In this episode of the Feel Good Effect Podcast, we’re talking about how to simply reset your eating habits to feel good without going all or nothing, beating yourself up in the process, or comparing yourself to who you were or to others.
Reset Your Eating Habits with This Simple Strategy
For a limited time, grab the free Simplified Reset Challenge Guide, which comes with a week’s worth of meal planning, recipe guide, and grocery list.
If you want to change a habit, you have to know what the steps are, which are actually well-documented in the behavior change research.
For a deep dive into habits, check out this episode.
With habits, there are really four steps: pay attention, add joy, consistency, context.
1 | Mindset: Notice and pay attention
Paying attention on purpose and without judgment is actually the first step in change.
If you really want to have success with behavior change and habit formation, be mindful of your behaviors.
2 | Make it enjoyable
Add reinforcement, reward, or joy to your habit.
Our culture tells us that we need deprivation and willpower in order to succeed, but if you look at how people change and how habits are made, you’ll see that’s just not the case in the long-term.
3 | Practice over time
Consistency without perfection: if you want to turn a behavior into a habit, you need to do it for a long time.
Commit to consistency without perfection.
4 | Context: Your environment matters.
The places and spaces that you spend your time are your context or environment.
Resetting eating habits
Start paying attention to your habits and behaviors around eating: notice it and write it down.
Note: this is not food journaling and we are not tracking points, calories, etc.
This is a practice about noticing what and when you are eating and what your context is.
I encourage you to do this for a full week.
Pay attention on purpose, without judgment.
Without awareness, it’s really hard to make any long-term changes.
Also important: do this in a way that practices the feel good mindset.
If you view this process through a lens of the striving mindset (perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, comparison), it’s going to be miserable and decrease your chance of success.
Instead, have compassion for yourself, find the power middle of flexible thinking, and practice gratitude.`
In order to have actions, you need the right mindset.
Mindset is your thought patterns, which creates your actions, which creates your results.
Focusing only on actions without the underlying mindset is never going to work.
Practice self-kindness to change your relationship with eating for the better.
Start by focusing on one habit, find consistency, and add from there.
Think about the habit you want to build (making a smoothie in the morning, preparing breakfast ahead of time, etc.) and think about how you can add joy to that, make it rewarding, or reinforcing.
Maybe that’s listening to your favorite music or podcast while you do it.
It doesn’t have to suck in order to work.
Practice over time
Start with one meal at a time to build healthy habits around, whether that’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, instead of going for a complete change all at once.
Pick one meal and lock in that habit before adding another.
Over time, your behavior becomes automatic and it will take less mental energy.
In this case, context refers to the places and spaces where you eat.
You can shape your environment to make habits easier and more consistent.
One way to do that is by planning and preparing ahead of time.
Another is being intentional about the food you have on hand, rather than relying on willpower.
Make the things you want to eat easier to access.
Be mindful of what you have on hand and what you most easily see.
When it comes to habits, it’s less about the what, and more about the how.