3. Get more connected to your food. Start shopping at farmers markets and meet the farmers who are growing your food. Start eating at restaurants that source their products locally. Spend time lovingly picking out your fruits and vegetables at the market and learn to prepare them yourself. These steps will help you appreciate your food on a deeper level and learn to understand that fresh foods are not only healthier for you, they’re gorgeous and taste amazing!
4. Adopt the mindset that eating healthy is a new lifestyle for you, not a diet. Learn to integrate the changes you’re learning not just into your life but into the lives of your loved ones as well.
5. Quit giving yourself a choice. At the end of a long day don’t ask yourself whether or not you should cook a healthy meal or order take out. We all know that the answer to that question will more likely be take-out. Accept that being healthy and keeping your weight down means you will have to do some cooking. With that in mind, have a list of easy go-to meals when you don’t feel like cooking. Bottom line is don’t give yourself a choice, see cooking as something you simply just do like brushing your teeth.
6. Reconsider your weight loss goals. It’s not about the number you see on the scale! It’s about how you feel on the inside and how healthy you are. Health is not a number it’s a feeling of vitality, energy, and enthusiasm that starts the minute you get out of bed in the morning! So perhaps instead of saying “I want to lose X pounds by X date,” say to yourself “I want to be able to chase my child around the backyard for an hour without having to rest!”
7. Reconsider what it takes to be beautiful. Being beautiful is not about being thin, it’s about being healthy. When you’re healthy you have clearer skin, shinier hair, and strong nails. You have a radiant and vital appearance that screams youth!
8. Start your transformation with a 30 day challenge to help jump start your weight loss and health. Losing weight quickly in the beginning will help you stick with your new way of eating, thanks to the results you will be seeing and feeling.
9. Reconsider what will really make you happy. Eating and living a healthier life also brings with it the bonus of improved moods! When you consistently eat healthier you feel happier. Anxiety and depression will naturally decrease! Both of these are often related to nutrient deficiencies, so when you begin to eat healthier your body will naturally repair these deficiencies and your mood state will naturally level out. You’ll find that it’s much easier to deal with stress too! Those who feel good treat others better – which will make you more attractive and irresistible to everyone around you!
10. Start a new hobby. Start doing something that’s incompatible with eating. If you find that you eat the most when you’re watching television then it may be time to start a new habit to relax you in the evenings! Consider going on a walk, or reading to wind down. Or, maybe even pick up something entirely new like yoga, painting, or volunteering! After all, food is a part of your life, not the ONLY part of your life! Spending time with people you care about and doing things that get you outside of your own emotional issues can help change not only your habitual mindless eating, but also change your life!
11. Start a 10-minute distraction practice. If you feel the urge to eat something or have a specific craving for junk food, distract yourself for 10 minutes. Go and do something else and get totally engaged with whatever it is. Take a walk, take a bath, call a friend, whatever it takes to get your mind off of eating and the craving for junk. If you’re still craving it after the 10 minutes are up then go ahead and eat it. This can really help you differentiate between emotional hunger (eating when you want to distract yourself from your emotions) and physical hunger (eating when you’re actually hungry!).
12. Go outside. Reconnect with nature. Take a walk. Spend time with family. Take a bike ride. Just sit and listen to the sound of the birds and the wind in the trees. Research shows that being in nature naturally calms your nervous system!
13. Feel your feelings, stop holding back when you’re angry, sad, or worried. Holding back causes us to numb ourselves with things like poor food choices! It can be tough to gain more emotional awareness after covering your emotions up for so long. So, be gentle with yourself and the process!
14. Tune into the physical sensations of your emotions. When you feel a weight in your chest and your arms feel heavy you’re probably experiencing sadness. When you feel tension in your shoulders and neck you’re probably feeling anger. And when you feel a buoyant and an energetic feeling you’re probably feeling happiness! Consider tracking your moods in a journal and what they feel like physically until you feel confident in your ability to identify how you’re feeling!
15. Sit with difficult emotions.
18. Learn about mindful eating. Mindful eating is paying attention to the actual experience of drinking and eating, and connecting with the process both internally and externally. It’s about paying attention with all five senses. This means paying attention to how food smells, how it feels to the touch, the colors and textures, temperature, flavor, and sounds associated with that food. It also means paying attention to what happens inside the body when you’re eating. Whether certain foods upset your stomach or your system, and really getting in touch with what hungry, full, and half-full feels like. It’s paying attention to everything that’s going on inside of you while you’re eating, including your thoughts and emotions about eating, and what you crave and desire to eat. We can’t change something until we become aware of it!
19. Practicing mindful eating. Slow down while you eat. Put your utensils down between each bite and take a deep, long breath. Eliminate all distractions while eating. Don’t read, don’t watch television, just eat. If you focus just on eating you’ll become more fully aware of everything that’s going on inside of you. But give yourself credit. Paying attention for 10 seconds out of every meal is a victory. Even remembering to be mindful is a victory! It’s all about baby steps. Just take one step at a time until you get there. It’s not an all or nothing proposition. Consider starting with a mindful eating practice like taking 3 raisins and taking 5 minutes to fully experience the smell, touch, taste and texture – everything about them. Once you begin to do these types of exercises you’ll never look at eating the same again!
20. Recognizing the pieces of your habits. Your habits are made up of patterns that you play out every day. Habits are also created out of numbing yourself from having an emotional experience. They’re also created due to becoming mindless and running on autopilot through life. Another example of this is meal time; consider only eating when you’re hungry, not when a specific “time” comes for you to eat. This is a way you can honor your body’s hunger cues and become fully aware of what your body needs and when. New habits are formed when you practice things over and over. You can’t just change a habit overnight. Your habits have been formed through many years, and research shows that it can take up to 3 months to cement new habits into place. Although motivation is important when beginning your transformation, habit is more important. So become aware of your habits and begin to replace them with new ones and you’ll transform your life!
- Choose 1-2 of your favorite items from the list above and integrate these into your life immediately.
- Make a plan to integrate the others over the next few months.
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