Nutrition isn’t just about what you eat or how much you eat. All too often, we punish ourselves for indulging in so-called bad foods and reward ourselves when we resist them. Find out how you can stick to your healthy eating habits long term and maintain a positive nutrition mindset.
Consider your current attitude toward food.
Work to accept your food-related thoughts and cravings for what they are instead of fighting or ignoring them. It’s a critical step to eating more intuitively and mindfully.
Slow down and listen to your body without judgment.
Practice accepting your cravings without feeling the need to change, avoid, or control them. By letting go of the control you actually gain more of it.
Don’t punish yourself for imperfection.
Eating healthy requires a flexible, open mind. Try an 80/20 approach. That means you eat balanced, nutrient-dense meals 80% of the time. And the other 20% of the time, live a little.
Take your meal time at the table sans TV.
Ever eaten mindlessly while browsing Netflix? Instead, sit at your table, focus on your dinner, and listen to your body when it says, “I’m full” or “I’m hungry, keep eating.”
Focus on one change at a time.
Start with just one thing to improve at each meal, like drinking water instead of soda, adjusting the portion size, or adding one vegetable.
Keep your favorite foods around.
You can keep your favorite foods, but you need to stave off negative thoughts. Thinking “I shouldn’t have this” or “I’m so bad,” makes it a lot easier to think you’ve failed.
Manage your stress.
Stress may cause you to crave high-fat foods or to ignore your hunger cues and eat less. Stress will always exist, but you can combat it with meditation or mindfulness during eating.
Eat with people you love.
Food brings people together, and that’s healthy. It establishes a feeling of community and connectedness, which research shows is good for your overall well-being.