Eating Healthy

We are a nation of fast food and unhealthy eating. I know; I’ve been an excellent citizen of fast food nation. McDonalds, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell, etc., were all familiar eateries for me.

Occasionally I would travel to the world of dieting. It was my vacation from fast food nation. I visited Jenny Craig, L.A. Weight Loss and other dieting centers. They were nice vacations but my loyalty remained with the nation of fast food and unhealthy eating.

My interest in dieting would not die. I didn’t want to revisit the diet centers. My history was poor. I’d do well at the beginning and then lose interest.

I knew the key to eating healthy and losing weight was behavioral. I had to change my attitude and eating habits.

Eating healthy is a lifestyle change. I needed to change how and where I ate. This is important for not only for losing weight but for maintaining weight loss. Too often people do well on a diet but then regain the weight.

Here are some behavioral changes I learned that will help you lose or maintain your weight. They are:

� Visualize
� Relax, Be Patient
� Analyze When You Eat
� Drink Water
� Learn to Cook
� Eat Fruits Instead of Sweets
� Introduce a Variety of Foods to Your Diet
� Eat Regularly. Do Not Starve Yourself!

Visualize! Visualize yourself living your new healthy lifestyle. Visualize how much healthier you will feel. Visualize the new clothes you will wear, how you will look, and the look of surprises on your family’s and friends’ faces when they see the new you. Visualization is a great start for your new lifestyle.

Relax, Be Patient
Losing weight takes time. Changing your lifestyle takes time.

When you relax you reduce stress. For some, eating reduces stress. You don’t want to put yourself in situations where you unnecessarily eat.

Analyze When You Eat
I am an emotional eater. I eat when I am stressed, tired, and bored. When these moods occur I am very careful. The proverbial “light bulb” goes off in my head.

Food is not the answer. I know I am not really hungry! It is my emotions talking to me.

What do I do? Substitute! I substitute other activities for eating. Reading relaxes me. Writing relaxes me. If I am too stressed to do either of these activities, I watch TV. Nothing complex, just simple, mindless TV.

I also rechannel my behavior when I am tired. I browse through a magazine or maybe do some light writing or watching TV. If these do not work I go to sleep. If I am that tired, I should be sleeping!

Drink Water
Drinking water is healthy. All diets require that you drink 8 6 oz. glasses of water a day. It cleanses the body. It decreases your appetite. When you feel tired or stressed, when you know you are not really hungry, drink a glass of water.

Make water an essential part of your diet. If you find tap water boring there are many varieties of spring water and flavored waters.

Learn to Cook
Prepare your own food. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef, however, learn the basic skills to make your meals.

Cooking is part of living healthy. You choose the ingredients and their quality. You choose their freshness. You choose how to prepare your food.

You also save money. Cooking your own food is less expensive than eating out.

You don’t have to cook from scratch all the time. Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine and other companies manufacture healthy frozen meals.

Eat Fruits Instead of Sweets
This behavioral change was tough for me. I love sweets. M&Ms, Pop Tarts, Kit Kats, you name it, I loved it. Especially chocolate!

I learned to love fruits. Cherries, grapes, mangos, papayas, etc. They quench my addiction for sweets. They are also very healthy foods to eat.

Introduce a Variety of Food to Your Diet
Variety is the spice of life. Spice up your metabolism. Eat a variety of foods. Do not eat the same foods day after day.

Eating different foods is good for you. It activates your metabolism. An active metabolism helps you lose weight.

Eat Regularly. Do Not Starve Yourself!
Don’t make the mistake of starving yourself. You will not lose weight! Your metabolism slows down when you starve yourself. Eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. Keep your metabolism active!

Leaving Fast Food Nation…

I am leaving fast food nation. It is a gradual move but I am becoming a citizen of a healthy eating nation. It is not always easy. When I become homesick, I visualize. I visualize my new life in the land of healthy eating.

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