It’s seems like everywhere we turn nowadays there is some quick fix advice on controlling our weight.
Diets, personal trainers, new food fads, pills, you name it, and it’s being advertised and sold.
I have had my own weight fluctuations over the years. I’m happy to say I’m at my ideal weight now, and find it easy to maintain.
It wasn’t always easy though. The temptation of different foods, lack of time to prepare healthy meals, I had all the excuses.
I realized a long time ago, it’s not just about hunger. Ease of access, or any of the other excuses. It almost always comes down to willpower.
I’m sure when you go out to eat you see all the healthy salads on the menu. It would be just as easy to order one of those. Yet, you order something like a pizza or a burger more often right?
There has been a lot of research into eating habits and weight loss. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a junkie for reading a lot about it.
The psychology behind how and why people eat what they do interests me. Especially the internal battle and self-accepting excuses we tell ourselves.
Anyway, taking into account my own experiences and the research I have read on eating habits. Here are some of the best actionable tips to help you make some changes to your own eating habits.
6 Ways to Change Your Eating Habits and Eat Healthier
Have Set Meals Times and Don’t Skip Any Meals
Our hunger and eating habits can be put into sync. Skipping meals can seriously mess around your body clock. You are much more likely to binge eat if you miss a meal.
There is research to show that missing meals means most people eat around 50% more the next meal. In turn causing your stomach to expect larger meals going forward.
Try not to go more than 4-5 hours without eating something. Snacking on healthy foods is fine, as long as it doesn’t ruin your main meals. Don’t eat before bed either, you’ll interrupt your sleep.
Eat Something Healthy to Start Each Meal
The order in which we eat the different foods that make up a meal has an impact on how much we eat. Eating something healthy like fruit or vegetables to start a meal is not only good for us, but it encourages us to eat more healthy food.
It’s also because we are hungriest when we first start eating. So our brains associate the healthy food with satisfying that need.
Pay Less Attention to Low Fat and More Attention to Healthy Fat
Advertisers are obsessed with advertising foods as ‘low fat’, and indeed that’s usually enough to get all the dieters interested. This is largely misleading, as low fat foods can still be loaded with sugars and other additives.
People also tend to eat more of something they think is low fat. So it’s can end up having the opposite effect. Good fats with nuts and avocados are actually very good for our metabolisms and the rate in which we burn fat.
Don’t Rush Meal Times, Enjoy It
The atmosphere people surround themselves with while they eat has an effect on their eating habits. People who eat fast and try multi-tasking while doing so are much more likely to eat more and be hungrier.
Those who eat in calm surroundings and enjoy their food slower eat less. Meal times are great for socializing with the family, or friends. So if this in option, why not eat with friends and family.
Use Smaller Plates and Bowls
The size of the plate or bowl you’re eating out of can affect the amount of food you pile on it. Studies have been carried out, and the results were pretty conclusive. People with bigger plates help themselves to more food at a buffet.
Not only will you eat more, you will not feel the difference. Your appetite and stomach will increase over time to meet this new demand too. Making it harder to return to smaller portions.
Don’t Watch TV or Play on Your Phone While Eating
Most people watch TV or use their phones while eating nowadays. The days of a family all sitting around a table and discussing their days are gone. Modern technology firmly has its place in the home.
But if you’re trying to change your eating habits to eat less, and lose weight you need to think about changing this. When people are occupied with TV they don’t pay attention to how much they’re eating. You can end up eating a lot more and barley notice.
If you like to have a little snack while watching a movie or something that’s fine. Just make sure you dish out the total amount you’re happy to eat.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.