Why does healthy eating prove so simple for some and so hard for others? If you feel like you’re always trying but failing at having a better diet, perhaps munching mindlessly throughout your day, then your very own brain might be the problem. Fortunately, there are at least 10 ways that you can easily train your brain for healthier eating.
1) Know Your Cravings Well:
Your brain is largely wired for survival. So, if you eat something rich in calories, such as ice cream, a cookie, or chocolate, then you have a dopamine production that triggers happy vibes. You easily like these foods a lot, and so a cycle of addiction starts and you crave more. Prevention of cravings is the key to stopping a junk-food cycle in its tracks. The less you eat unhealthy food, then the less you wind up craving it.
2) Make Sure Healthy Food Is Accessible:
Human beings are often programmed to take the easiest route possible. That means in eating that you tend to grab whatever the first available option is, be it in your home, a restaurant, or the grocery store. If you want to put yourself on the right path to keeping junk foods out of your home, then rearrange the fridge, pantry, and kitchen cupboards so that healthy foods are the ones most easily in reach and visible.
You might want to think about putting a colorful bowl of fruit in the middle of the table to encourage everyone to eat healthily. If you want an easy snack that’s healthy, have a good dip available with a Tupperware full of easily-eaten veggies like cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, small cucumbers, and baby carrots.
3) Be Mindful When Eating:
You know you shouldn’t shove food in your mouth mindlessly when using your phone, watching Netflix, driving, or working, and yet, most people eat like this every day. In fact, this might be every single meal. Rather, you should focus on the various foods, flavors, and textures you’re eating. Be attentive of such elements while you swallow, chew, and bite. Disconnect yourself from technology, make sure you set up meals at an actual table and portion your food out properly.
4) Let Your Meals Have Fancy Names:
When you eat out at a restaurant, how often do you see menu items that read simply ‘chicken with veggies’? As you make dinner, consider how it might look on a restaurant menu. Instead of calling it chicken with veggies, tell yourself and anyone else eating that it’s baked saffron-garlic breasts of chicken seasoned with some cracked black pepper and served with mashed spinach. Doesn’t that sound far more appetizing?
5) Presentation Is Critical:
Use your prettiest bowls and serving pieces to display the cleanest foods you have. Make your plates gorgeous and worthy of Instagram. Even go shopping for unconventional, quirky, and fun vessels to serve some healthy snacks in. Use a sprinkle of cinnamon, parsley sprigs, and even citrus zest to garnish things. When your food becomes fun, you’re going to create happy and positive experiences that reinvigorate neural pathways that crave pretty and healthy food more often in the future.
6) Enjoy Better Variety:
Human beings love variety. When people incorporate various spices, colors, and textures, it keeps their tastebuds and brain invigorated, which lets them associate a broader variety of foods with feelings of pleasure and excitement. The more enjoyment you can get from healthy meals, then the more your brain’s going to associate such foods with its ‘reward center.’ It’ll want to repeat such culinary pleasures.
7) Use Healthy Foods For Treats:
No one sane is going to think it’s fun to eat broccoli and celery sticks all day, especially if they’re plain. And some days, salads just aren’t going to cut it. So, make sure you have clean and healthy comfort-food possibilities. Chilli made from scratch or even homemade sweet potato ‘fries’ you season and bake yourself are both options. You can’t deprive yourself of foods that you love if you’re going to stay on a healthy eating regimen very long, so you need to find ways to enjoy the cleanest-possible variations of your worst cravings the best you can.
Want to know what nature’s candy is? Fruit. Treat it just like that. Freeze red grapes for a simple treat. Mashed frozen bananas can be creamed into a delicious dessert. Give yourself permission for a square of your favorite dark chocolate every once in a while.
8) Use Small Plates And Tall Glasses:
When someone drinks out of a tall yet thin glass, they think they’re getting more than they do from a wide but short glass that actually measures the same volume. People also eat more off of larger plates than they do when served on a small plate. Such illusions are useful in tricking your brain towards thinking you’re actually getting more food and drink than you actually are.
9) Knowing Your Individual Trigger Foods Is Useful:
One of the most critical aspects to breaking down bad eating habits to make room for establishing better ones is being mindful of what you eat and drink. Be present whenever you consume something, and question yourself over your choices. Are you deciding what to eat? Or is an autopilot choice out of habit or basic response? Why am I actually eating this thing this very moment? Are there emotional reasons behind it? A number of broad studies have collectively established that consciousness is the most substantial predictor of someone being obese.
10) Visualizing Your Objectives Helps:
If you’re going to actually wind up successfully freeing yourself of your older, unhealthy eating habits and replace them with newer, healthy ones, then you have to remind yourself constantly of why you’re doing it. Visualization is a rather effective motivator, and it’s a great way of training your mind to do things like delay gratification. In one particular research study, women that practiced a number of visualization techniques wound up eating less after they imagined themselves cast in enjoyable future situations. What is your personal reason for trying to eat clean? Imagine yourself being lighter, stronger, and healthier the very next time you’re in the mood for ordering takeout.