If there is one thing I have noticed in my time working with women on improving their health and well-being over the 5 years, it is the overwhelming sense of confusion they feel around food and making the correct food choices. Meal time actually doesn’t need to be so complicated or confusing; there are really just 5 habits that we need to have in order to eat a balanced and healthy diet.
When it comes to habits, research says it takes twenty-one days to implement a new habit. This doesn’t sound like such a long time, but we seem to find it very hard to focus on only one habit at a time. When we make the decision to change our lifestyle, we often want to change many things at the same time. But when we start to dwell on all of the bad habits we want to change into good habits it can get very overwhelming.
Turn Around Your Bad Habits
So the first thing you need to do, is to set aside about 20 minutes some time in the next day or so, to create a list of habits you want to add in or take out of your life. Then prioritise them in order of importance. And then, choose just ONE habit which will be the one you will work on for 21 days, integrating it into your life so it becomes natural.
Behavioural Habit Goals
Create a list of three behavioural goals you will implement over the course of the next six weeks. Focus each goal on one behaviour you need to either extinguish or add into your life.
Change Your Eating Habits
When it comes to changing your eating habits, it is important that you start to form healthier eating habits that enable you to make better food choices. It needs to feel like second nature to choose the healthy option, and then you won’t feel deprived or be likely to binge.
In order to develop better eating habits there are five questions you can ask yourself before every meal.
- When did you last eat? If it’s been longer then 2–4 hours, it’s time to eat, so that you don’t overeat when you finally get the chance to eat.
- Where is the complete protein? Does your meal include a portion of lean protein? If not, find a lean protein source such as lean meat, fish, or a combination of grain and legume.
- Where are the veggies (preferably green ones)? Does your meal or snack include at least a cup raw or half a cup of cooked vegetables? Have them steamed or stir fried preferably, but make sure you have at least five servings per day.
- Where are the carbs? If you have fat to lose, make sure that the carbs you are choosing are high-fiber, low-sugar carbs. Choose beans or lentils instead of bread, rice, pasta or potatoes.
- Where are your fats coming from? Get your fats from mono-unsaturated sources such as olive oil, olives, avocado, and even chia or flaxseeds. You need to have a modest amount of fat throughout your day. They are essential for your health and also help to keep you feeling satisfied.
Free 5 Eating Habits Checklist
To help you to focus on these five eating habits, I have created for you a printable PDF cheat sheet which you can stick on the fridge, keep in your diary or post somewhere that you can easily see it every day. You can download the cheat sheet here.
I hope that these tips will really help you to change your behavioural and eating habits so that you can start to feel great. If you want to have more motivation and support with changing your lifestyle, then I encourage you to join my very affordable, practical and fun Healthy Living Lounge Membership program where you can get caching from me as well as other useful tips to help you to up-level your life.
Feel free to share with us the new habit you will focus on implementing after doing this work!