30+ Tips To Improve How You Eat
GOOD | Nutrition Made Simple
Change How You Think About Food
Whether you want to lose, gain or maintain your weight, a healthy environment is key. It also makes maintenance MUCH EASIER.
Change your environment and you will be more likely to make other needed changes.
The list below will help you design your environmental clean up. As you review this list, make short-term goals, which are applicable for yourself.
Buying Your Food - You'll eat what's there, so make sure it's healthy. It's SIMPLE...but crucial and often overlooked.
- Try to plan menus on a weekly basis. These menus should be simple, but enjoyable and realistic.
- Always shop from a list.
- Prepare a weekly list.
- Never shop while hungry.
- Prepare your menu and list on a regular schedule.
- Have a scheduled shopping day.
- Buy for specific meals and only in the amount needed to minimize leftovers.
- Shop from the perimeter of the grocery store.
- Avoid calorie-dense snack items, such as chips and cookies, which you know are your weaknesses.
- Buy fruits, vegetable sticks and low-sodium canned soups to eat as low-cal snacks with minimal preparation.
- Buy foods that help you stick to your plan.
- Fight the craving. You should avoid grocery aisles that display your problem foods, junk foods such as the candy aisle or cookie aisle. Food chemists make certain food irresistible to your five senses so that you can’t eat just one.
Preparing Your Food
- Prepare low-calorie, high-quality meals.
- Use an exhaust fan to lower appetite stimulation. Use the lids for all your pots.
- Don't nibble while preparing. If you are truly hungry, have a very low calorie snack such as raw carrots or eat some left over vegetables from the night before.
- Prepare only the amount of meat and starch that you will need for the meal, but prepare extra vegetables.
- Substitute low calorie items, for high calorie items.
- Prepare lunches while the evening meal is being prepared, minimizing contact with food
Serving Your Food
- Put on the table only the food needed for that meal and serve yourself last. Don't leave serving dishes on the table.
- Serve yourself an "appropriately" small or medium serving. Don't go back for seconds, unless it's more from the vegetable group.
- Use a small dinner plate so food appears more abundant.
- Six small meals are more preferable than two or three large meals. This strategy was shown to help participants lose weight in a recent study. But this does not mean you should graze all day or eat when not hungry.
Eating Your Food
- Chew slowly. This should be a pleasurable experience. Don't attack your food.
- Put the utensil down between bites.
- Don't feel like you have to clean your plate. Stop eating when you are comfortably full. Eating more than our bodies needs is wasted.
- Concentrate on the food being eaten. Enjoy your meal.
- Eat in one place; don't carry meals or snacks to all parts of the house.
- Avoid eating cues as much as possible at times not designated for eating.
- Don't eat haphazardly; plan ahead! If you fail to plan, you will plan to fail.
- Brush your teeth immediately after a meal, or use some other cue that states that you are through. A glass of hot tea or gourmet coffee is a great cue to let you know that the meal has been completed. Remember, the more often a cue is rehearsed, the stronger the response becomes.
- Clear the table immediately.
- Dispose of leftovers or scrape plates immediately. Don't leave around food to "pick at."
- If it's inconvenient to clear the table immediately, then leave it; go to another room for your conversation or cup of coffee.
- If leftovers are to be saved, do so immediately. This may be a good opportunity to prepare your lunch for the next day.
- Find an alternate activity to capture your interest after eating time. Preferably "move." A walk would be great.
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