Eating healthy can be complicated. How we choose to perceive food affects what we put in our mouths, and there are many factors that shape that perception. The complexity can be enough to make you want to forfeit trying to eat well. But don’t give up.
Try these mind-focused eating habits to make yourself a master of your own nutrition.
Resist Thinking of Foods as Good or Bad
There’s a tendency to designate foods as good or bad, and then live by the mantra: “I should eat only foods that are good.” This leads down a wormhole of projecting feelings about food onto yourself. How often have you heard someone say, “I was so bad; I ate [insert dessert item]”? Rest assured, eating dessert does not affect your moral fiber. Consider foods as complementary puzzle pieces to your lifestyle and learn to be comfortable with your choices. Take jelly beans, for example. What may be considered a sugar bomb for a kid is a cost-effective energy burst for a runner in need of glucose to fuel the journey.
Be an Expert on the Topic of You
Ever feel like the universe floods you with info on exactly what, when and how you should be eating? One of the most challenging changes in eating habits can be looking to yourself to decide when and how much to eat instead of letting your environment make that choice for you. Make yourself a priority, and learn to check in with your body. Every few hours, stop and ask: “Am I hungry? How hungry? Am I thirsty?” Then, act accordingly. Your body often has a difficult time telling you what it needs because it is competing with the whirlwind happening around you. Learn to eat and drink things in amounts based on what your body tells you it needs.
Learn That Healthy Doesn’t Have to Mean Suffering
“Healthy” is like a fingerprint, unique to you. The one thing everyone’s health has in common is it doesn’t require a life of total rigidity and self-sacrifice to get there. This holds true for eating habits. Eating well does not require eating only things you dislike. Don’t enjoy broccoli? No worries. There are plenty of other vegetables in the garden. An open mind to try new foods and new ways of preparing foods can open a world of delicious possibilities for balanced nourishment.
Focus on Your Food
Mind your own plate. Challenge yourself to not eat something just because it’s what everyone around you is doing. If you’re full, you don’t need a second helping when everyone else is having one. If all of your co-workers are ordering salad at lunch, you don’t have to feel obligated to order one. This is one of the toughest habits to develop. Comparison is a thief of joy and balanced eating habits. Avoid mindlessly mimicking eating habits around you, but also avoid weighing in on what others are eating. Judging the food choices of others impedes your own nutrition success and the success of others.
DID YOU KNOW?
You can meet one-on-one with a Kroger Health registered dietitian for FREE from the comfort of your home. Let Kroger’s nutrition experts help you meet your food and nutrition goals! Schedule a telenutrition visit at krogerhealth.com/telenutrition or call 855-699-6937.