Unhealthy habits are often repeated, even when it’s hard to recognize them. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of these patterns. Once you have identified the pattern, you can take the necessary steps to break the cycle.
Why you keep eating the same foods
Some people find it difficult to change their eating habits because they’re still tempted by unhealthy foods. However, by modifying what you eat and how you eat, you can change your routine and ultimately your weight.
The first step is understanding why you keep doing what you are doing. Are you hanging around with a crowd of junk-food eaters? Do you stop for lunch at places where mostly unhealthy options are offered? Do you buy junk food for the kids to eat after school?
The second step is to actively replace the habits and routines that keep you stuck in unhealthy eating patterns.
If junk-food junkies are sabotaging your healthy eating agenda, start running with a new, healthier crew.
If Mickey D’s isn’t offering what you need to eat right, choose a new lunch-break locale… or, start packing a healthy, homemade meal.
If your kids’ chips and treats tempt you on the daily, hide them from yourself or tell your kids they’ll be buying junk food on their own time, with their own money from now on.
What else can you do differently?
Every day, people are faced with the dilemma of what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You may find yourself preparing the same, unhealthy foods again and again. (“But Tuesday is Hot Dogs and Boxed Mac ‘n Cheese night”!)
When this happens, it can cause you to end up eating more of the same unhealthy foods, which can then lead to weight gain.
To break out of this pattern, make a change in your mindset. It may be difficult, but awareness is the first step.
To use the same example, Tuesday’s meal becomes “Homemade mac with real cheese, broccoli and whole-grain pasta” night instead.
Start thinking to yourself, “How can I make this healthy?”
Once you get into that habit, you can take it another step:
“How can I make this easy?”
(Answer: Shop for the broccoli, real cheese and other healthy ingredients to stock your fridge ahead of time. Cook the healthy whole-grain mac in advance, and store it to use over the course of this week.)
Before you know it, your mindset will be all about health – and you won’t even be trying… it will just happen.