If you want to change your eating habits to eat healthier, control your weight and feel better, pay attention because this article is for you.
Without knowing it our best intention to improve all our food becomes our biggest obstacle, because trying to change all your food decisions from one day to another generates stress and frustration which makes you give up the short time. Think about this: your daily diet is a set of habits, and the only way to have long-term results is to start changing those habits, one by one and little by little.
In this article you find an easy strategy with which you can begin to change your eating habits by investing only a few minutes and with very little effort.
I was leafing through a fashion magazine while waiting for my appointment with the dentist and in the recipes section there was an ad that said this:
Do you want to lose those extra pounds? Would you like to have a flat abdomen? I have the perfect solution for you. With this new reducing tea you will burn fat in those difficult areas and have a flat abdomen in just one week. Do you want to have the body you always dreamed of? Call now to the telephone that appears here and buy your fat burning tea. As a special seasonal promotion we give you with your purchase a firming ointment and removes express cellulite.
Real life case, is a fragment taken from a product on sale that “promises” to burn fat.
The problem is that due to multiple feeding myths, many people do believe that a tea, an ointment, a few “natural” tablets or a juice can achieve results by skipping the process that means changing eating habits.
The only truth is that these products are a waste of time, you will only see a difference in your wallet and also put your health at risk.
The same goes for fad diets that don’t take into account changing eating habits. You may be able to see the results you are looking for, but they will last as long as it takes you to return to your previous diet, because the change is not permanent.
Research analyzed 31 dietary studies and found that a diet doesn’t work in the long run. Within 5 years, about 70% of dieters gain weight (even more than their initial weight).1
Think about this: it is estimated that an average of 226 food decisions
It is impossible to improve all these decisions at the same time, because many of these food decisions are automatic and unconscious because they are about habits that were formed over time 3 In fact, some scientists think we are only 5% aware of all our decisions and thoughts.
Therefore, it is illogical to think about changing all these decisions overnight, especially since unhealthy eating habits did not form overnight, right?
This explains why it becomes difficult to regain control and improve our food choices, and why all your attempts to eat healthier or lose weight will be totally useless if you don’t start changing those habits that aren’t leaving you any good.
For example, some of the most common unhealthy eating habits are those here:
- Picoteo between meals of food “junk”.
- Prefer sugar-sweetened drinks instead of water
- Buy industrial food (instead of cooking at home)
- Eating without paying attention and until you’re more than satisfied
- Food Attractions
Do any of them sound familiar?
I’m sure you want to start changing your eating habits as soon as possible, I have a very easy strategy for you, but first, it’s important to understand how these habits are triggered in the first place.
How do I start changing my eating habits?
All of your (healthy or unhealthy) eating habits are repeated with relative independence of intentions. That is, your intention to eat more vegetables may not be enough to keep you completely away from chips.
And this happens because habits are triggered by some reminder, which can be a specific time of day, a visual stimulus, a person or simply the environment around us. The latter is capable of generating an automatic and unconscious response.
This means that all our habits (including eating habits) are triggered under the same environment or context as: certain circumstances, specific places, with certain people and / or under certain moods.
This happens because the brain is capable of associating an activity (or a habit) with a specific place and a specific time.
Think about your last vacation or the last time you slept over at your parents’ house: your way of eating, sleeping, or the time you took a shower were activities that changed compared to what you normally do at home. It’s even possible that “that place” triggers particular habits you don’t have anywhere else.
To return to the subject of food: have you noticed that in certain places you tend to eat similar or practically the same food?
For example: it’s normal to sit in the same chair in the dining room, or to eat at mc donalds when shopping at a mall; some people buy ice cream only when they go to the park. Maybe at night it’s customary to go out and buy sweet bread for dinner or go to a bar and eat potatoes, chips or peanuts without thinking much about it.
It happens to me at the movies, I can’t help but buy popcorn. The curious thing is that I only crave popcorn in the cinema, I never make microwave or frying pan popcorn in my house, I don’t buy popcorn in the street either, I only like popcorn in the cinema.
A change in the environment is key to changing eating habits
A British study showed that people who had moved house also changed their decisions about how they traveled. In other words, instead of taking the car, they were more likely to decide to take the bus. Compared to people who didn’t move into a new house 5
In another study, the use of stairs and the use of the elevator were compared. In some staircases, a sign had been installed that read “Use of stairs burns 5 times more calories. This change of scenery with a simple piece of paper increased the use of stairs by 50%. This trick made people aware of their habits and consciously modified them. 6
And this change of environment is also extremely effective when it comes to improving your eating habits.
It has been seen that when you achieve a change of environment, your eating habits also change, because unconsciously all around you is influencing your decisions about food.
When you manage to break those stimuli, changing your eating habits becomes easier because you become aware of your decisions, which prevents you from acting unconsciously.