Dysfunctional eating habits are just the same as bad eating habits. They are not good for us and definitely do not promote a healthy lifestyle. The first step to dealing with dietary issues is to actually admit you have dysfunctional eating habits. Just recognizing the problems and deciding you want to change, is a huge step forward. To help you on your way to a healthy diet and lifestyle, here are 10 Ways to Beat Dysfunctional Eating Habits:
1. Start Slow
Part of ditching the bad eating habits is making that all important decision to change your ways. Don’t come down too hard on yourself and be over critical - be kind to yourself. Understand that you may have put on weight or lost too much, and not been leading a healthy lifestyle that will benefit you and your family. Move forward. Change is hard, but go slowly in the beginning to give yourself a chance. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
2. Make Gradual Changes
You can’t expect to change every aspect of your poor eating habits overnight. Set small, achievable goals for yourself and you will have more chance of success. Set small goals every week and stick to them, such as making sure your meal portions are right. Do that for two weeks and you will already see and feel a difference.
3. Look at What You Are Gaining
Many folks when they start a diet or start to embrace a healthy lifestyle, may seem as if they are deprived. If you are used to eating cheeseburgers and bowls of mashed potato every night, with beer, sodas and pudding, it is natural to feel deprived of something. But to help yourself stay focused, remember you are gaining a life; don’t focus on what you think you are missing out on.
4. Get into the Kitchen
Many healthy people who have balanced and healthy diets, express a love of cooking and food preparation. Vegetables do not have to be boring. Conquering dysfunctional eating habits can still be about a love of food. Just love it in a different way. Discover the joy of cooking, try different recipes, get into the kitchen and start experimenting with different, healthy dishes.
5. Stay Focused
It is very easy to get excited about overcoming the dietary issues, but it is entirely another to stay excited about it. Keep a food diary, record each and every item that you eat and drink, and how you felt at the time. It won’t be long until you start to see a pattern, and you will be able to track your progress and stay motivated until you reach your goals.
6. Get Moving
It is that much more difficult to reach your health and lifestyle goals if you live a sedentary lifestyle. Getting rid of unhealthy food choices needs to go hand in hand with doing some exercise. You will feel more motivated to stick to your goals, and less inclined to slide back to your old ways, because when you are doing exercise you will start feeling good immediately.
7. Implement Moderation
Everything in moderation is a cardinal rule that should apply to all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. There is no harm in indulging in your favourite dessert, but just have one slice of cheesecake, and not four. Make changes that make room for nice treats and unhealthy items that we love, but make sure they are rather the exception than the rule.
8. Substitute for Taste
Look at the recipes you normally make and just swop one or two ingredients and you will not feel deprived. Swap full fat cream cheese for a low fat variety or even plain yogurt. Ditch the full fat dairy for a dairy substitute, like soy, or go for a low fat option. Ditch the chocolate, go for carob and keep a small snack pack of carrots or nuts on hand for when you need a little pick me up between meals – there are plenty of options for healthy eating snacks.
9. Change Your Routine
Trying to ditch the biscuits with the coffee in the morning, when you sit at the kitchen table, then trick your brain for a few weeks and the cravings will go away. Rather have tea, have it in bed, or outside and kick the association of biscuits with coffee. Eat sweets in bed watching TV? Watch TV in another room and munch on carrots or air popped popcorn.
Veggies should be the basis of everybody’s diet, but if you have dysfunctional eating habits, chances are that you are not eating any veggies at all or you are eating very little. Start introducing veggies in at least 2 meals every day, make them take up at least half of your plate and if you are still full after you have eaten, skip the meat, potatoes and gravy and dish up some more veggies instead. They are good for digestion, packed with vitamins and minerals and you and your body will start to feel the effects immediately.
Poor eating habits are a way of life for so many people; there are many of us who don’t even realise it. Taking a few steps to change your dysfunctional eating habits can change your life forever. If you are taking a stand against your bad eating habits, then which one of these 10 Ways to beat Dysfunctional Eating habits helped you?