For most of us, it’s pretty easy to focus on the foods that we like rather than the ones that our body needs. This isn’t so much of a concern if it isn’t a daily habit. Eating some of those tasty desserts at Thanksgiving is probably not going to cause you any health problems – unless this is the way you eat all the time. Unfortunately, for many people, it is. That’s why one of the first steps in improving your overall health is to find ways to break all the bad habits that have been established over a lifetime.
1. Understand what foods your body needs
The first step to breaking bad nutritional habits is to know what a healthy diet looks like. You need to understand what foods your body needs, and in what quantities, before you can recognize which habits are sabotaging your health.
A basic healthy diet consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables, grains, and low-fat protein and dairy foods every day. If your diet lacks in any of these areas, you aren’t getting all the nutrition your body requires. For most people, the lack is in enough fresh fruits and vegetables.
2. Replace the unhealthy foods
After determining the nutritional needs your diet lacks, you can start to replace the unhealthy foods you usually reach for with healthy ones. If you love to snack, start replacing those snacks with chopped up vegetables or a piece of fruit. You’ll find that you are actually more satisfied – you might even begin to realize that you like them better. Eventually, the bad habit will be gone and you’ll have replaced it with a healthier one.
3. Get the right kind of motivation
One important factor in changing bad habits is getting the right kind of motivation and support from your family and friends. Habits can be very addicting. If you are spending time with people who share those habits, they will be harder to break. Since you can’t change others, you may need to change where and with whom you spend your time.
As you begin changing your bad nutritional habits, don’t forget to reward yourself for your successes. Give yourself extra privileges as a reward for sticking to healthy meals. This will serve to reinforce your new habits.
4. Make healthy nutritional choices
Everything you eat as part of your daily diet is a choice. Most of us unconsciously make these choices because they’ve become ingrained habits. While you are changing bad habits, you have to start consciously thinking about the choices you are making. Eventually they will become second nature. You will find that you are feeling better and have more energy, which will also reinforce your choices. Since good health is based on healthy nutritional choices, you will find that you are less susceptible to many common ailments, such as colds, dietary distress, even diseases such as diabetes. Healthy nutrition is the foundation of a long and healthy life free from disease!