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Your 3 Step Guide to Healthier Food Habits

As a coach in the health and fitness space for over 10 years, I am FASCINATED by habits and what drives us to do what we do.

As a matter of fact, my work with clients one-on-one heavily delves into the psychology and art of sustainable habit formation because that is where the magic happens.

I do this because anyone can diet. What I am interested in doing is...helping you learn to lead the lifestyle that will get you where you want to be so you can find food and health freedom and quit fighting against your body.

Anyway, today I wanted to scratch the surface of the world of habits and how they influence our daily decisions and food choices.  At the end of the day-the decisions you make around what, how much, and when you eat play a HUGE role in your overall health. Let's talk about three actionable steps you can start today if you want to change your eating habits...

Step 1: Awareness - Recognizing the Patterns

Ever find yourself on the couch at the end of the day with a snack and before you know it you look down and the bag is empty?

Or maybe you're working against a deadline at work and in all of your stressed out glory that bag of Hershey's kisses didn't stand A CHANCE on your desk. You don't really even remember eating them do you?

What about grabbing a latte and a muffin from Starbucks after you drop the kids off on your way to the office because there just wasn't enough time to make anything this morning.

Sound familiar?

Many of our daily decisions are guided by habits entrenched in our subconscious.

Get home from work and need a minute to veg = Grab snack from pantry and turn on a show.

Working on a project at work = I deserve a little treat or need some sugar to get that pick-me-up.

No time in the morning to make breakfast = Run through Starbucks for the caffeine fix and a quick bite.

We do these things without giving them much thought. Studies on behavior change show that when a behavior is performed repeatedly it is guided by automated cognitive processes, rather than intentional decision making.

In order to change this, we must first become aware of these patterns.

One of the best ways to increase awareness is to journal your food.

Now I don't mean track everything in my fitness pal (you won't be accurate despite your best efforts so it's not a great place to start.) Simply start by writing down everything you eat, when, and why. You can do it on your phone or if you're a pen and paper girly that works too! Just work to be as accurate as possible. This will be incredibly eye opening and bring so much awareness to your eating habits and patterns.

Quick note about food journaling...don't be critical of yourself during this process. Don't judge, don't change anything, just simply become aware. ❤️

Step 2: Attention - Directing Energy To Choice

After we become aware of what we're doing, we need to start to bring energy and attention to these choices.

By bringing awareness & attention to your eating habits, you shift the energy surrounding them and in many cases actually bring energy TO these choices if many of them have been performed on autopilot.

It’s about changing how you think and feel about your choices.

Challenge yourself to be intentionally honest. Asking yourself these questions can really help to dig deeper so you can begin the process of changing:

  • When am I most likely to make choices that don't align with where I want to be?

  • Is it when I'm stressed, bored, or during specific times of the day? Take note here.

Identifying these triggers and bringing attention to them is crucial to redirecting your energy and ultimately leads to step 3.

Step 3: Taking Action - The Power of Small Changes

Taking action doesn’t mean a complete overhaul.

It’s about choosing one habit to focus on, and making the process manageable and sustainable.

Let’s take the example of a healthy breakfast vs. running through Starbs for your sugar laden latte and muffin. Start by incorporating nutritious options into your morning routine. That might be starting out with a more protein dense breakfast item from Starbs or grabbing an overnight oats jar as you run out the door that you took 15 minutes to prep over the weekend (go you!)

Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection.

The challenge often lies in overcoming the resistance. New habits face initial pushback (and it can be UGLY and HARD!)

Consistency is the key.

Celebrate the small victories along the way, recognizing that lasting change requires time and dedication.

One place we really need to slow our roll as humans is with the need for immediate gratification (yep - I'm looking at YOU! 👀) is when we successfully complete something a few times, we expect results right away.

We think we should see or feel results immediately because the level of difficulty in fighting the resistance - not because we have been consistent long enough to warrant these results we expect.

I see this constantly in my coaching practice. We have one solid week with our food and workouts and we're pissed because the scale didn't move. Some weeks it moves, some weeks it doesn't, but if we focus on consistency I can promise you it'll happen!

Your Breakfast Challenge: For the next two weeks, commit to having a protein packed breakfast every morning. Whether it’s a smoothie, overnight oats, or an omelette with eggs, egg whites, and veggies - find what works for you. (I also have tons of recipes to choose from here!) Notice the impact on your energy levels and mood. #GameChanger

  • Step 1:We became aware that our breakfast wasn't the best option to support our goals.

  • Step 2: We brought attention to those choices and started thinking about alternate options

  • Step 3: We took (or are going to take!) action to add in a healthy and protein packed breakfast!

If you get nothing more from this post today, try to become more aware of your habits surrounding food.

  • What do you do on autopilot?

  • What is intentional?

  • Where could you make some improvements?

Get curious! Remember, this journey is about progress, not perfection. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small. But if you're frustrated and need help, let's chat! It's free to set up a call with me and let's put together a game plan to get you unstuck!

Here’s to a healthier, more intentional you!


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