Three Easy Steps to Improve Your Eating Habits for the Long Haul

Change is tough for most of us—even changes we want and need to make. That’s because we’re creatures of habit. Some are good such as always eating breakfast. On the other hand, always cleaning your plate is not so good. When it comes to eating many of our habits were established during childhood, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to change them. And that’s good news!

It’s important to move carefully and methodically into any lifestyle changes you need to make—even if you need to move fairly quickly to bring your diabetes or other medical condition under control. Research proves that sudden, radical changes just don’t last. However, following a process—one that begins with careful thought in which you reflect, replace and reinforce can help you move forward into a healthier way of eating for a lifetime.

Reflect on your eating. Here you begin to get the information you need that will help open your eyes to your eating habits—bad and good, and your triggers for unhealthy eating.

Keeping a detailed food journal for a week or two makes it absolutely clear what your eating habits are. Your journal should include everything you eat, the time of day you ate it, how hungry you were and what you were doing while eating. Our habits can be so automatic that we don’t realize there is a pattern that needs to change. Seeing your eating habits in black and white makes you more aware of where you need to make adjustments. It’s also important to note how you were feeling when you decided to eat, especially if you were eating when not hungry. Were you bored? Tired? Stressed out?

As you review your food journal highlight the habits, events, and feelings that may be leading you to overeat. Eating too fast, eating when not hungry, eating mindlessly, eating when emotionally upset, are