In today’s world, it is crucial that we learn to listen to our bodies, analyze our needs critically, and differentiate them from external pressures. Recent studies, focus on finding effective and gentle ways to adapt our habits to align with our personal realities and requirements. A highly recommended approach, is to empower individuals to create their own solutions, promoting independence, self-efficacy, and confidence. This not only leads to finding tailor-made solutions but also promotes ownership of responsibility, creative thinking, problem-solving skills, and overall well-being.
Self-reflection plays a key role in this process, allowing us to gain valuable insight into our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. To embark on the journey of transforming our eating habits, it’s essential to embrace eight empowering steps. By incorporating these steps into our lives, we can nurture a healthier relationship with food, support our well-being, and thrive in our individual journeys of personal growth. The 8 steps to help you start the journey of changing your eating habits:
● Step One: Create a calm and comfortable space- this space can be a corner in your home, a park, or any place where you feel comfortable without distraction.
● Step Two: Reflect on your current eating habits- consider the types of foods you usually eat, portion sizes and the circumstances surrounding your meals. Are there specific triggers or situations that lead to unhealthy choices? Understanding your patterns is key to making positive changes.
● Step Three: Make a list of your behaviours- example skipping breakfast, eating fast, not planning meals, shopping for food only when you have nothing in the house, etc. Ask yourself why you have these behaviours, since when have you had these behaviours and which of these behaviours are negatively impacting your lifestyle, are these behaviours worth keeping? Which behaviours to adopt?
● Step Four: Identify your goals- clearly define your goals, whether it’s eating more fruits and vegetables, reducing processed foods, or practicing mindful eating. Write down your goals to solidify your commitment.
● Step Five: Reflect on your motivations- explore the reasons why you want to improve your eating habits. Think about the benefits you will gain from making healthier choices, such as increased energy, better mood or improved general well-being. Understanding your motivations will strengthen your commitment and give you a sense of purpose.
● Step Six: Learn from setbacks- If you have moments when you deviate from your desired eating habits, view them as learning opportunities rather than failures. Reflect on the factors that led to the setback and consider strategies to avoid similar situations in the future. Embrace the concept of progress rather than perfection.
● Step Seven: Adjust and adapt- use the information you have gathered through self-reflection to make adjustments to your eating habits as needed. Modify your goals, strategies or approaches based on your self-reflection insights. Accept the iterative nature of the process and be open to evolving your approach over time.
● Step Eight: Seek support- engage with others who share your goals or seek professional guidance if needed. Joining support groups or finding an accountability partner can provide valuable encouragement and insights. Collaboration with others can enhance your self-reflection process.
Keep in mind that the main way to live in a conflict free body, is to listen to it, and from there, generate results that align with the body’s needs. Creating more healthy eating habits takes time, so be patient with yourself and allow yourself moments of introspection and growth. Engaging with others who share your goals can provide valuable encouragement and insights or seek professional guidance if needed.
Explore our website for more valuable insights, practical tips, and delicious recipes to support your journey toward a healthier and happier you!
Written by : Lissy Pinheiro Silva, BSc, MSc ((PHN)) ANutr(AfN, UK)
Edited by – Soteria Ntim- Adu, BSc.MSc (PHN) , R.Nutr (Ghana) ANutr(AfN, UK)
Kelly, M. and Barker, M., 2016. Why is changing health-related behaviour so difficult?. Elsevier, Volume 136, pp. 109-116.
Janine Simmons, et al., 2022. National Institute on Aging. [Online]
Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/adopting-healthy-habits-what-do-we-know-about-science-behavior-change
[Acedido em 1 June 2023].