How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Because you can't outrun a bad diet!
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getfit
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How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby getfit » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:59 pm

Okay, I confess, I have the best intentions when it comes to eating healthy, but I always seem to sabotoge my efforts. I have read so many books on healthy eating that I should be an expert. I know all the right things to eat and usually have my fridge stocked with lots of healthy options, but somehow I end up eating too much junk anyway. If I keep junk/snackfoods out of my cupboards at home, there's plenty at work. Also, I keep baking supplies in my cupboard, so if I am really craving something yummy I will bake it. Or my husband will just go out and bring home snack stuff if he's craving something.

I'm interested in hearing what other people do to stick with a healthy eating plan. I have always struggled with this, luckily for me I have been able to keep my weight at a reasonable number, so I don't have to worry too much. But I keep hearing that when people improve their eating habits it helps them to improve their running and overall fitness and I also want a healthy heart.
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How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Jwolf » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:30 pm

I am exactly the same Joanne. I wish I knew the answer. I eat too much junk and I tend to overeat. I know all there is to know about healthy eating. I just don't always do it. Every time I try to commit to a more healthy eating style, I give in and convince myself that life is too short to be overly restrictive of innocent pleasures.

I do notice I snack more when dinner isn't as filling so I try to make sure I eat healthy meals and enough at meals (but not too much). But I wish could control it more. Sorry this isn't a more useful reply- Maybe others will offer useful tips.
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La
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby La » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:46 am

For me, I have to look at why I am eating, not just what I am eating.

Let's face it - junk food tastes good! In the moment, it also makes us feel good (not always after the fact, though). We are generally motivated by immediate responses (pleasure of eating ice cream), not long-term consequences (ill health).

Plus, if it's a struggle to feel like you have to be "good" all the time, it's totally natural to "rebel" and want to eat something "bad."

If you cook from scratch and eat well 75-80% of the time, you are doing better than the vast majority of the urban North American population. Don't sweat it! Enjoy your junk food guilt free! :)
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby orleansrunner1962 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:52 am

La wrote:If you cook from scratch and eat well 75-80% of the time, you are doing better than the vast majority of the urban North American population. Don't sweat it! Enjoy your junk food guilt free! :)


This!! Too often, I see people that are "good" for months at a time, VERY strict about what they eat, depriving themselves of the odd treat, and then they get fed up, lost all their good habits, and end up eating only junk, and gaining back all the weight they have lost and more.... it's a vicious circle....

So my thought is that we be mindful of what we eat, ensure we get in our vegetables and nutrients, and enjoy the odd "treat" knowing that we are doing a great job taking care of ourselves!!
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Cupcake Girl » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:11 am

Everything in moderation.

I like crunchy and salty - chips. Instead, I eat nuts. I try to replace the 'bad' with something relatively healthy. But I am far from perfect.

When I bake, all natural and healthy ingredients and because I have to bake it, it really makes me think - do I want it? Normally not bad enough to whip up a batch of something on a Tuesday night.

When it comes to all the other good stuff, we just don't have it in the house. You want it? You buy it and eat it right then and there.

My worst habit is eating after dinner. It's normally mindless eating so I have to really focus on just walking by the pantry.

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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Habs4ever » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:47 am

First of all, my eating habits are NOT perfect (far from it) :lol:
I ask myself a couple questions.

Is it good for me?
How will it help me with...(insert problem) or will it make me feel worse?
Do I really need it?
Am I really hungry? Or bored, or angry, or ......

I've also learned that I can't control certain foods, so fresh white bread/buns are sort of banned from our house.

I keep lots of healthy snacks right at eye level in the cupboards and lots of fresh fruit and veggies available in the fridge. I have lots of different colors of fruit and veggies available, this way it does feel like I'm eating the same old things. Much more appeal than boring apples, bananas and oranges.

Having said all that I still make bad choices, just not as often. :oops:
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Ironboy » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:00 am

For me it took drastic measures. I have no will power, so eating paleo was both a challenge and helpful.

Once bready carbs were no longer an option, alternatives had to be found, and the cravings essentially stopped (after a week or so).

I still have some treats but it's more like a couple of times a month rather than a couple of times a day.

Nuts and dates are my go to. Dark chocolate sometimes. Banana and almond butter was for a while and may be again someday.

And my new treat is the wonderful coconut flour muffins Miss*Smiles made for me and graciously sent me the recipe! :D

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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Engmomma » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:11 pm

I am glad that Miss Smiles doesn't live closer to me. :lol:

I know what my trigger foods are. Essentially anything that I can sit and munch on infront of bad TV. So I need to either not watch bad TV or not have the munchie things in the house. For the most part my go to munchies of choice are salty crunchie goodness like potato chips. So I just can't buy them. Chip clips do not close chip bags in my house. They only close vegetable bags.

The problem however is I don't always discriminate and have been known to trip into bags of cereal. On those nights I have to will myself to shut off the bad TV and go to bed.

