What is the importance of creating healthy habits for a healthy lifestyle? This question seems simple enough to answer, yet there are far too many who have not established healthy habits in their lives and seem to have little if any grasp of doing so. This is evident by our rapidly expanding obesity problems where often if there is any sort of habits, they are usually the default of getting through the day in the easiest manner possible. The habit of going the route with the least resistance in life, is usually not going to be the healthy way.
A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. The American Journal of Psychology defines a habit from the standpoint of psychology as a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing or feelin through previous repetition or experience. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self analysis when undertaking routine tasks.
At David’s Way, we strongly encourage you to develop healthy habits in regards to your nutrition and physical fitness.
Track the calories and macro-nutrients of everything that you consume on a daily basis. By developing this habit, over time when you have found yourself in a situation where you can not look up your calories and macro’s, you will have enough nutrional information stored in your memory that you can keep yourself on a healthy track of not over eating.
Measure and weigh your foods in order to know exactly how much you are consuming. Combining this habit with tracking, will allow you to look at a plate of food while out with family and friends and then being able to get an accurate enough estimation of how much you are about to eat. By weighing, you will etch into your mind how much of different foods are considered your normal serving size. For instance, if you weigh meats, you will automatically know that 3 ounces is typically about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. One tablespoon of a spreadable condiment or peanut butter is roughly the size of your thumb, etc… When you develop the habit of tracking and weighing, it just becomes a thing you automatically do whether out with friends or in the privacy of your own home.
Read ingredient labels on the foods you buy and especially the labels on foods you have never tried before. It takes little of your time to take a quick look to see the caloric and macro-nutrient information. Take a quick read of the ingredients to identify if there is any added sugars as so many foods of today have a lot of hidden sugars in them. Remember that almost every ingredient that ends with “ose” such as fructose, sucrose and glucose are all sugars. This is important information when you have decided to kick sugar out of your diet.
Get in the habit of pre-planning your meals. And use that meal plan as your shopping list when you go to your local grocer. Make it a habit to stick to your planned meals and do not buy junk foods that are not on the list. Of course, the junk foods should actually remain on the grocery stores shelves instead of in your kitchen pantry.
Make it a habit that when you prepare a meal, that you clean up behind yourself as you go in order to not have a sink full of dishes to deal with later. The time added to meal prep when you clean behind yourself is minimal as you can easily rince a dish and place it in a dish washer as you brown a piece of meat on the stove. You can scrub a good amount of dishes by hand if you are waiting on a pot of water to boil. When you clean behind yourself, you will find it easier to properly prepare your next healthy meal when your sink is not already full of dirty dishes.
Make it a habit to be able to tell people “No” when you need to. Even well meaning people will sabotage your weight loss or weight management efforts. They will offer up some tasty sweet treat that is irresistable while knowing that you are trying to be healthy. If the consumption of simple carbs do not drive your appetite into overdrive with cravings, then you might enjoy that small slice of cake if you can afford the calories. However, if you have never had much if any control over your appetite because of simple sugars in the past, then you really need to be able to say “no thank you” often enough that people will quit asking you to enjoy sweet treats with them. If you are addicted to simple carbs, then turning down a treat from a well meaning friend is no different than an alcoholic turning down a beer while in a social situation. After all, we are talking about your personal health. These well intentioned family and friends are not likely to step up to the plate and pay your bills when your nutritionally related health issues are keeping you from working. Nope, a lot of these folks will actually go from being kind to talking about what a fat pig you are if you get to the point where your obesity has become too much for being able to support yourself. Face it, it can be a cruel world we inhabit.
Developing healthy habits is paramount to living a healthy lifestyle. Healthy habits become what you automatically do each day with little to no thought. As with training we went through in the military, practicing real world situations where you respond while under a great deal of duress, just become automatic actions, or habits to get you through the training evolution. You perfect actions and movements so that when serious combat breaks out, the manner in which you respond is carried out with little forethought as you have these scenarios already ingrained into your mind. When you develop healthy habits in your home in regards to your nutrition, it is easier to remain on track when a tragic circumstance happens in your life. Once healthy eating habits become your lifestyle, it becomes easier by leaps and bounds to get through tough times when your body is healthier and not craving sugar which has a negative impact on your body chemistry and how you feel. When you develop healthy habits that allow you to live a healthier life, you then have an increased capacity to care for others in your life who may require your assistance. You never know when your little ballerina may break her leg. Your senior father has developed dementia and your mother is having a hip replacement. By never knowing for certaint what kinds pitfalls you might experience in life, your best course of action is to prepare yourself through healthy habits for a healthy life.