How do you manage to "break" bad habits and really enjoy a healthy meal?
Have you ever well and truly thought why a healthy lifestyle is so much easier for some, and so bloody hard for others? And yet, it happens erryday, as everything is a matter of habit and education (that’s where we come in). If you’ve tried to jump on the “eating healthy” bandwagon, only to keep getting knocked off, then maybe the guilty factor in this situation is actually your mind.
When we develop a habit, it is deeply compelled into our brains. A lot of these “dig-deep” habits have been built from an early age, hence why they may be hard to break. Truth being because of human nature, after the age of 20, the chemical myelin, which protects neurons and helps them conduct signals more efficiently that helps you stick to a habit, starts diminishing. This makes it more difficult to create new habits - and stick to them - but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The good news is that you can break bad habits, and educate your mind with refreshingly new ways to live a healthier life! #hooray Here are 10 ways to educate your brain to eat healthier.
1. Have healthier choices in your home
In this fast paced world we live in, we want easy and quick food options. In this case, this means that when you’re hungry, you tend to choose to eat (or order) whatever you find easily in front of you. A simple fast and effective way to eat healthier, is to keep junk and unhealthy food options away from your home, and instead fill your kitchen with healthier options like fruits, veggies and nuts.
2. Eat the right way
Whether you’re a loud chewer or chew with your mouth open - that’s entirely up to you. We only suggest you learn to eat slower. Chew your every bite, taste the aromas and textures in every bite you pop in your mouth. The more you chew your food before you swallow, the better it is for your digestion, and it’ll help you stay fuller for longer. Fun fact: The French suggest chewing each bite 30 times before swallowing.
3. Give your meals… a fantastic name
When you visit a restaurant, you’ll usually find fancy names for meals on the menu. You’ll rarely ever read “chicken with spinach”. Jazz it up at home too! When you’re preparing a dish, begin to think about what you might call it, just as you would if you were to pop it on an imaginary restaurant menu. It may sound silly, but this trick will help you look at your healthier meal a little more creatively, and perhaps, a little more tasty!
4. Appearance is everything
So you’ve got the name of your meal down-pat, but what about the presentation? Making colourful, fun and textured dishes is the easiest way to make a healthy meal look (and taste) irresistible. Garnish your foods with micro herbs, spices and crushed nuts. When you make your mealtime a pleasant experience, you’ll create more positive memories around eating right. This in turn will encourage you to choose healthier foods in the future.
5. Healthy food can spoil you too
Sure, there are days when the plain ol’ roast chicken with salad just isn’t enough. Your taste buds are craving new flavours, something a tad more complex from your standard spice mix. Enter: DELICIOUS HEALTHY FOOD. You may be new here, so we’ll give you a hand. Healthy food can be just as (dare we say it-if not more) delicious than your average junk. Instead of pizza, try our Fluffy Breakfast Pizza Omelette, or for a Taco’s, there’s our Ground Bean Tacos with Avocado Cream. For the sweet tooths, there’s our Famous Twix Bars or our Homemade S’mores Toast Toppers. But short, there’s a whole heap of healthier menu options that don’t include nasty toxins and aren’t full of sugar. Food should be pleasurable, it should be an enjoyable experience. So get creative, do some research and you’ll find that healthier food too, can spoil you!
6. Variety is the spice of life
Let’s not lie - we all love having options. So, by incorporating different textures, colours and spices into your meals, and experimenting with different flavours for a more complex taste-buzz, you’ll keep your brain satisfied. The more pleasure your taste buds get from eating healthier meals, the more your mind will connect these foods with enjoyable experiences. We’ve got a whole heap of recipe ideas in our cookbook to get your taste buds tingling, all you have to do is click here.
7. Make those goals ambitious
Hand on your heart, if you really want to leave behind bad eating habits, then you have to keep in mind “why” you’re going this. If it’s to lose weight, actually visualising your goal is an effective motivation tool and a great way to resist the temptation of eating unhealthy food. In a study made by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, women who were overweight were shown a digital body image of themselves, using an image technique comparing a figure drawing of their bodies at a normal weight. The result? The women consumed less food when they thought of themselves in future “healthier” form.
8. Manage those cravings accordingly
Let’s talk real time. When you eat a delicious calorie-rich snack, like a cookie (or three), it sends happy hormones (dopamine) straight to the brain for an instant feel-good fix. But that never lasts long, right? A simple taste of foods that are rich in carbohydrates and fats make our body only want more. It’s just human nature. But, there’s a way we can stop it. We can avoid this habit of eating naughty things, even before we start. Sounds easy? Well, we all know it’s not. If you eat a cookie, ice cream, pizza, burger, or chocolate bar each day, your body is only going to want to keep eating it. The key is to learn to resist the temptation of eating “unhealthy” foods. Squash that thought! You’ll see over time that the fewer times you reach for those unhealthy foods, the lesser your body will want it.
9. Listen to your conscious
Our conscious can stop us from doing a lot of bad things - like, strangling your boyfriend for one. But our conscious can also stop us from consuming an abundance of bad foods. Since you’re serious about this whole “eating healthy”fiasco, then the next time you pick up something that you know isn’t good for you, listen to your conscious. Ask yourself “is this really what I’m going to eat? What would FitazFK say?” That may be just put you right back on track.
10. Tall glass, small plate
Our brains are pretty amazing, but there are small things we can do to trick them! When you choose to drink from a taller, finer glass, you can trick your brain into thinking you’re drinking more than you would from a shorter, wider glass. The same applies for your plate. When you serve food on a larger plate, you will eat a whole lot more than you would using a small one - for one, all that food probably won’t fit on a smaller plate. Small changes like these, will trick your brain into thinking you consume larger quantities than you actually do.