The routine of work helps me ALOT. I make sure I bring only good stuff to work and try not to leave stuff here that are trigger foods. Like the pretzel crackers that are in my filing cabinet. :twisted: At least those I am still able to count them out and count the points and not go back to them as long as I have good filling stuff in my lunch bag.
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby PaleSnail » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:28 pm

I set a simple rule for myself...eat nothing that will cause abdominal distress. If it causes pain, your body is trying to tell you something (and you should listen).

It allows for most treats in small quantities, eliminates eating anything in large quantities, eliminates eating garbage foods, and eliminates eating anything that your body cannot tolerate.

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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Jwolf » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:39 pm

PaleSnail wrote:I set a simple rule for myself...eat nothing that will cause abdominal distress. If it causes pain, your body is trying to tell you something (and you should listen).


My stomach doesn't tell me those things. :)

I think could easily continue to overeat and eat junk until I gained 100 pounds, and my stomach would never have issues. The rest of my body would, though.
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby PaleSnail » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:58 pm

Jwolf wrote:
PaleSnail wrote:I set a simple rule for myself...eat nothing that will cause abdominal distress. If it causes pain, your body is trying to tell you something (and you should listen).


My stomach doesn't tell me those things. :)
quote]

:lol: You're very fortunate to have an iron stomach. I'm pretty sure mine is made of paper mache.

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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Half-Mary » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:36 pm

I don't keep a lot of junk food in the house, so I can't just go to the kitchen and get a bag of chips to eat while I'm watching tv. The snacks I do have are things like nuts, and veggies and hummus... I'm not an evening snacker by nature, so that's not something I need to fight. I'm thankful for that because I realize how much of a struggle it can be.

When I do snack in front of the tv, or while at home, I still measure out my portion, put it into a separate container and leave the package in the kitchen. That way, I'm not tempted to eat until the package is empty.

When I want treats, I try to figure out what I really want, and make sure it's worth it. Cinnamon bun from the grocery store, where a 6 pack is $4.00? No thanks. I don't need six of them. I'll go to the local bakery and pay that same price for one cinnamon bun that will be amazing. No, it's not a good financial value, but it's a good value for my physical health and for my mental well-being. I'm not depriving myself, and I'm not also going to eat 6x what I should.

Now all that said, I do have my issues. Nutella gets eaten straight from the jar, with a spoon, and about 1/2 the jar will be consumed in a sitting. I know that is the only way I will eat it, so I don't bring it into the house unless I really want to deal with all of those calories consumed, and the massive sugar high and tummy ache that comes with it. But man, is it good!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Miss*Smiles » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:01 pm

Ironboy wrote:And my new treat is the wonderful coconut flour muffins Miss*Smiles made for me and graciously sent me the recipe! :D


Miss*Smiles and Al ;)

But they were delicious! I am glad you enjoyed them!
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Miss*Smiles » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:04 pm

Like many others, it's "out of sight, out of mind".

So those jube jubes I bought because I had a craving... ya I have been eating them all week. I don't need them. I'm not hungry. But I seem to reach for more and eat them :roll:
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Avis » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:00 pm

I do all those things that have been mentioned (keep it out of the house, portion a serving out on a dish instead of eating it from the bag,etc.) But I am married to someone who will have chips, chocolate, and cheese, and yet who is as thin as a rail--not fair!...Always an extra challenge to my will-power in our cupboards... :roll:
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby getfit » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:08 pm

Avis wrote:I do all those things that have been mentioned (keep it out of the house, portion a serving out on a dish instead of eating it from the bag,etc.) But I am married to someone who will have chips, chocolate, and cheese, and yet who is as thin as a rail--not fair!...Always an extra challenge to my will-power in our cupboards... :roll:


Yes, see this is definitely part of the problem for me. My dh never gains an ounce, but then I keep telling him just because he's thin doesn't mean he's not clogging his arteries.

Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom. Even those of you that still struggle, at least it's nice to know I'm not the only one on this forum :lol: I probably should have started this thread next week, today's Valentine's Day and homemade treats and chocolate were flowing at work. Why can't I just say no thank you and be done with it ? :roll: Actually, sometimes I do say no thanks, but then go back to my desk and think about it for the next 1/2 hour and then return to the kitchen and get it anyway :oops:

James, what exactly is the Paleo diet you're on, sounds intriguing , guess I'll have to google that one later.
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How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Jwolf » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:29 pm

I'm also in the "married to a stick who never gains weight" club. He actually eats very well but it is still frustrating!

The Paleo diet is way too meat-based and restrictive on healthy plant-based foods for me, but I sometimes think I should just completely cut the white flour, sugar, and high-fat dairy.
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby getfit » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:43 pm

Jwolf wrote: but I sometimes think I should just completely cut the white flour, sugar, and high-fat dairy.


