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How to Acquire and Maintain Healthy Eating Habits.

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Your daily diet plays a crucial role in shaping your future health. Combining proper nutrition with regular exercise is key to maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and promoting overall well-being.

Adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be more straightforward than it seems. Starting with small changes in your daily habits can lead to effortlessly establishing permanent, healthy eating patterns. Mindset and motivation are as vital as nutrition in achieving overall well-being. Keeping this in mind, let's explore a few tips that can guide you towards a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.

Set One Specific Goal at a Time.

Rather than attempting to overhaul your entire diet at once, focus on making one change at a time. For instance, instead of vowing to completely eliminate junk food and eat healthy meals every day, start by aiming to eat healthily once a week or by having a healthy breakfast each day.

Start by Adding to Your Diet.

Our brains tend to be more receptive to the idea of adding something rather than eliminating it. Consider what you can incorporate into your diet to enhance its healthiness, rather than what you need to remove. Could you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables? Could you replace white bread with whole grain? Often, improving our diets is more about adding beneficial items rather than solely focusing on cutting out certain foods.

Eat Slowly and Focus on Your Food

During a busy day, it's common to eat hastily without paying attention to our food. Mindful eating plays a significant role in healthy eating and is surprisingly easy to implement. Simply sit down without distractions while you eat (that means no emails, Instagram, Facebook, or TV), tune into the act of eating, and savor every bite.

There is constant communication between our brain and our gut. If your brain is distracted during a meal, you might not receive the signal that you're full, leading to a greater likelihood of overeating. By eating mindfully, you can better listen to your body's signals and enjoy your meals more fully.

Plan, Prepare and Surround Yourself with Healthy Food

There's a well-known adage: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Dedicate time to stocking your pantry with the right foods and preparing your meals in advance. Sit down and plan your meals for the week, create a shopping list of what you need, and stick to it when you visit the supermarket. This approach helps you avoid impulsive, unhealthy food choices and ensures that you have healthy ingredients on hand for every meal.

Reflect on Your Habits

Consider what triggers your unhealthy eating habits. Keeping a food diary for a few days can be insightful. Record everything you eat and note how you felt at each instance: Were you hungry or not? Did you feel fatigued or stressed? This practice will help you identify moments when you eat for reasons other than hunger and find strategies to manage them. Ask yourself if there's anything you can do to avoid these situations. If avoiding the trigger is not possible, consider whether you can replace unhealthy eating with a healthier habit. This reflection can be key in developing more mindful eating practices.

When Creating New Habits, Be Patient with Yourself: Understand that Changes Take Time
Recognize that slipping back into old habits is a natural part of the process and an aspect of being human. Instead of dwelling in guilt, learn from the experience and focus on how you can make a better choice next time. Remember, each day is a new opportunity for growth and improvement.
Tomorrow is always a fresh start, and you have the strength to succeed!

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