How to Maintain Healthy Eating Habits

by Kevin on January 21, 2015

Are you struggling to keep your resolution to eat healthy, nutritious foods? Once you’ve set a goal to maintain healthy eating habits, how do you go about actually achieving that goal?

The good news is that once you do something consistently for only a few weeks, it becomes a habit.

Here are some simple techniques to help you avoid those tempting junk foods so you can make wise and healthy decisions in your daily routine.

Strategies to Avoid Temptation:

1. Am I hungry? Ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you’re eating out of convenience or emotion. Many times you probably aren’t as hungry as you think, so try to get involved in a different activity instead of snacking.

2. Water, water, and more water. Drink a lot of water each day. Not only is this good for your whole body (both inside and out), it can actually make you feel full. Also, oftentimes when you think you’re hungry, your body is actually thirsty, so keep yourself well hydrated.

3. Try chewing gum. Putting something in your mouth like gum or hard, sugar-free candy can help convince your brain that you’re eating!

4. Divert your energy. Instead of putting all your energy into making two grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon, try taking a walk or doing something that requires you to use your hands, like knitting or woodworking. It’s pretty hard to do these and eat at the same time.

5. Allow yourself snack time. Choose healthy snacks instead of chips and salsa or chocolate bars. For snack time, try eating celery, popcorn without butter, fruits, or a make-your-own trail mix with raisins, nuts, and dried fruits.

• A good hint for snacking is to have healthy snacks readily available in your home, and unhealthy snacks completely out of the house; that way, the healthy stuff is easy to grab.

How to Choose Healthy Foods:

The next time you’re off to the grocery store, use these tips to help you choose the right foods and avoid the unhealthy stuff.

1. Stay away from preservatives. You don’t need that Twinkie that can outlast any environmental disaster! When you learn to read nutrition labels and ingredient lists, you’ll find that there are many snacks that are full of preservatives. You probably shouldn’t buy the food when the ingredient list contains more than a handful of items. Plus, if the expiry date isn’t until two years from now, it’s being heavily preserved.

2. Use the food pyramid. The recommended food pyramid from the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gears you toward whole foods and minimal sweets. Get a copy from the FDA and make your grocery list by following their guidelines.

3. Buy lots of fresh vegetables that you can use to make up a quick and healthy stir-fry with chicken, brown rice, or even soy products. Buy easy to make salads where the lettuce and other veggies are already washed. These are easy, quick, healthy, and they taste good. The key is to choose vegetables that are dark green or orange in color.

4. Buy fresh fruits and do some research on how to tell when fruits are at their freshest and when they’re in season. Try some of those exotic fruits you’ve always looked at but never purchased. Make your own fruit drinks and smoothies for a healthy, delicious treat.

More Great Grocery Store Tips:

1. Shop in a circle. Many nutritionists will tell you to shop the perimeter of the store. Grocery stores are usually set up with their fresh foods, fruits, vegetables, fish, and breads all around the perimeter. Preservative-laced foods are in the center and at the ends of each aisle.

2. Go alone. Leave your children in good hands and go alone to the grocery store. This way you can concentrate on getting only the healthy foods you desire without being pressured into buying junk. Alternatively, if you do bring your children, be prepared to spend extra time teaching them how to spot healthy foods.

3. Make a list! This technique is a tried and true method to avoid buying foods that aren’t healthy. Stick to your list and, for fun, seek out healthy foods you haven’t tried before to tempt your taste buds.

With some determination and strategies in place, you can achieve your goal to eat healthy! By incorporating healthy changes into your diet one by one, you’re slowly creating a new habit.

Before long, you’ll be choosing healthy foods without a second thought, and those unhealthy foods you used to eat will no longer tempt you. Once you discover the benefits and better taste of fresh and healthy foods, you’ll never want to go back!

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The Bad News about Affirmations

by Kevin on January 14, 2015

As you go through life, you’re constantly affirming your own thoughts and beliefs. Throughout each day, you consciously and unconsciously tell yourself things based on your belief system.

The problem is, much of the time you may actually be re-affirming negative thoughts rather than positive ones. This is bad news. After all, if your affirmations are negative, you can expect only negative outcomes!

How many times in a day do you tell yourself how stupid you are for forgetting something or how fat you are when your favorite jeans feel tight?

Negative thinking reinforces an internal belief that we’ll never be able to change ourselves and that we’re destined to continue repeating our self-destructive behaviors. When we re-affirm our negative thoughts, we enter into a vicious cycle that leads to even more negative thinking.

Imagine how different your life would be if you began using affirmations to reinforce the positive!

Affirmations work wonders if you use them properly. By making a few simple adjustments in the way you phrase your inner dialog, you can begin using this powerful technique to change your thinking and change your life.

Your subconscious mind accepts things on a very literal basis, so for affirmations to work effectively, you need to follow a simple formula.

Follow these tips to create positive affirmations that can change your life for the better:

1. Your subconscious needs to know you’re doing something now, not in the future. For example, if you state an affirmation as something you want to change, such as “I will quit smoking,” your subconscious cannot distinguish what you mean by “I will.”

It has no sense of planning for the future. In fact, your subconscious mind will accept what you tell it, even if the behavior has not yet happened, that’s why you should state your affirmation as if it’s already a fact.

• “I am free from the desire to smoke” is an effective affirmation and will begin to program your subconscious mind into thinking as a non-smoker, even before you put down the cigarettes.

2. An affirmation must be personal for your subconscious to accept it. Saying, “You need to eat healthy” won’t help you change your diet. When your subconscious hears the word “you,” it doesn’t interpret it as a statement directed at yourself.

Instead, phrase your affirmation in the first person. Stick to “I” in your affirmations and you’ll soon notice a strong positive effect on your behaviors.

• “I enjoy eating healthy foods” is a positive, first person affirmation that will help you begin making better choices when you reach for a meal or snack.

3. Your subconscious mind is very literal. It can’t process the concept of “not.” The statement, “I am not going to lie on the couch watching TV when I should be exercising” won’t do anything other than re-affirm how you should lay on the couch in front of the television.

Form your intention in a positive way, even if you haven’t made the behavior change yet.

• “I enjoy exercising in my spare time” is more likely to motivate you to get up and go to the gym, instead of reaching for the remote control and a bag of chips.

Positive, personal, present tense affirmations are extremely powerful in changing how your subconscious affects your behavior.

Make an effort to stop reinforcing your old, negative thinking that keeps you caught in a rut. Try using these three simple techniques today to create affirmations that can change your subconscious programming, your actions, and your life for the better.

Make your own subliminal messages

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