call food “healthy”
While there is a small segment of the population that does not react negatively to the word “healthy,” most of us assume healthy food tastes worse and is less filling. Ironically, this is true whether or not the food is actually healthy.
2. Sleep and eat at the same times each day
Our brains have built-in clocks that do their best to predict our behavior and make sure our bodies are ready for things like sleeping and eating. It does this by regulating hormones that control hunger, satiety, alertness, sleepiness, and all the other things we do on a daily basis.
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Photo: Courtesy of Darya Rose
3. Find healthy behaviors you enjoy
One of the reasons typical restrictive diets fail is because they rely heavily on willpower, which tends to be tapped at the end of the day. Building healthy habits that last long enough to be meaningful requires a different strategy.
4. Track your progress
It is hard to know which of your behaviors are helping and which are not if you don’t have a good understanding of what you’re doing each day and how it affects you. Keeping a food journal allows you to identify patterns in your eating habits and find things you can easily change to improve your health.
5. Learn to eat mindfully
Mindful eating is a practice that involves removing outside distractions and focusing solely on the food that you’re eating. Though it may seem obvious that eating mindlessly is a bad idea, mindfulness can actually be practiced and cultivated until it becomes a habit that can help you eat better and be satisfied with less.
While there are many ways to develop the habit of mindful eating, doing things like chewing each bite
of food 25 times, putting your fork down between bites, turning off the TV, and eating your first bite with your eyes closed can help get you started.
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