Change can feel overwhelming.
Especially when it comes to healthy food habits.
Where do you start? What should you do? How do you know it’s working? Should you give up and try something else? Again?
The confusion, self-doubt, and self-sabotage can feel never-ending. Not to mention the stress and worry over ‘failure’, which can make your emotional eating feel insurmountable.
So, whether you’re just starting out, re-starting, or looking to refresh your eating, these 4 habits are essential to eating healthy and having a great relationship with food.
No matter if you’re aiming for weight loss, healing from food addiction, or gaining a sense of control over emotional eating or binge eating – small changes are great for motivation. Momentum + little wins = big results.
Here are 4 essential places to start building that momentum and winning those wins. Pick one to try and give yourself an extra boost to reach your goals.
The goal with this habit is to keep your kitchen (and desk at work) free from food-clutter and full of healthy, tasty food. Believe me, things are a million times easier when you make healthy choices the easiest option.
Plus, eating + living is easier with less clutter. Make your kitchen a place that inspires health and joyful, fresh eating.
So, take a good look at your kitchen – the fridge, what’s lining your cupboard, the pantry – and get rid of all the foods that encourage or enable you (same goes for that stash of food you have at work). These might be foods like:
- Breakfast cereal that’s full of sugar (a good indication is 4+ grams of sugar per 100g of cereal)
- Cheap snacks
- Old food/ condiments/sauces hanging out waaaaay in the back
Replace these with easy foods that fit your goals. Things like sparkling water, in-season fruits and vegetables, and the highest quality food you can personally afford.
Which brings us to the next habit…
Focus on quality
Eating higher quality foods, no matter what it is you’re choosing to eat, is an excellent habit to build. Knowing you’re treating yourself with quality (rather than as a food dump) can have a big impact on your mindset and on your eating behavior, too.
It’s a physical way of saying “I (and my goals) are worth it”, which is huge!
So, you’re looking for the foods you feel have:
- The best flavor
- Natural ingredients
- Attractive packaging and product
- Quality ingredients
- Fair trade or rainforest alliance certified
- You’re excited by it
If you find yourself struggling with this, take a minute to brainstorm or list everything you can think of that is getting in the way of including quality food in your life. They can be big, little, serious, or silly – anything! For example:
– I don’t have enough time
– It’ll be expensive
– My friends will make fun of me
– The food might taste yuck
Then think of some realistic ways for you to work around these and include the best quality food you can into your life.
And just know, this doesn’t mean the best quality in the whole world. It means the best quality you can, given your budget, beliefs, and environment.
Make a meal plan
Meal planning is one of the biggest keys to my success with healthy food habits. It takes the pressure off and lets you plan food and meals when you’re feeling calm and satisfied, rather than hungry or stressed (which never leads to good decisions). So, grab a pen and some paper and plan a few meals (or all your meals) for this week.
Take time out
This might sound strange, but one of the best things you can do to build healthy food habits is to take some of the emphasis off food.
You’re likely using food for comfort, entertainment, celebration, and a few other things that have nothing to do with hunger or nourishment. A gorgeous way to start making healthy food habits your new norm is to start filling these emotional needs in a non-food way. Try making yourself an epic self-care kit and using that instead of turning to all the foods you don’t really want to eat.
Need more help with new eating habits?
If these habits sound good to you, but you’re not sure how to make them work, then check out my 7-day Emotional Eating Plan. It’s a workbook, guide, and meal planning template all rolled into one. You’ll get the tools, information, and resources you need to finally stop letting food control your life.
The 7-day plan is a 20+ page workbook (including tons of info) to help you plan a 7-day emotional eating intervention for yourself. You’ll learn why you eat, how to stop, and what you can do instead.
It covers food choices, meal planning, and self-care – just like we’ve talked about above – to support your new habits.