How To Change Eating Habits For Better Health
Unhealthy Eating Habits Leads To Illness and Disease
Most people in developed countries, including us in the U.S. would do well to change eating habits for better health.
Not doing so leads to illnesses and diseases such as Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Cancer and Early Dementia, not to mention excess weight. All of those are reasons to eat healthy!
Unhealthy Eating Habits Are Spurred On By What Is In Foods
Many find it hard to change the diet. The food industry deliberately puts bad fats, sugars and chemicals in many foods to hook the person to continue eating the foods. They don’t want you to quit, as they would lose money.
Some Foods Can Become Addictive
A person can become addicted to the foods that he/she should avoid, because of how these things affect the brain.
These types of foods stimulate the brain creating Dopamine, which give us feelings of pleasure. It provides far more Dopamine than we would normally get from healthy food, so becomes addictive.
Did you know the same thing happens with street drugs such as cocaine and heroine? It floods the brain with Dopamine. Yes, there can be similarities between junk foods and street drugs.
It can cause people to lose control and continue eating these bad foods on a regular basis.
I have a problem with chocolate with a high sugar content. When I was in my early twenties I quit eating high sugar chocolate, as I ate more and more once I got started. First day was a small chocolate bar, then a big chocolate bar the next day. Just could not get enough chocolate… so I quit eating chocolate for years.
These days I do not have that problem if I eat a couple squares of dark chocolate, organic with a content of 55% or higher chocolate and not much sugar. So for me it is the high sugar and chocolate combination that sets me off.
Then there is the emotional rewards for eating foods that would be better to avoid as well. Many people reach for foods to celebrate or pick themselves up out of depression that are actually helping to fuel the Dopamine and change or enhance their mood.
Meanwhile the body and organs such as the Pancreas and Liver are having a hard time and heading down a path of ill health because of what is eaten.
Eating foods that build health and keep your energy up is hard to address in the short term for many. Many have never been introduced to this lifestyle, as so many younger people have eaten a fast food or junk food diet most or all of their life.
You may keep saying you will start eating better but keep putting it off. So let’s talk about how to change eating habits in a way that is not painful and will help you to cut out the “bad for you foods”.
Focus On The Benefits
What you eat and how you eat has become a habit (and sometimes an addiction). Both of those can be changed.
Focus on the reasons to eat healthy. Write a list of what you will gain by eating a healthier diet. Include in that list what you will move away from, such as the illnesses mentioned at the beginning of the article or excess weight.
Now, think of how much healthier you will be in three months, then six months and on.
The List gives you a big picture, a reminder of why you are doing this. Keep this list handy, maybe put it on the refrigerator.
By the way, at about 3 months others will begin to notice a difference in how you look and feel because of the healthy eating. Be patient. You will begin to see changes in your energy and how you feel before then.
And along the way, if you are over weight, you will most likely lose some excess weight.
Start With Small Changes, Removing Things
You can transition slowly, if you have no health challenges that need immediate attention.
If you have health challenges, changing your diet more quickly is one of the best things you can do.
So with small changes, you would cut back week after week. Until the food or snack is removed completely from your diet.
An example of this, is sugar and corn syrup laden products. These are very unhealthy. Sodas are a corn syrup product.
Let’s say you have three snacks or foods a day that contain those ingredients. Start reading ingredients! You will be surprised at what is in so called “food” now.
So week one you would cut back to two servings a day, week two one serving a day, week three one serving every other day, week four and on steer clear of the foods, except for a rare treat or better yet find a healthy substitute or something you like as well, but is healthy.
You may have withdrawal symptoms and you have what it takes to work through it. Read your list of why you are doing this.
You will be surprised at how those items don’t taste so good after you have been off of them for a while, as has been reported by many of my clients.
Make the change count. Remove the bad fats, sugars, trans fats and chemical laden foods and snacks, while beginning to add healthy foods to what you are eating.
Healthy Eating Habits: Add Healthy Foods
Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods. Eat half or more of those raw. Sure cook some, but make sure to get raw foods each day as well.
Healthy eating habits would include some healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, organic butter from grass fed cows, fish oils and nut oils.
Get in moderate amounts of protein, moderate amounts of good carbohydrates (starches) and plenty of vegetables.
I suggest 7 one half cup servings daily (or more) of vegies. Remember to eat some of the vegetables raw.
Some vegetables could be juiced, which is even more concentrated nutrition. Fresh made vegetable juices could be diluted half with water or just start with 6 to 8 ounces.
Vegetables are one of the biggest sources of minerals and fiber in the diet. Without a good amount of minerals, anti oxidents, vitamins and other compounds on a daily basis, you cannot build the best health.
Your body will feel satisfied with the better food, filling up with better nutrition, not to mention less chemicals and begin to address nutrient deficiencies you may have developed, which leads to illness.
Why Go Organic?
I suggest reaching for organic foods, if possible, as they are not sprayed with pesticides and most growers are trying to put minerals back in the soils to boost the health giving properties of the fruits and vegetables. Plus organic foods are not being genetically modified.
If you do not know about the adverse effects of pesticides and genetically modified (GMO) foods on your health, I suggest you do some research on why to avoid GMOs, what is happening to food today and how it is grown. Many countries are now refusing that GMO foods be raised in their country, the effects are so bad.
Changing Eating Habits Is Worth It
So there you have it on how to change eating habits. I won’t say changing eating habits is always easy, as so many people are addicted to unhealthy foods and do not realize it.
If unhealthy eating habits is your problem, it is worth withdrawing from the unhealthy foods and pursue better eating. You are at the cross roads of Healthy and Unhealthy. Which way will you go?