Making a change to yourself or to your lifestyle can be incredibly difficult—especially when it means giving up the things you enjoy. This is no better exemplified than when you’re trying to break bad eating habits. However, a little bit of guidance and encouragement can go a long way, so let us help you work toward your goals with these tips for eliminating bad eating habits.
Start with Baby Steps
You don’t need to jump straight to extreme changes in your diet and lifestyle. In fact, starting off too boldly is a common mistake—trying to quit a habit cold turkey can lead to cravings that will seem almost torturous if you haven’t weaned yourself off the habit. Make small changes to your daily routine, such as starting your day with a good breakfast or replacing ingredients in your favorite foods for healthier ones. Throughout the day, you should also consistently sip on water to keep yourself hydrated, as dehydration can feel similar to hunger and cause you to overeat.
Get Enough Sleep
Fatigue can also cause you to overeat. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body produces more of a chemical called ghrelin while decreasing levels of a chemical called leptin. This chemical imbalance leads to an increased feeling of hunger and appetite. Besides, the longer you’re awake, the more opportunities you have for eating and snacking! That isn’t to say you should sleep to stop yourself from eating, but if you’re not getting enough energy because you’re not sleeping enough, your body may turn to food to make up the difference.
Start an Exercise Routine
Picking up an exercise routine is a great way to shift your psychological state. Now, we understand this sounds like adding an extra commitment on top of eating more healthily, but there are ways to make the commitment easier. When you establish a workout routine, you’ll also be less likely to turn to junk foods because you don’t want to negate your hard work.
Try a New Hobby
A great tip for eliminating bad eating habits includes picking up a new hobby with which to occupy yourself. All too often, people wind up mindlessly eating as a way to stave off boredom. Our basic needs, including eating, release dopamine in our brains, making them pleasurable activities and thus motivating us to fulfill those needs. By finding new ways to entertain yourself and keep yourself busy, you’ll stop yourself from falling back on food as a way to get through the day.