My eating habits have obviously changed drastically since I have been maintaining a 100 lb weight loss. Yet when you have a lot of weight to lose and drastic changes to make, attempting too many changes at once can be overwhelming. Try these simple changes to create more healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.
Here are 3 changes I have made that have been instrumental in losing and maintaining my weight. I suggest focusing on these, and then when you have a good grasp on these habits, move on to one or two others.
Give yourself grace that change is a process. Did you know that simply having the interest and desire to change is an important step in moving toward change? (Click here to read an article about the 5 Stages of Change.)
These changes are realistic and can be started today.
The 3 Life-Changing Healthy Eating Habits to Start Immediately
- Eat fewer calories after dinner and shift those calories to breakfast or lunch. I used to be a huge evening snacker, sometimes eating two, three, four, or more snacks between dinner and bedtime. I would snack the evening away. Food tastes good in the mouth, and with enough conditioning, it can have an instant calming effect. The good news is that whatever is learned can be unlearned. There is no metabolic reason why you can’t eat in the evening. Calories are calories. The issue is that in the morning you need the calories to fuel you during the day. If you are planning to run 5 miles at 10:00 PM, then by all means eat a snack at 8:00 PM. Otherwise, shift those calories to a time when they will do you some good.
- Increase real, whole foods. The typical American diet has become something of a landmine of preservatives, additives, and other stuff that isn’t real food. Choose foods with one ingredient on the label: Broccoli. Apple. Almonds. When I first started losing weight, I was really into Low Calorie Food Finds, scouring the grocery store shelves and websites for how I could find the lowest calorie food finds. Now my diet is rather boring. Eggs. Whole wheat toast with real butter. Yogurt. Salads. Meat. Vegetables. Potatoes. And yes, a few treats. I believe in moderation.
- Keep a food log. “If you bite it, you write it.” If you need to lose weight, research study after research study has shown this is the number one way to do it. You need accountability. You need to quit kidding yourself about the amount of calories you are consuming. If you are gaining weight, you are eating too many. If you are maintaining our weight over time, you are eating exactly as many as our bodies is using. Our bodies are perfect calorie-counting machines. I am a fan of fitness trackers like a Fit Bit or a Body Bugg. I also like apps on a smartphone like My Fitness Pal and My Net Diary. Writing on a calendar or journal works too.
What healthy eating changes have you made? Will you commit to making these changes today?
*Note: Consult your doctor before making any diet changes. This is not a substitute for medical advice.