Changing Your Habits

Ever since I can remember, either myself or a friend or family member has been on a diet. I can’t even tell you how many crash diets I have tried, getting instant results, but then putting back on most of the weight as soon as I returned to my normal eating habits. The issue is that most people see weight loss as a one-time thing. As soon as you lose weight, its never coming back again and all the hard work is done. Truth is, if you want to shift any form of weight or lose body fat percentage for the long term, you need to make lifestyle changes and tackle those bad habits. By making healthy changes to your eating habits one step at a time, they will soon become a part of your everyday routine without giving it a second thought.

Here are some of my tips to changing your eating habits:

1.Don’t jump the gun, start slow.

More often than not when we decide we want to commit to changing our physique, we can go overboard and change anything and everything we think may be a negative to our goals. We restrict ourselves to only eating healthy foods, work our butts off in the gym every day and make decisions such as declining outings with friends and family to avoid temptation. If we give up everything at once, we will most likely fall back into old habits very quickly.

The trick is to start slow. Choose one or two habits at a time so it doesn’t feel like you are depriving yourself. Once you have mastered one habit, move onto the next, and then the next. Don’t jump the gun. Take your time and implement new habits slowly.

2. Swap an unhealthy habit for a healthy one.

Depriving yourself of something you love can bring your fat loss goals to a halt and can cause an emotional and mental storm. The key here is to find healthier ways of eating your favorite dishes or foods rather than getting rid of them all together. Google new recipes or buy new recipe books and play around with a variety of herbs, spices and home made sauces. Healthy meals don’t have to be tasteless. In fact they can taste better with the right ingredients and you can eat more for a lower calorie value.

3.Get rid of those temptations.

Every night before I go to bed I tell myself ‘Rhi, do not go for the peanut butter jar in the morning”, and every morning when I open the pantry it's there screaming “EAT ME NOW”. By removing what ever your poison may be whether it be chocolate, chips or peanut butter like myself, it is much easier to avoid that binge. Don’t buy those temptations! Remove these foods from your pantry or fridge so when you’re watching TV late at night you wont be able to reach for those calorie heavy, high fat foods.

4. Carry snacks on hand.

If you can get “hangry” like myself, I find being prepared and filling my car or bag with healthy options can be a life-saver. Not only do I save money by not buying things out, I can avoid the temptation of buying unhealthy snacks and meals. Some options I like to pack include:

  • A small handful of raw nuts and seeds,

  • A protein shake

  • A tin of tuna

  • Veggie sticks and hummus dip

  • Natural popcorn

Remember, changing a habit can take 28 days plus. Don’t overwhelm yourself by doing too much too soon. Tackle one habit at a time, reach out and get some support from friends and family and if you fall back into old habits, get back up and try again.

Written by Rhiannon Parker - Bachelor of Physical Education and Fitness Coach

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