Yep, me too. Have you seen the video Forks over Knives? It promotes a plant based diet, but also encourages cutting out all of the above. I don't eat a lot of meat anyway, so it probably wouldn't be that difficult to cut it out if I was only cooking for myself. However, getting rid of the white stuff would be extremely difficult. Now, excuse me while I go and have one of the Lindor chocolates I received for Valentine's Day :oops: I will get serious about this healthy eating stuff tomorrow :wink:
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How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby Jwolf » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:01 pm

getfit wrote:... excuse me while I go and have one of the Lindor chocolates I received for Valentine's Day :oops: I will get serious about this healthy eating stuff tomorrow :wink:


Joanne- i think we have the same husband. ;)
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby CAW » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:09 pm

Cupcake Girl wrote:Everything in moderation.

I like crunchy and salty - chips. Instead, I eat nuts. I try to replace the 'bad' with something relatively healthy. But I am far from perfect.

When I bake, all natural and healthy ingredients and because I have to bake it, it really makes me think - do I want it? Normally not bad enough to whip up a batch of something on a Tuesday night.

When it comes to all the other good stuff, we just don't have it in the house. You want it? You buy it and eat it right then and there.

My worst habit is eating after dinner. It's normally mindless eating so I have to really focus on just walking by the pantry.


This is me...except my mindless eating is mid-afternoon.

I always have baking supplies on hand...but usually I'm too lazy to be bothered with the actual mixing and baking of it. Besides...when I want something, I want it NOW, not 30-45-minutes-in-the-oven-and-let-cool-for-10-minutes from now.

The most junky junk we have on hand are tostitos (and I'll make a fresh salsa or guac to go with them) and almonds (which I indulge in way too frequently!)
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby carm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:01 pm

DH and I do about 90-95% of our cooking at home so as everyone has mentioned, that really helps us stay on track. We got off track a bit during our 3-week honeymoon in November, then Christmas... To get myself back on track, I downloaded a food tracking app for my Android called Calorie Counter. It's also available as a web application. It really makes me conscious of what I eat and I can still have a treat once in awhile but most of time, I think twice about over-indulging since I don't want to input it into my app. It keeps me consistent with my recommended daily intake (RDI) for my age, weight and activity level and I've already lost a few pounds in the last 6 weeks.
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby getfit » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:16 pm

Jwolf wrote:
getfit wrote:... excuse me while I go and have one of the Lindor chocolates I received for Valentine's Day :oops: I will get serious about this healthy eating stuff tomorrow :wink:


Joanne- i think we have the same husband. ;)


:lol: Funny thing is, he feeds me chocolate and still likes me to look fit and trim :roll:

carm wrote:DH and I do about 90-95% of our cooking at home so as everyone has mentioned, that really helps us stay on track. We got off track a bit during our 3-week honeymoon in November, then Christmas... To get myself back on track, I downloaded a food tracking app for my Android called Calorie Counter. It's also available as a web application. It really makes me conscious of what I eat and I can still have a treat once in awhile but most of time, I think twice about over-indulging since I don't want to input it into my app. It keeps me consistent with my recommended daily intake (RDI) for my age, weight and activity level and I've already lost a few pounds in the last 6 weeks.


I thought of doing the tracking thing, but I usually only stick to those type of things for the first few days. The idea of having it on your phone is great though.
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carm
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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby carm » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:51 am

getfit wrote:I thought of doing the tracking thing, but I usually only stick to those type of things for the first few days. The idea of having it on your phone is great though.


Yes, it's VERY convenient and the app has a barcode scanner (you might need to d/l another one to get the scanner) so you can scan foods to make the inputting even quicker. I use the quick pick feature quite frequently for fruits and veg, meat etc and you can save meals too (e.g. smoothies).
Carm

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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby n_fraser » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:14 am

In the past few months I've started buying pre-cut fruit trays when I get groceries. Yes, I realize this is lazy and I am buying unnecessary packaging. However, the trays go in recyclying and I actually eat the fruit because it is cut up for me. Small thing that has helped me.

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Re: How do you stick to your healthy eating habits?

Postby purdy65 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:22 pm

Everything in moderation, lots of whole grains/nuts/fruits/veggies, as everyone pretty much knows.

Also, I seriously never eat after dinner, and I don't keep alot of stuff in the house.

HAVING SAID THAT! Life is too short not to enjoy treats, and family meals that might include desert. DH and I have pizza on Fridays, and the calming enjoyment we get from that pizza and a glass of wine FAR outweighs the negative health aspects of the pizza. Plus, I don't eat a lot if it.

I am not now, and never will be a health food freak! I figure they don't know what they are missing by not having a good burger every so often, or a steak, but these are most definitely not everyday occurences for me. I'd give myself 70-80% on the healthy scale, and I'm good with that. I have normal BP, normal cholesterol, and normal blood sugar at age 49 through eating the way I do and exercising, so that's my barometer.
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