This guest post was contributed by Jesse Andrews who is a fitness expert and who works for Seven Seas. Jesse loves eating healthily and feeling the benefits, but his diet is not always perfect! He tries…
As you hopefully are aware, being healthy (and slim) is a goal that is best reached by adopting a healthy lifestyle – rather than simply crash dieting, as is the term most used.
That’s all well and good, but as humans we aren’t always perfectly virtuous and there are times when temptation gets the better of us. Which is what makes following a long-term healthy lifestyle so difficult.
In this post I am going to tackle the topic of forming healthy habits and getting rid of those unhealthy ones – because mastering your eating habits is the only way that you will be able to consistently stick to your new diet.
Start With Breakfast
Breakfast is perhaps the most abused meal of the day because most people don’t give it much thought. Now personally I don’t subscribe to the belief that it is the most important meal of the day, so skipping it is fine if you want to.
But whatever your preference, form a healthy habit:
- If skipping breakfast causes you to snack on crisps and chocolate up until lunch then you need to kick the habit or start eating a healthy breakfast.
- Skipping breakfast is better than eating a rushed, unhealthy breakfast consisting mostly of sugar, so consider fasting to lunch if you can (it’s pretty easy once you make a habit).
- If you do eat breakfast, make it a healthy one. You would probably be pretty shocked just how much sugar there is in most breakfast cereals and fruit juices.
- Instead consider whole grain carbs or protein, and if you’re super busy in the mornings, try just having a protein shake,.
Satisfying cravings is tricky because you are certain to have them and you can’t live a lifetime without ever giving in to temptation. So what you need to do is get the hang of satisfying those cravings without “letting yourself go”.
Learn to know which sorts of situations lead to bingeing:
- Cravings caused by boredom are more likely to lead to reckless abandon, so these are the types of cravings that you need to resist – don’t give in, go out and do something instead.
- Cravings are more likely to be satisfied easily when you are in a good frame of mind and are feeling happy – which is all the more reason to be active and healthy.
Drink Plenty Of Water
When you get thirsty it is easy for your body to mistakenly think that you are hungry (especially if you are often dehydrated) – so you need to break this cycle!
From now on, whenever you feel hungry, tell yourself that you are allowed to eat, but first you must drink a large glass of water and then wait 5 minutes.
By doing this, you may find that you are not hungry after all, but even if you are the water will cause you to feel fuller sooner such that you naturally eat less.
Come Off The Sugar
You may not realize this, but sugar can be addictive. Not physically as such, but because your body (and your sense of taste) adapts. If you consume a lot of sugar, or sugary foods like:
- Breakfast cereal
- Chocolates, candy, sweets
- Fizzy drinks
- Fruits and fruit juices
… Your taste buds will decrease their sensitivity to those tastes and they will stop tasting as good. Which also means that non sugary food will start to taste bland! Forming the habit is the hardest part, but if you kick the sugar habit and eat nothing but whole foods for a month – you won’t believe how sweet a simple carrot can taste!
Go Without Occasionally
Intermittent fasting has become a bit of a fad, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it is based on good reasoning and even if you don’t want to following an IF diet you can still get a lot from going without food occasionally.
- It frees you mentally from the constant “need” to eat and teaches you that you are not a slave to your appetite. Sure, being hungry isn’t fun, but it won’t kill you either!
- It shows you that a single missed meal won’t send your metabolism plummeting. If you’re hungry but the only food options are unhealthy – it is always better to go without.
- It resets your appetite and allows your stomach to shrink / recover from constant work. After a long fast I often find that I eat less for a few days but still feel full.
Living and staying healthy is a habit, and all of the tips above are with that in mind. A good diet is made up of hundreds of decisions every week and month, but by focusing on your long-term habits you will soon realize that your daily battles are that much easier to win!