Saturday, March 24, 2018

Making the Change to Healthier Eating

Making the Change to Healthier Eating
Choosing to Change Your Diet

BLUF:  You are ultimately in control of what you put into your body.  It is your decision on what you want that to be.

When we think about changing our eating habits it can be overwhelming.  A recent trip to the grocery store sent me into a panic attack while looking at the labels.  Preservatives are everywhere and in almost every product you buy at the store.  Read more about preservatives here.

How are you ever supposed to change your diet when there are hidden ingredients everywhere?

The answer…one step at a time.

Change…people have a natural fear of this process. created a fantastic diagram of how the Cycle of Change works and I use this to teach classes on addiction.  Yes, the way we eat is a form of addiction. 

Most people go through life in the PRE-CONTEMPLATION phase.  They don’t think there is anything wrong with their diet and are perfectly happy.

If you are reading this post, then luckily you are in the CONTEMPLATION phase.  Ask yourself these key questions before committing to making a change to healthier eating.

Why do you want to change your eating habits?  Maybe you want to live longer with fewer disease risks or just want to know what you are putting into your body.

How is this new way going to benefit you?  Maybe you want to lose weight or control a chronic illness. 

What will it take to go from your current diet to something new?  Get everyone on board and give yourself time to adjust to this idea. 

If you can answer these questions and still want to move towards eliminating those unhealthy foods, then you must move into PREPARATION.  You need to plan, in advance, so that the change is smoother for your lifestyle.

How die hard do you want to be?  Are you okay with a few unknowns about your food or will you only eat food that you have prepared?

How will you handle roadblocks?  Not everyone will understand your change and may give you grief over it or even try to trick you into eating something you don’t really want.

How much time do you have to meal prep?  Not being prepared during those busy work weeks is the leading cause of slipping back into old habits because grabbing a fast food meal is easier than cooking at home.  Read moreabout meal prepping here.

Now you must take ACTION. 

Take your plan and run with it.  Do your research on your ingredients, find recipes that you will enjoy and match your culinary abilities.  Keep your meals simple until you get the hang of this new way of eating. 

Give yourself time to adjust and keep reminding yourself why you are making this change. 

Once you have reached MAINTENANCE then pat yourself on the back!  

This is when you have changed your way of thinking about your food and meal planning has become a way of life for you. 

The thought of eating Chinese takeout turns your stomach and that deep-dish pizza from down the street is no longer appealing because you know you can make your own much healthier.

But hey…life happens and sometimes you might RELAPSE.  Your boss orders in lunch for everyone or your parents insist you go to dinner for their anniversary…these things can be derailers. 

You don’t want to be rude and miss out on the social stuff but are torn because you don’t exactly know what is in that food.

It is going to be okay!  I promise.  Just remember that you still have control over your food and you can easily hop back on your healthier meal wagon even after a small relapse. 

Lessons Learned:  You are ultimately in control of what you put into your body.  It is your decision on what you want that to be.

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