If you’ve been reading Live Lighter from the start, you’ll know we teach that a healthy lifestyle is all about replacing unhealthy habits with healthy habits. I’m very pleased to present today’s guest blogger, Nataliya Semenchuk, who gives us 4 fantastic tips in how to develop healthy eating habits.
One thing I know for certain about developing healthy habits, is that it can be tough. Changes are difficult, and difficult changes can be straight up intimidating. No matter what your goals are, in order to successfully reach them you need in the very least two things: dedication and consistency.
Why is it so hard to develop healthy habits, you might ask. Well, for one, you might need to give up some things that make you happy and comfortable, like your favorite foods – who’d like that, right? Then there are things you might need to start engaging in, like fitness, and for those of us who are not used to being physically active, this can be a really hellish experience. Let’s not forget the issue of time: with so much going on in our busy lives, it can prove difficult to make time for new commitments.
Forming a healthy eating habit (or habits, if you are really diligent) is no exception to the rule. It is a long-lasting process that is both physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. In many cases, building a new healthy habit requires breaking one or more not-so-healthy ones, subsequently adding more stress to your undertaking.
They say that your body is your temple, and so, it should be treated with an equal amount of respect. Recklessly, with very little thought put into it, trying to change your eating habits bears some real health risks, which may ultimately lead to various eating disorders and body image issues. In order to avoid these risks, it is important to practice kindness and patience towards yourself and your body.
Developing healthy eating habits is all about making positive lifelong changes, so trying to rush or shortcut through the process will more likely than not result in failure, with all the effort gone to waste.
Practice positive self-regard
Do you remember when you were little and would ask your mother for a toy or a play-date, what her “No” would do to you? That’s right, it would make you want it even more, make you want to rebel, throw yourself on the floor and start roaring-crying. No’s make people upset, clearly. And what about that time, when someone had something negative to say about you? You were hurt, as anyone would. Prohibiting yourself from having certain foods and constantly telling yourself that you are not slim, not good enough is sure to have the same effect. Feeling hurt and upset is a lousy foundation for making major changes in life – the two just don’t go well together. Remaining positive towards yourself, acknowledging the progress you have made and celebrating even the smallest achievements are going to help you stay positive and driven to reach your goal.
Remember that food is your friend
Don’t be afraid of food. It’s not there to sabotage your efforts, it’s there to nurture and energize you. Good food, that is. Proteins, carbs and, yes! fats should all be part of a balanced diet, as your body needs them on a daily basis. What your body doesn’t particularly need though, is an extra-large coke and double-glazed donut for breakfast, or a chocolate chip cookie in the middle of the night. That said, unless health-related, no foods should be off-limits, all is good in moderation. As long as you commit to following a healthy lifestyle, having a little reward now and then is actually a good thing – it keeps you going.
Simplify your life
Great Isaac Newton once said: “Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things”. Isn’t that so true? Simple things are easy to understand, simple rules are easy to follow, and simple tasks are easy to complete. Don’t overcomplicate your job by trying to do everything at once and expect to get immediate results. You must be certain about what your aim and priorities are. Pace yourself and concentrate on accomplishing one thing at the time. Sorting out the clatter in your mind will bring more clarity to your purpose and help you stay focused and motivated.
Rely on a support group
Fighting your battles alone, while possible, can be incredibly taxing. Having some support on your journey can prove helpful in two ways. On one hand, there will be someone other than yourself to hold you accountable for sticking to your commitments. On the other hand, there will be someone by your side, who can pick you up when you get discouraged, stumble or fall. In both cases, your odds for success will increase substantially. Your support group will always act as a safety net that will keep you going and won’t let you stop until the goal is reached. So, go ahead and reach out to your friends and family members, ask for their succor and don’t shy from relying on them, as many great things will follow form that.
About the Author
Nataliya Semenchuk is a rising senior at Suffolk University studying Marketing and Global Business, and she currently works for a Legal Department Management firm in Boston.
Do you have any tips for developing healthy eating habits?