Most of us are creatures of habit. Whether we learned them from family or friends, we all have routines that we continually use in our lives. Our routines even apply to how we eat, which makes it extremely difficult to make and sustain healthy lifestyle changes. (Evaluate your current eating style.)
Here are some tips to help you make healthy eating habits more permanent.
When you're trying to eat healthy, it's easy to get sidetracked by a busy day at work or unexpected events in the evening. The better prepared you are with healthy snacks and pre-planned meals, the easier it will be to stay committed. (Read about Healthy On-the-Go Eating.)
Give yourself a break
Don't remove or restrict anything from your diet, especially the foods you love. If you try to be perfect, your healthy eating habits will not last. The trick is to keep unhealthy foods to a minimum. It's okay to partake in a less-than-nutritious meal once in awhile. Just move on and do better next time.
Get creative in the kitchen
Make sure your meals include a variety of foods and keep them satisfying. (Try these Budget-Friendly Foods and Recipes.) Eating the same things every day can grow old and cause you to grab something you should avoid at the last minute.
Include lean protein and healthy fats in every meal and snack
These nutrients keep you energized, make you feel full and stabilize your blood sugars, helping to prevent crashes or energy dips later in the day, which may cause you to overeat or make less healthy choices.
Keep track of your food intake
Writing down your food choices keeps you accountable and allow you to see trends in how you feel in relation to what you eat.
Find a friend, family member or co-worker who will support your commitment to healthy eating. Who knows? Maybe they will join you.