Enjoying healthy foods – including low fat protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates – is as much about attitude as it is about habitchoice. Recent studies show that what you eat is certainly important, but even more important is how you think about what you eat.
It turns out that most of our food choices aren’t really “choices” at all – they’re habits. And these habits are, in large part, defined by your attitude. Staying positive and regularly giving yourself praise, rewards and pep talks is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your healthy lifestyle. If you think about eating healthfully as a “diet” or “program” that you “need” to maintain, it will be much harder to be successful over the long run. Your mind will resist any restrictions you place on it. If you approach healthy eating as something you “have to do” rather than something you “want to do” or something that you even “enjoy doing,” then your mind will naturally resist.
Healthy foods can be incredibly flavorful and enjoyable. The next time you look through a food magazine, look specifically for healthy meals. If there is a picture of the meal, study it. Look at the colors, the textures and imagine the flavors. Think about how enjoyable it would be to be served the meal pictured in the article. This approach will help you see healthy foods as foods that are desirable. The important point to remember is that it’s always easier to “pull” yourself toward things that you should eat, rather than “push” yourself away from foods you want to avoid.
It’s important to get the whole family involved in the mind-shift too. Rather than “pushing” healthy eating on them, work on changing the way everyone thingks about the foods they eat. Having family members support each other will help change attitudes and create long-term success.
Here are some tips to help you focus on the brain and transform your entire family’s approach to eating:
Reward successes: Giving frequent rewards for sticking with it reinforces success. Buy some new iTunes songs, get a massage, gather for a family movie night, or take the family to the local zoo for the day. Have a “can do” philosophy – Almost everyone slips from time-to-time, eating something that is far from healthy. Make it ok to slip by remembering that nobody’s perfect, but they can easily reverse course and eat healthier in the future.
Relieve life’s tension: One of the biggest differences between people who are successful and those who aren’t is their tension level. Stress can lead to “stress-eating” which is usually unhealthy. Take up yoga, learn to meditate or find some other way to relieve tension in your family’s life.
Embrace the challenge: Continually look for new, healthy recipes to try and new foods to experiment with. Enjoy the challenge of expanding the variety in your family’s diet, rather than getting stuck in a rut.
Make it a family affair: Involve the whole family in meal planning, shopping and preparation. When you have others involved, it is much easier to reinforce everyone’s success. Have each family member plan at least one meal each week, and then have fun with it.
By applying these simple tips, almost anyone can eat healthier – and enjoy eating more too!
Remember, healthy choices each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
Would you like to quickly and easily create healthy, delicious meals? Check out our new blog series, Healthy Meals in a Snap. Every Friday we post a new article that includes insights, tips and recipes for today’s busy lives.
You may also want to read: How Food Ads Mislead You, One Secret to Healthy Meals in a Snap? A Bit of Planning, Healthy Foods Are More Filling