Do you ever feel like your eating habits are out of control?
Do you sometimes find yourself overeating, whether it is sweets, carbs, or other types of unhealthy food?
Are you having a hard time sticking to healthy eating habits?
If this sounds like you, then we have the solution:
The ten easy steps to stop unhealthy eating habits.
In this blog post, we share our secrets to help you break free from bad eating habits and start living a healthier lifestyle.
So, if you want to learn more about the ten easy steps to stop unhealthy eating habits, read on!
Step #1: Be realistic about what you’re trying to achieve
Let’s start with the most important thing you need to know:
Don’t try and change your eating habits overnight.
There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to changing behaviors, especially around food.
If you attempt to do this, then the chances are that pretty soon, you will fall back into bad eating habits because you will be too stressed, and it is just not sustainable.
Instead, start small and be realistic about what you’re trying to achieve.
If your main goal is to lose weight, then set yourself a target that falls in line with the recommended healthy eating guidelines for losing weight (around 500 calories less per day than your recommended calorie intake).
The key thing is to pick a realistic target and then try your best to stick with it.
If you can do this for at least two weeks, then this will give your body time to adjust and adapt.
Once you have set yourself realistic goals in line with your current weight level, then move on to step two!
Step #2: Know your triggers
Now that you have started to make some changes, it is time for step two:
Know what your triggers are and plan ahead.
What we mean by this is:
Think about the times when you find yourself eating unhealthy foods and try and work out why.
Is it because there’s nothing healthy to eat at home?
Are you stressed or feeling down and think food will make you feel better?
Do you crave unhealthy foods when you’re bored?
Once you have identified your triggers, it is then time to come up with a plan on how to deal with them.
If you find yourself eating unhealthy foods when you’re stressed or feeling down, then do something to relax.
This could be reading a book, going for a walk in the park, chatting with a friend on the phone – whatever works best for you!
If there is nothing healthy to eat at home and your usual go-to snack is unhealthy, then plan some meals for the week that you can cook in advance.
Finally, if you find yourself eating certain types of foods when bored or stressed, do something else to take your mind off food!
If crisps are one of your triggers and they’re usually what you eat when bored, then try and replace these with healthier snacks like carrots or some fruit.
Once you have identified your triggers and come up with a plan on how to deal with them (step two), then move on to step three!
Step #3: Get rid of all junk food from your home
The third step to stop unhealthy eating habits is:
Get rid of all junk food from your home.
Sound silly? It’s not.
But seriously, if you have unhealthy foods in your house, then it is only going to make it harder for you to stick to your goals.
And don’t worry – you can still enjoy treats occasionally, but just not when they are constantly tempting you at home!
The simple truth is:
If there is no junk food in your home, then you will be less likely to eat it.
So, make sure to get rid of all unhealthy foods and snacks from your house.
If you have any problems with this, then ask a friend or family member to help you out – it will be worth it in the long run!
Let’s move on to step four!
Step #4: Make a shopping list
Now that you have taken all the junk food from your home, it is time to make a plan of what healthy foods and snacks you want to buy.
This will help with step five (eating out!) but also makes sure you are always prepared for when hunger hits!
You don’t need to buy everything at once, but gradually start to fill your cupboards and fridge with healthy foods.
Some good ideas include:
- Fruit and vegetables – try and mix it up, so you have a variety of different colors
- Lean protein such as chicken or fish
- Whole grain pasta, rice, and bread
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Tea and coffee
If you are ever stuck for ideas, then have a look online for healthy meal ideas or recipes.
Once you have your shopping list ready (step four), it is time to move on to step five!
Step #5: Plan for when you go out
This might sound a bit strange, but this tip really does work!
The next time you have to eat out somewhere, then plan it ahead of time.
If possible, try and pick a place that has healthy options on the menu or where you can choose your own food.
This way, you know exactly what you are going to be eating, and there’s no temptation to order something unhealthy.
Plus, it is a good idea to always have some healthy snacks with you in case you get caught out and don’t have time to eat properly.
