Breaking bad eating habits

A better understanding of the effects of foods on your body will steer you towards healthier foods with less processed sugars, saturated fats, and easy-to-digest carbs. But planning to eat healthier and actually doing it are still two very different things. There will be moments that you fall back in your bad eating habits unless you put in some serious effort to break these habits once and for all.

Tip 1: Plan your meals ahead

It happens to everyone: you start the day out well with a healthy breakfast and for lunch you limit yourself to the things that are good for you while leaving the white rice on your plate and turning down the sweetened drinks. But near the end of the day something unplanned happens and you have no time to cook a decent meal. As a quick fix you make a stop at a fast food restaurant or buy an unhealthy pre-cooked meal at the supermarket on your way home. Of course you could not have foreseen this unexpected change of plans, but you could have prepared for it.

Instead of needing to improvise at the spot you could have prepared several healthy meals days or weeks earlier and stored them in your freezer. My freezer often has several food containers in the freezing compartment just for these cases where something unexpected happens. When I cook a healthy meal I often cook an extra portion that goes directly into a food container. It takes a little minimal amount of effort, and it comes in handy when I have no time to cook at a later moment.

Tip 2: Only go shopping with a shopping list, and stick to it!

Once you reach the supermarket there will be lots of temptations around you. The pizza’s you like so much are now in a promotion and you see a new taste of potato chips being offered for the first time. Or when you stand in line at the register you notice the wall of candy there and it is hard to not at least take one item for the appetite that is just coming up.

Instead of being exposed to all those temptations you should make a shopping list before you leave the house. Write down what you need, and how much you need. And once you are at the supermarket you can navigate simply to the places where the items you want are without having to go through the lane with cookies and snacks. If something is not on your list, you are not allowed to buy it. If you follow this strategy you will notice that you will stop eating unhealthy foods as you consciously decided not to buy them at him before you were tempted by the promotions or the nice looking packaging.

Tip 3: Do not get unhealthy stuff in your house

This tip is so simple that many people overlook it. They decide not to eat icecream anymore but still buy a tub to keep in the freezer “just in case”. And soon after buying it you will find yourself an excuse to open that tub and start eating it. This emotional eating, which can be triggered by being bored, mad, or sad, is easy to avoid by not having any unhealthy foods in house to start with. You are much likely to walk to the nearest supermarket for some icecream then to walk to your kitchen for it. So keep it as far away from you as possible.

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