Mental Strategies for Healthy Eating: 5 Mind Habits to Adopt for Good Nutrition
You buy nutritious foods and try to prepare wholesome meals, but you still struggle to eat right. As frustrating as it may be, you’re not alone. Many people fail at healthy eating despite their best intentions, and the reasons run the gamut–from lack of knowledge about proper nutrition to succumbing to unhealthy food cravings. Fortunately, you have a built-in tool to steer you in the right direction: your mind. These six mental strategies will help you put an end to wayward eating habits so you can enjoy good nutrition now and for a lifetime.
Involve Your Brain
It’s never too late to learn about nutrition or brush up on your food sense. By allowing your brain to take in and process everything it can about healthy eating, you’ll be more successful at adopting good nutrition. Not sure where to go for information? Check out reputable food and nutrition blogs and websites or consult a dietary professional. Dietitians and nutritionists are trained practitioners who can provide a wealth of advice and guidance on wholesome eating.
Contemplate Your Cravings
Instead of giving in to your craving for your favorite sugary treat or comfort food, think about what your taste buds are really after and find a low-fat, low-calorie substitute. Is it the savoriness of fried chicken that’s got you salivating? Swap it out for an herb-seasoned, oven-roasted bird. Itching for a succulent fruit pie? Try a bowl of fresh, ripe berries with a dollop of unsweetened whipping cream. Be mindful of your cravings and find creative, tasty, and nutritious ways to appease your palate.
Think in the Present
The idea of following a healthy eating plan forever can be overwhelming and cause you to rebel. Here’s an idea: forget about the future. You’ll have much better luck fixing your thoughts on the present. Concentrate on the current meal and consuming clean, nutrient-dense foods that will make your body feel good today. It’s a mind strategy that can pay off big. Research shows the longer you abstain from consuming unhealthy foods and beverages, the less you desire them anyway.
No one’s perfect when it comes to healthy eating. Slip-ups happen, but you don’t need to wallow in guilt or beat yourself up over them. Learning to eat right is a process that takes patience and mental stamina. Try using self-talk to help you stay the course and find a place of peace with yourself and your relationship with food. And remember to celebrate your successes. Any steps you take toward changing your eating habits for the better should be met with a generous helping of self-praise.
Be an Optimist
According to studies, optimism not only helps you make healthier food choices, it puts you on a path to living a healthier life. So what if you’re wired to be a pessimist? There are a number of ways to change your mindset. Read success stories about people who have made dramatic changes to their diet and improved their health. Surround yourself with happy, healthy friends and feed off their energy and motivation. Or, conjure up positive eating mantras and recite them daily.
Eating right may boil down to a simple matter of the mind. Use these mental strategies to make healthier food choices, improve your diet, and adopt good nutrition habits for the long haul.