So you want to start eating healthier but you have no idea where to start. There are a million different diets out there claiming to be the best and the healthiest. It can really make your head spin. If you’re anything like I was, you’re probably so confused and overwhelmed by it all that it just seems easier not to make any changes.
For me it was all or nothing. If I couldn’t change my eating habits 100%, and overnight, then I figured why bother trying. I knew I wanted to eat healthier because I thought it would help me lose weight but staying in my same routine just seemed so much easier. I’d be “good” for a couple days or a couple meals and then revert back to my old ways. Then I’d be mad at myself and the cycle would just continue.
What I’ve come to realize is that the reason it was easier to continue eating in a way I knew wasn’t the best for me was because eating habits are just that, HABITS. One thing I know about habits is that it’s impossible to change them overnight. And even more impossible to change a whole bunch of them at once.
So what can you do if you want to change your eating habits and you find yourself feeling impatient or like it has to be all or nothing?
First, let go of the idea that you can change it all overnight because I am telling you it really is impossible. It has nothing to do with your willpower or desire to change. It has everything to do with how much you’re trying to change at once and the expectations you’ve placed upon yourself. It can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks to successfully adopt a new habit to replace an old one.
Next, choose a meal or day of the week to start making changes to. For me, I found it easiest to start with breakfast. I swapped out cold cereal for oatmeal that I loaded with things like berries, nuts, and seeds. I used to eat cold cereal everyday, sometimes multiple times a day and it was doing nothing for me. Never satisfying or filling but I loved it so much it was just a regular part of my routine. I bought cereal every week completely out of habit. Now I buy cereal very rarely and I don’t even miss it.
You might find it easier to focus on snacks or beverages or a day of the week. Just start somewhere. Small steps lead to huge changes. The simpler you keep it for yourself the better chance you have at actually creating new habits. It won’t seem so overwhelming to start eating healthier as you slowly start replacing the old habits with new ones. And the best part about taking it slow is you won’t ever feel like you’re depriving yourself.
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