Develop 4 Healthy Eating Habits with These Simple Tips
The importance of healthy eating habits cannot be stressed enough. You can enjoy numerous health benefits from eating quality foods, including mental sharpness, a strong and healthy heart, overall wellness, and increased energy levels. However, to successfully develop healthy eating habits, you need to gradually change your habits and not impose strict dietary limitations that deprive you of the foods you love.
This brings us to Intuitive Eating. Research on the topic is still growing and has primarily focused on women. However, studies have linked intuitive eating to healthier psychological attitudes, lower body mass index (BMI), and weight maintenance without the strain of going up and down, which negatively affects all bodies by going on diets all the time. Dieting all the time is like whiplash for all our systems.
The best benefit of intuitive eating has been improved psychological health from enhanced self-esteem, body image, and overall quality of life with fewer occurrences of depression and anxiety.
Another positive is that intuitive eating has an excellent retention rate, meaning that people are more likely to stick with this eating program and keep practicing behavioral changes long-term than if they were on a “diet.” Other studies have found that intuitive eating behaviors and attitudes lead to less disordered eating.
In this post, we’ll provide you with a detailed action plan explaining how you can do just that in four simple steps.
Assess Your Current Diet
To start eating healthier, you don’t have to drop all your current eating habits instantly. Instead, use your everyday diet as the platform for making future healthy changes.
Simply conduct a diet assessment to identify which healthy eating habits you should maintain and which eating habits need to be done in moderation. Write the healthy eating habits you should carry on one list, and then write the eating habits you need to do in moderation on a separate list.
Don’t Eliminate Temptation
Are you eating junk food, comfort foods, and other foods at home even when you’re not hungry?
If so, you’re not alone.
Many people engage in this eating habit simply because they’re within close reach of such foods. Therefore, if you want to develop and stick to healthy eating habits, a good starting place would be to examine what is truly going on without judgment.
Ask yourself whether you are physically hungry or emotionally hungry.
Physical hunger is biological cues from your body telling you to replenish your nutrients. However, this brings us to the next question are you truly physically hungry, or is it due to other signals such as fatigue or stress? Being tired or stressed will change how our cues and signals in a way that isn’t out of “true” hunger.
Emotional hunger is driven by emotional needs such as sadness, loneliness, and boredom, creating a cycle of guilt and self-hatred.
Therefore, it’s essential to understand the whys of your hunger to help you make healthier choices in the long run. Plus, if you just eliminate temptation by not having these foods around, you aren’t learning the root cause for eating them, and you will eat around them until you obtain the food you crave.
The best suggestion is to put everyday foods within reach and have those foods that should be eaten in moderation in the cabinets. Remember, all foods are a go and should be neutral. If there is a food that invokes a craving or emotion, explore it, and understand it. Eating doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. Make One Small Change to Your Diet Each Week
Trying to acquire healthy eating habits overnight is unrealistic because there are no magic pills or wands, and if you haven’t gotten to where you are, it won’t change overnight.
If you do the quick fixes, you are setting yourself up for failure because, sooner or later, you’ll regress to your old eating habits and most of those “quick” fixes are long-term sustainable.
So instead of trying to overhaul your diet quickly, take it slowly by making one small and simple dietary change per week.
Some of the weekly changes you could make include swapping diet soda for water, chips for nuts, or swapping your weekly pizza for a healthy, home-cooked meal. Doing this will make developing healthy eating habits more manageable and less stressful. Stay Positive
To successfully adopt new healthy eating habits, you’ll need to be highly determined, and 100% committed. One of the best ways to fuel your commitment and determination is by staying positive.
Stop thinking about what you must give up because you don’t have to give up anything, and focus on the positive aspects of healthy eating without restriction and the successes you’ve managed so far.
This will allow you to keep moving forward whenever you’re tempted to fall back to your former habits. Everyone wants long-term success, which will give everyone that desired success because most studies show that the quick, fad, or yo-yo diets have poor success rates.
With intuitive eating, how you eat is just as important as what you eat. The bottom line is that people are less likely to have nutrient deficiencies that affect their mental health, energy levels, or metabolism when they know how they eat and what they eat.
By letting your internal cues of hunger and fullness guide you, your eating can improve your body image and quality of life in many ways. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want to have these in their lives.
So, when incorporating these simple but effective tips into your lifestyle, you’ll find it easy to transition into healthy eating or even healthy habits. So, review all four tips as often as you need; when ready, start taking action and begin your healthy eating journey!
Bruce, L.J., Ricciardelli, L.A., (2016) A systematic review of the psychosocial correlates of intuitive eating among adult women, Appetite, Volume 96 Pages 454-472,
ISSN 0195-6663, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2015.10.012
Schaefer J.T., Magnuson, A.B. (2014) A Review of Interventions that Promote Eating by Internal Cues, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Volume 114, Issue 5 Pages 734-760, ISSN 2212-2672, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2013.12.024.
Van Dyke N, Drinkwater EJ. Relationships between intuitive eating and health indicators: literature review. Public Health Nutr. 2014 Aug;17(8):1757-66. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013002139. Epub 2013 Aug 21. PMID: 23962472.