How many times have we tried to change our eating habits for good? 1, 2, or 30… It is not easy to change our eating habits, since they are often deeply ingrained patterns we’ve been practicing our whole lives. We may start off motivated to make a change, but find ourselves quickly returning to our usual ways when it comes to food. Here at Brook, we understand that mindset and motivation are just as important as nutrition. With that in mind, let’s focus on some some tips to help you turn your healthy ideas into long-term habits.

 

 

  1. Be specific with one goal at a time. Instead of trying to redo your entire diet at once, stick with one change at a time. For example, instead of saying you are going to cut out all junk food this week and eat healthy meals every day, focus instead on making one healthy change to your breakfast or afternoon snack. This method is more likely to be successful for most people.

  2. Start by adding to your diet. Our brains are more receptive to the idea of adding something in, than having something taken away. So, think about what you can add to your diet to make it healthier, instead of what you might need to reduce or remove. Can you add a veggie a day for each day this week? Add whole-grain bread to your cart this week at the store? Often, we can greatly improve our diets by bringing good things in, instead of just focusing on taking things away.

  3. Know when it isn’t for you. A good rule to follow: if you’ve tried something 5 times and still don’t like it, it is okay to put it in the “I don’t like” pile. However, before you give it up, consider a different approach to that same issue that may work better for you. For example, different cooking methods for a food you don’t like, or easy ways to boost veggie intake you may not have thought of before. The Brook Experts are a great resource for this – they can offer personalized ideas for making meaningful dietary changes.

  4. Clean up your environment! This can minimize temptations, and help you stick to your new habits. For example, if the ½ gallon of ice cream in your freezer won’t stop calling to you at night, consider keeping only one or two single-serving ice cream containers at home. Or, make ice cream an occasional special treat that you go out for. Simply stated, if you stock your home with those foods that support your healthy intentions, then that’s what you’ll end up eating more of.

  5. When you go grocery shopping, bring a list. It will help you stay on track and avoid impulse buys and marketing gimmicks. If you come across something new and are wondering if it’s good for you, give it the quick “great great grandmother test.” Ask yourself, “is this something my great great grandmother would recognize as food?” If the answer is yes, chances are it’s a food that supports your healthy habits!

 

When creating new habits, be kind to yourself and recognize that changes take some time. If you ‘fall off the wagon,’, understand that this is part of being human. Leave the guilt behind, learn from what happened, and focus on how you can make a better choice the next time. Not only is tomorrow a new day, but the next moment is a new one, as well!

 

Chat soon 💬

 

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