Take small steps to change your diet

Whether you want to change your diet for health reason, to lose weight, have more energy, help your family, change your lifestyle a good place is start is by making small changes.

When thinking of changing something in our lives we often think big. I am going to lose weight by cutting out all sugar, carbs and exercising 5 times a day. Is this realistic? Better yet is this sustainable in the long term?

Personally I don’t like the word diet and highly caution people who say they are on a diet. There are so many fads and trends out there but they are usually not sustainable in the long run. Sure you can juice every day but eventually you will need solid food to balance out your diet. As a nutritionist, the word diet should go. We get so caught up on ‘I’m on a diet’ that we tend to focus on the things we are missing out on and all of the restrictions which leads one to become resentful, frustrated and eventually binge eat. Instead focus on making one change in your daily eating habit.

Spend more time cooking at home. By cooking at home you can control portion size, salt content, know exactly what is in your food and feel a sense of satisfaction of making your own meal.

Portion size. When eating out the portions sizes are much larger than they need to be. Also when eating at home, especially with snacking, you tend to just keep eating without thinking about what you are eating or how much. ‘How did I manage to eat an entire bag of chips?’ Mindless eating, we have all been there, portion control helps. Put less on your plate, pour less into a bowl, eat and than wait awhile and see if you are still hungry or craving more.

Pause between mouthfuls. Eat a bit, put the fork down and pause. Allowing your body to digest and enjoy the meal. You will take longer to eat, so eat less and will feel fuller by allowing time for the food to reach your stomach. Maybe even sneak in a conversation or two with a loved one. Often are meals are rushed and we are off to the next thing. Time at the table bonding is precious time, so enjoy, take time to digest your food.

Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy items. Stock up on veggies and fruits and grains. If you have them at home then you are more likely to use them. Same goes for junk food, if you have it at home you are more likely to eat it. So stock your kitchen with healthy items, than when the craving hits, and it will, your choices will be better because of what is available.

Distract yourself. We have all heard it before, the emotional eater, bad day? good day? bored? just because eating? Everyone does it. Try to distract yourself, usually eat when the tv is on, why not keep your hands busy doing something else? Crossword, coloring, knitting, reading, get up during commercials and walk around, fill in the blank with what interest you.

There are many tips and advice for changing your eating habits, for myself, change is always better in small, easy to mange steps. Small changes in most areas of our lifestyle can have long mind, body, soul rewards. Start small, be easy on yourself by setting realistic goals, be adaptable by seeing what works for you and keep trying change takes time.

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