I was on the phone with one of my most recent health coaching clients and she was lamenting the fact that she cannot remember to eat healthy. She sees food that she knows is not good for her and she just goes for it. After she eats it, she suddenly remembers that she was supposed to be making better food choices. This remembering then leads to feelings of guilt and frustration.
Ultimately, our conversation was steered towards answering the question of: How do you remember to eat healthy?
Before we get into some tricks to help you remember to eat healthy, I want you to consider your current mindset around eating well for your body.
Is it a burden?
Is it just something you have to do because you know it is “good” for you?
Do you dread it?
Are you paralyzed in the kitchen and grocery store because you do not want to make the wrong food choices?
Take a deep breath. Changing your eating habits is not going to be an overnight thing. Sure, you could make it an overnight thing if you used a cleanse or specific diet fads, but the goal is to adjust your eating habits in a sustainable way. This means changing one habit every few weeks so you are not overwhelmed or deprived.
So, how do you remember to eat healthy on a consistent basis without crash diets?
To start, you have to do a little reflecting. After you eat something that is not nutritionally valuable to your body, how do you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally?
How do you feel after you eat something that IS nutritionally valuable to your body?
Before you grab the food that is the less positive of your two options, think through these post-eating feelings and ask yourself, how do I want to feel?
There are also a few tricks you can utilize to help you remember to eat healthy.
1. Put a background picture on your phone that includes you feeling amazing, or an image of your motivation for change (a picture of family, pets, hikes, etc.). Peek at your phone before you make a food choice.
2. Put yourself on a tight work food budget. This will encourage you to pack healthy meals and snacks and avoid the vending machines and lunches out.
3. Pop a mint or piece of gum before you head into the break room. If there are office snacks in there, you are less likely to grab one if you are minty fresh.
4. Drink a glass of water before you eat. This will take the edge off your hunger and give you time to think through your food choices. Plus, you will get the added benefits of having a hydrated body!
5. Do a taste bud analysis to see if the unhealthy snacks you are eating are really that tasty, or if they have just become a habit.
6. Consider your emotional state before, during, and after you eat. Are you feeling bored or upset in any way before you eat something or is it really hunger?
7. Enlist a co-worker as an accountability partner. This is someone who will warn you about what is in the break room, question you as you head to the vending machine, and can swap tasty lunch and snack ideas with.
8. Distract yourself. If you feel like you are itching to hit the vending machine or grab one of those break room snacks, go for a quick walk around the office (or outside if you can) instead with your Fitbit (affiliate link). Leave the room where the temptations are or focus on checking off another thing on your to do list.
Pick two items from this list to implement in the next week. Do your best to stick to them until they become more of a habit and not so conscious.
Keep in mind that remembering to eat healthy is a phase. You are going to have to be very conscious of it as you work to make it habit, but over time, you will not have to remember and you just will!
What are some of your tips and tricks for remembering to eat healthy?
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