The most important thing, above all other things that you can do to improve your health is deciding to eat healthier. Small diet changes are the first step to better health, losing weight and then maintaining it for a ripe old age.
When you make the decision to start taking small steps towards eating healthier, you’re already halfway there if you’ll just stick to your decision. Committing to making small little steps a few days a week is a good starting point as long as you “think about it” daily.
Overtime, you’ll gravitate to making better food choices every day because you’ll internally want to as your thought processes automatically change due to the repeated “thinking about it.”
The Trouble with Making Big Diet Changes Fast
Once you’ve made your decision to make those small diet changes, you could be tempted to go ahead and make them big diet changes so that you can reach your health goals faster. The problem here is that while it might sound good at first when you’re gun-ho and ready to get started, most people can’t stick to a major overhaul all at one time.
While it might be tempting to make big changes quickly, very few people can stick with this sudden change for the long term. This is where the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race slogan will pay off for you; if you practice it.
It’s much easier on you and your body if you’ll individually identify your food and nutritional choices that you personally make and start substituting the not so good choices with better ones. If you try to abruptly adapt to a “one size fits all” diet plan, you are likely going to take on more than you are capable of doing long-term. That’s the biggest reason most diet plans fail the people who partake in trying to follow them.
Your body is unique and so are your eating choices. Make slow and systematic changes based on your lifestyle. And even if you don’t make changes daily, think about the ones that you should make first, and next, every day and you’ll gradually gravitate in that direction.
Benefits of Small Diet Changes
Say that you’re a carb-aholic and maybe you have stomach problems frequently for some un-known reason to you. Medications might mask it but can cause other problems. You decide to start replacing bad carbs with good carbs and trim your gluten intake back.
Shortly after, your stomach problems begin drifting away; something you would never have known if you had not begun changing out the bad carbs with good carbs. Complete lifestyle changes can be had by working on one small habit at a time.
Let’s take a closer look at the process…
Benefits of Changing Your Eating Habits Slowly
The first thing you should do right now is to take in a good deep breath and relax. Getting good nutrition and eating right isn’t about going on some grueling diet plan and hoping it works. It’s about gradual life changes for long lasting health and physical well being.
This is how you do it:
Start by Identifying All Poor Nutritional Habits
Spare no shame in doing this exercise. You need to spend a few minutes being totally honest with yourself and write down ALL nutrition and dietary habits that you know you need to change. Let’s step back to take another look at the new food pyramid for a minute.
- What’s your daily fruit and vegetable intake?
- What do your breakfast meals look like?
- Do you drink calorie loaded sodas, juices and sugar infused coffee, tea or sports energy drinks?
- Are processed foods a big part of your diet?
- What do you eat when you want a snack?
- Do you eat whole grains each day?
- What kinds of fatty, sugary deserts do eat?
As you’re thinking about the different habits that you’d like to change, write them all down and then go back through and prioritize your list according to what habits you want to work on changing first. Remember, you should not try to change everything at once, just choose the habit you want to work on first. This might be the one that you feel will make the biggest impact or the easiest one that you can change to get yourself started in the right direction.
For instance, one simple step that’s pretty easy to take for most people is to switch out white bread with whole grain bread. Another one might be to instead of gobbling down sugar rich doughnuts for breakfast every day, switch to a breakfast smoothie. One well-made smoothie in the morning might contain as much as half of your daily requirement of fruits and vegetables.
Small little changes like this can impact your nutritional intake, and health, in a very positive way. Whipping up a nutritious smoothie might make you adjust your morning routine slightly but the rewards are well worth the efforts. In the next article we’ll look closer at making your small diet changes by tackling your nutritional habits one at a time.