There are all kinds of habits that people have. Some of them are good, some not-so-good. For example, most would agree that smoking is not a good habit. Perhaps the trickiest habit of all is not eating healthy. See, while somebody can quit smoking, nobody can quit eating.
The very nature of our lives requires us to eat, and it’s virtually impossible to completely avoid foods we shouldn’t be eating. This can make it very difficult to not only start a healthy eating habit but to stick to it. At the same time, you should be careful that you don’t get too obsessed with any one particular diet; life is too short to not enjoy the occasional treat. That being said, it really is possible to develop better eating habits when you are prepared.
The more planning ahead you can do, the better. Have you ever gone to the grocery store swearing you’re going to eat healthy, and then you buy all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables? Then you add fish, chicken breasts, dried beans, and other healthy fare, too. You feel great as you load up your grocery cart. But…then…by the end of the week you find that you are throwing a lot of that food away. So, what happened?
Chances are you didn’t plan very well. If you are used to eating ready-made frozen dinners or going to your local fast food joint to eat, then you are accustomed to the convenience those foods bring. While they won’t give you very much nutrition, they certainly don’t require a lot of planning. So, once you get all the healthy food home, you either don’t know what to do with it, or you don’t have the time.
Your solution to developing a healthy eating habit is to plan ahead. Let’s say you’re not very good at cooking because you haven’t done it very much, then start with some very simple recipes that incorporate healthy ingredients. If you are already good at cooking, but usually make unhealthy meals, then you can start by replacing one or two ingredients in your favorite dishes.
The next thing you can do is plan ahead your menu for the week. This will take a bit more time upfront but will save you time in the long run. Another way to save time when cooking is to get the whole family involved. Don’t be surprised if there is complaining at first. After all, everybody is going through changes, and there will be a learning curve. Stick with it, though, and the healthy eating habit will soon become second nature.
Above all, be realistic about what you will and won’t do. It takes time to get rid of unhealthy habits, but you will have a much better chance of success if you make small changes that everybody can stick to. Every little change you can make towards healthier eating habits counts. It will take some getting used to, no question, but it will be worth it.