Forget the Fads: How to Make Healthy Eating a Lifelong Habit and Not a Fleeting Trend
Did you make a resolution to eat healthier this year? Did you clear out your cupboards, tossing the cookies and potato chips, replacing them with wheatgrass and quinoa? Are you low-carbing, intermittent fasting, keto-ing, reduced-fatting, low-sugaring, or otherwise dieting?
Well, stop already! Stop dieting and start making healthy eating a sustainable part of your lifestyle.
There are a million fad diets out there, and the data supporting one diet contradicts the data supporting another diet, and many of these “amazing breakthrough diets” aren’t even supported by any data at all. So can we drop the diet schtick and just start making healthier eating decisions instead? Here are five ways to trick yourself into making healthier eating decisions:
1. Out of sight, out of mind. Keep unhealthy food options hidden in cupboards or, better yet, in the garage. In the same vein, keep healthy foods on display in your home—a big bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter will nudge you towards making healthier decisions.
2. Make less seem like more. Studies have shown that the physical experience of being satiated is heavily influenced by what we see. For example, when soup is served in a bottomless bowl, we will eat past the point of satiety. Make your portions look bigger by serving them on smaller plates, or beef up that moderate pasta dish by mixing it with lots of salad greens or baby spinach!
3. Mirror image. This trick might seem a little suspect, but science has shown that it works. Use mirror plates to make small portions look larger, or eat in front of a mirror if you can—hang one on the wall across from your dinner table. You’ll be less likely to engage in gluttonous activity when you have to look yourself in the eye.
4. Eat mindfully. Ever accidentally eaten a whole bag of chips while watching TV or playing a game on your phone? It’s easy to keep picking away while you’re distracted. Put the devices down and stay focused on what you’re eating—you’ll be more in tune with your body and better equipped to stop once you’re full!
5. Make healthy snacks more convenient. An individually-wrapped granola bar is more convenient than an apple, with its awkward size and inedible core. So how about making that apple (or orange, or banana) more accessible by chopping it up, storing it in little containers in your fridge, and grabbing it before you run out the door?
There are a million little tricks we can employ to make healthier eating decisions—some people re-route their commute to avoid that French bakery with the buttery, flaky croissants, and others sign-up for a yoga class right after lunch so they’re motivated to keep their meal light and fresh.
However, sometimes it’s not about the tricks and tactics, but about being held accountable for making positive changes in our lives. Wellbeing Coaches offers an Eat Healthier coaching program, designed to keep you motivated, educated and held accountable for making healthier eating decisions. This one-month program is only $39, and is just the right amount of time to get you into the habit of healthy eating, with support from an experienced health or wellness coach.