We all have an eating habit or two—some good and some bad. Many of these habits are deeply engrained in us, but that’s doesn’t mean that they’re not susceptible to change. If you want to kick your not-so-healthy eating habits to the curb, here’s how to make healthy changes in your eating habits. By following this simple, three-step process, you’ll be well on your way toward living a happier and healthier life.
Identify Your Habits
If you want to start changing your eating habits, you should start by acknowledging the habits you currently have. Maybe you always eat too fast, or you tend to eat when you’re not even hungry. If you don’t know what your habits are right off the bat, keeping a food diary for a couple of days will help you recognize and identify them.
Replace Bad Habits With Good Ones
Once you have a list of your existing habits, pick a few that you really want to focus on changing. Tackling too many things at once can quickly become overwhelming. After you’ve selected the habits you want to work on, start to formulate ways that you can replace them with better habits.
If you’re prone to eating when not hungry, figure out what causes you to want to eat despite your lack of hunger. Maybe it’s that you have your favorite snacks out in the open, and they’re way too tempting for you to resist. If this is the case, storing these snacks in a place that’s out of sight and hard to reach might help. If your drinking habits are starting to give you a bit of a beer belly, try replacing beers that are bad for your health with healthier ones. You can also start by reducing the number of drinks you have in a given day. If you normally have three drinks, reduce it to two. Once you get used to only having two a day, reduce it to one a day, then one every couple of days. Alternatively, you can swap the beer out for a different kind of drink.
Apply these same methods to any other habits you might have. If your first attempt at replacing these habits doesn’t work out, remember that you can always change the way you approach the issue! One method might not work, but that doesn’t mean none of them will.
Reinforce the Healthy Habits
The final step to making healthy changes in your eating habits involves a lot of positive reinforcement. It takes time to replace old habits, and that’s okay. You shouldn’t feel discouraged if you occasionally slip back into your old habits. When it happens, use the occasion as a learning experience. When and why did you turn back to your old habits? What changes can you make to discourage yourself from going back to your old habits again? As long as you persevere, you’re sure to succeed eventually!