How to build the mentality of a healthy eater

It's important to ease your way into a new diet before becoming a full-time healthy eater.

It is one thing to tell yourself you are going to change your dietary habits and start eating healthier everyday, but it's another to act on it. In fact, according to some estimates,  95 percent of people who start diets eventually fail, and will regain any weight they lost in 1 to 5 years.

The dynamics of changing your eating routine is an extremely challenging barrier to conquer, but it's not what you are eating that's the hard part. Instead, it's discovering and maintaining the proper mentality that is the tricky part. If you have been looking to start dieting or have tried and failed in the past, here are some tips to help get you in the right disposition to become a healthy eater and stay that way:

Ease your way into it
One of the biggest reasons why people end up ditching their diets is because it is too much change too fast. If you go from eating hamburgers and doughnuts one day to salads and apples the next, the odds are that in a week, you will be back in the drive-thru lane. Take baby steps by substituting a salad instead of a starch for your next meal, or skip the dessert if that is a main staple with your dinner. Even little alterations such as low-fat salad dressing and skim or soy milk can make a big difference and help you lose weight or lower cholesterol. Every week, keep making more changes, until a few months go by and you won't even notice the major adjustments you have made to your plate.

Understand your eating psychology
There are so many mental and environmental factors that go into the eating habits you have developed over time. They can range from before you were born to the emotional state of mind you are currently in. Here are five components to dietary psychology that can help you understand your eating routine:

  • Evolutionary
  • Cultural
  • Individual
  • Familial
  • Social

Cultural, evolutionary and familial all stem from a wide area of variables including the genetic makeup of your parents, the foods your family has grown accustomed to and the size or quantity of each meal you consumed growing up. Social can stem from how often you go out to dine with friends, and if their eating habits have any influence on you. Individual factors mainly come from whether your own emotions control your food intake.

It's important to recognize when outside forces are starting to affect the way you eat. If stress has you reaching for some candy or potato chips, switch it up with a granola bar or healthy yogurt. If your friends always go out to eat, get a light meal in before you meet up with them and stick to a side salad or appetizer while still being a part of the gang. Identifying and attempting to correct certain habits is a big step toward becoming a full-time healthy eater.

Hold yourself accountable
In the end, you are the only one who has the control over what you put into your body. This also means that no one else can distract or discipline you with poor eating decisions. When going to the grocery store, make a list of fruits, vegetables and other healthy choices, and stick to it. If you keep buying ice cream or cookies, you are only making it harder on yourself when you know they are waiting for you in the pantry.   

Keeping a food diary is an extremely effective way to monitor your dietary intake, and sometimes you'll look back and be amazed at all the unnecessary products you were packing into your stomach. Don't be afraid to seek a little help as well, such as by seeing a nutritionist. A Naturade Total Soy Meal Replacement shake to get all the essential vitamins and minerals you need without overeating. Remember, being a healthy eater in the end depends on how bad you want to be, so stay determined and focused and you will eventually get the results you have been looking for.

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