Sticking to a diet can be challenging, but not impossible. It’s important to take the right steps if you are considering making an impactful change in your diet. This will not be an overnight process and will take a daily commitment to follow these dietary steps. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide three steps to improve your eating habits.
Step 1: Reflect
In this step you will reflect on all your eating habits that are both good and bad.
Create a list of your eating and drinking habits.
Have a food and beverage diary where you can record everything you eat and drink for a few days. Here is an app that would be helpful to track your habits: https://www.loseit.com/
Once you have identified your unhealthy eating habits, then you will pick out a few habits that you would like to start working on.
Identify when and where you are eating when you are not actually hungry. These will be referred to as your triggers. Examples of triggers would be:
Swinging through your favorite drive-through every morning
Feeling bored or tired
Sitting at home watching television
Ask yourself these questions:
Is there anything I can do to avoid the situation?
For things I can’t avoid, can I do something differently that would be healthier?
You won’t be able to avoid every situation that triggers your unhealthy eating habits. You will need to evaluate your options.
If you want to be successful, you should have a clear vision of what the result will be if you change your eating habits. The long-term benefits of healthy eating include:
Healthier skin, teeth, and eyes
Lowers risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
Supports healthy pregnancies and breastfeeding
Helps the digestive system function
Helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Step 2: Replace
The next step is to replace your unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones. A couple examples of new habits you could implement is eating more slowly, eating only when you’re truly hungry or planning meals ahead of time.
There are a variety of tools you can use to help you along this journey:
MyPlate: Helps you make a healthy eating plan and build knowledge about nutrition.
SuperCook: Finds recipes from cooking websites that match the ingredients that you already have in your pantry.
American Heart Association: Provides healthy recipes that are easy to make.
Step 3: Reinforce
Reinforce these new healthy habits a little every day and be patient with yourself. Starting a new habit will take time and it’s important to not get discouraged! Recognize any unhealthy habits that may still be hard to overcome and ask yourself why it’s hard to quit and how to change that behavior.
We Can Help You
Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. We also have health coaches available that can help you explore different dietary choices.