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Learn to like healthy food today! The old adage that says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks does not apply here. Making small tweaks to your diet can add up to big changes in the long-run. In fact, a person’s diet has more of an impact on their health than just exercise. Therefore, tricking yourself into eating healthier may be the thing that you need to get into better shape.
Firstly, avoid categorizing food as “good” or “bad.” This may create a mindset that eating certain food, like potato or bread, is taboo. In addition, certain “healthy” foods may not be as healthy as you think.
Healthy, Tasty Food You Can Swap for Junk Food
By avoiding black-and-white thinking, you can minimize feelings of guilt after eating something indulgent. Many people have emotional triggers that can affect their eating behaviors, and guilt may cause you to overeat or under-eat. In addition, you might overeat so-called healthy food and derail your progress.
In reality, dieting is about moderation. Ensure that you have complete nutrition by counting macronutrients. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian for more information about proper dieting and your fitness goals.
Secondly, it is important to remember that people respond to visual cues. The media often taps into this quality through the use of print ads and commercials. In just a few seconds, an effective commercial can make you think about the product for the rest of the day.
Likewise, looking and thinking about food is the first step of digestion. When our mind knows that food is coming, it starts revving up the digestive system in preparation. This is where many cravings start from. Because of this, try avoiding things that remind you of certain food or that can trigger a craving. This includes walking past fast food restaurants and billboards.
Therefore, to reduce cravings and thoughts about food you want to avoid, it is best to keep it out of sight and out of mind. Try to watch or read health and lifestyle blogs and videos available online. Seeing others eating and cooking healthy food can help you maintain your motivation and give you inspiration.
As mentioned previously, people often respond to visual cues. We often size things up and weigh our options based on looks before making an initial decision. In relation to dieting, bigger may be better—at least when it comes to plate size.
For some time now, a popular diet hack was to use smaller plates and bowls to for better portion control. In addition, the illusion of having a full plate would make you think you were eating more. This diet hack is based on the Delboeuf illusion, wherein an object looks smaller or larger depending on what is near it.
However, using too small of a plate can backfire. Food looks more appetizing when it looks bountiful, which is what advertisements use to entice consumers. In addition, the image of a very full bowl on the front of a package may actually be more than one serving. As a result, you may unintentionally be eating more than you expected.
To get past this, try measuring food with a food scale, measuring cups, or even your hand. This provides more consistent visual cues, which is helpful when you buy food or cook at home.
Food Portions: An Easy Hand Guide
This one is often an Achilles heel for many of us: don’t buy what you don’t need. Understandably, the early days and weeks of a new diet can be frustrating because temptations seem to be around every corner. However, if you do not stock food that you are trying to avoid, then you won’t have it around when a sudden craving hits.
Unfortunately, food delivery services and convenience stores make it much easier to give into cravings and sit at home. To fight the urge, try to keep your fridge and cabinets stocked with healthy food at all times. When you notice that you already have a lot of food at home, you may be less tempted to order out and stick to what you have.
Do not deprive yourself, though. Always stock a few snacks that you enjoy.
Lastly, if you really have trouble avoiding fast food or your favorite comfort food, try making a “dupe” (duplicate). On the internet, you can find a treasure trove of recipes people have created to replicate or even improve many restaurant favorites. Swap out unhealthy ingredients and use more spices to create a healthier version of essentially any food. Now, those guilty pleasures don’t have to leave you feeling so guilty.
Some examples include:
In time, these small changes will become better habits. Also, do not be afraid to experiment on your own. Creating your own recipes is extremely rewarding and enjoyable.
Getting yourself to learn to like healthy food should be gradual and long-term. Like all new skills and knowledge, doing things repeatedly reinforces what you are trying to learn. In addition, do not be discouraged if you slip up every once in a while, as it is all part of the learning process. As a reminder, always talk to a doctor before you decide to make any drastic changes in your diet.
Learn more about Healthy Eating here.
Use our calorie-intake calculator to determine your daily caloric needs based on your height, weight, age, and activity level.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.