Some ideas of healthy snacks include:
- Mixed nuts
- Greek yogurt
- Dark chocolate
If you are going to be out for a long time, then try and take something more substantial like a sandwich or salad.
The next step (step six) is really important, so make sure you read it!
Step #6: Get 8 hours of sleep each night
Another easy step to stop unhealthy eating habits is to get enough sleep every night.
Not sleeping can lead to emotional eating and cravings for junk food, so it is vital that you try your best to get a good amount of rest each night.
Aim for around eight hours each night – this should be the goal!
If you struggle with getting enough sleep, then consider making a few changes to your routine.
- Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time each morning.
- Avoid caffeine after lunchtime, especially in the afternoon or evening when you are trying to wind down for bed.
- Relaxing before going to sleep by reading a book, taking a bath, or listening to some music.
Let’s move on step seven!
Step #7: Drink plenty of water
Did you know that drinking water can help suppress your appetite?
Drinking plenty of water not only keeps you hydrated but also helps to fill you up and stop you from snacking on unhealthy foods.
Supporting this, overweight and obese individuals who drank water before each meal lost 44 percent more weight than those who didn’t drink more water, according to studies.
Water intake before breakfast has been shown to reduce calorie consumption during the meal by 13 percent, according to another study.
So, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
The recommended amount is around eight glasses a day – this may seem like a lot, but it will soon become second nature!
If you struggle to drink enough water each day, then try and make it a habit by setting a daily goal.
For example, “I will drink two glasses of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
This way, you are more likely to reach your target each day and stay hydrated.
If plain water isn’t your thing, then try adding some sliced fruit to add flavor and extra vitamins and minerals too.
Regardless of whether you choose tap or bottled water, it is important that you drink plenty every single day!
Step #8: Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating is a useful way to stop unhealthy eating habits as it helps prevent mindless snacking.
The idea behind this method is to pay more attention to the food you are eating and how it makes you feel.
This means that you will be less likely to eat for the wrong reasons, such as boredom, stress, or anger.
Instead, you will be more aware of when your body is actually hungry and when it has had enough.
To practice mindful eating, try the following:
- Sit down at a table when you are eating, rather than in front of the TV or computer.
- Take small bites and chew your food properly.
- Stop eating when you feel full.
- Focus on the taste, texture, and smell of the food.
If you struggle with this method at first, then try setting yourself a daily goal such as “I will eat three meals mindfully.”
This will help you get into the habit and become more aware of your eating habits.
It is important to be patient with yourself if mindful eating doesn’t come easily at first because it can take time before this method becomes a natural part of your routine.
On that note, let’s move on to step nine!
Step #9: Avoid getting extremely hungry
This is one of the most important steps to stop unhealthy eating habits.
Think about it this way:
If you are starving, then you are more likely to reach for unhealthy foods that will fill you up quickly.
This is true for most people, so it is important to avoid getting too hungry.
One way to do this is by eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day.
This will help to prevent extreme hunger pangs and cravings for unhealthy foods.
If you are someone who struggles with snacking, then try keeping a stash of healthy snacks in your bag or desk at work.
This way, you will always have a healthy option to hand and won’t be tempted by unhealthy options such as crisps, chocolate bars, biscuits, etc.
Step #10: Make it fun!
More often than not, people turn to unhealthy habits because they are easy and convenient.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t change this for the better!
If your goal is to stop eating chocolate bars at work each day, then try having a healthy alternative such as fruit bars or yogurt instead.
If you are someone who loves to cook, then why not try some new and healthy recipes?
Not only will this help to improve your eating habits, but it can also be a fun way to experiment in the kitchen!
These are ten easy steps that you can take to stop unhealthy eating habits.
It is important to be patient and take things one step at a time.
If you find that some of these steps are harder than others, then don’t worry – just focus on the ones that work best for you.
Remember, the most important thing is that you are trying your best to improve your eating habits, and that is what’s most important.
Also read: How to Eat Less Without Feeling Hungry