A recent study found that less than 10% of Americans are eating enough fruits and vegetables. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than 15% of Americans are consuming the recommended 2 to 4 daily servings of fruit, and less than 9% consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables.
If you’re going to beat the cravings, you will need to rewire your brain so you crave Brussel sprouts more than bacon. Each time you choose healthier foods, you’re strengthening your desire for them. Take a look at these recommendations for changing the way you think and eat.
Changing the Way You Think
Remember your primary intent and focus is here. You will need to have a pinpoint focus on why you choose to consume nutritious whole foods. Eliminating empty calories can help you look and feel your best. You’ll have more energy, and will be less susceptible to illness or disease
Plan ahead. Ask yourself if a few minutes of munching on candy and chips is worth the consequences and the result. Would your future self-be better off if you snacked on a banana, celery, or baby carrots?
Study nutrition. It is quite simple to google information or perhaps do a YouTube search if you prefer video learning, for all the information you need to fully educate yourself on what foods to eat to maintain a healthy diet, and become a fat burning machine. The more you know about how your diet affects your health, the stronger your motivation will be. Schedule a session with a registered dietician or browse online to learn more about reading food labels and restaurant menus.
Form new habits. It’s easier to start a positive new habit than to break an old routine. If you’re used to eating a donut with your coffee, treat yourself to a few almonds instead of going hungry.
Focus on rewards that don’t involve food. If emotional eating is a concern, you may need to seek gratification elsewhere. Reward yourself by buying yourself a new shirt or pair of jeans, or spending time with friends at a special place like a theater, hiking in the mountains, or any other fun activity you enjoy doing.
Recruit support. Speaking of friends, social support is vital. Surround yourself with others who are trying to eat well so you can share encouragement and feedback.
Changing the Way You Eat
Add healthy fats. You may have noticed a recent shift in nutritional advice. Experts are now talking less about avoiding fats, and more about choosing healthy fats. Broccoli can be a lot more appealing when you drizzle on olive oil.
Hunt for deals. Perhaps the high price of some green superfoods is putting a damper on your organic grocery store shopping. Shop for seasonal produce or you can even grow your own. Stock up on inexpensive staples like beans and lentils. Visit the bulk bins where you can save on packaging costs, and sample small quantities until you discover your favorite grains and seeds.
Beautify your place settings. Presentation makes a big difference. Sit down to eat. Create an attractive centerpiece or light candles. Use colorful dishes and bowls.
Branch out. If kale is starting to bore you, experiment with other salad greens like oakleaf or mizuna. Sign up for cooking classes or visit the library for more ideas about what to make for dinner.
Carry snacks. Bring hummus or yogurt to the office with you for your afternoon break. You’ll soon like your own fresh food better than the packaged goods in the vending machines.
Make it convenient to eat healthy foods. The foods we crave are often the ones that require a minimal effort like cookies and frozen dinners. You can make healthy substitutes just as handy. Keep a bowl of fruit on your dining room table. Buy whole-wheat pizza crusts you can top with cut vegetables and cheese for a hot meal in minutes.
Imagine looking forward to a bowl of beets with the same enthusiasm you usually reserve for double-fudge brownies. Some simple mental training, along with adjusting a few lifestyle habits, will have you craving food that’s good for you.