How does one go about breaking years and
years of bad eating habits? What is the
starting point for someone who wants to start
If there were an easy answer to the question we wouldn’t have
the problems we have today like obesity. Right now in the US
60% of the population has a weight problem. “Morbidly Obese” is
clinically defined as being 100 pounds or more overweight. In
our population, the number of people being morbidly obese is
increasing year after year.
Changing a person’s perception of food starts at an early age.
You can show a person in black and white what foods are good
for them and what isn’t and it pretty much comes down to a
conscious decision to consume healthy foods or not.
It certainly helps to have a mentor or life coach or fitness trainer
or just a friend where there is some kind of relationship when it
comes to dealing with eating healthily.
The fact is that you need support and one of the reasons there
are so many weight loss programs is that they do something a
little different, they have meetings and people get together and
support each other.
When you gauge how much weight people lose on weight loss
programs like Optifast or Atkins and whether they keep it off, all
of those people probably within a 5 year period have gained all
that weight back because they have lost their support group.
It speaks volumes to me that if people are going to lose weight
and keep it off they need a support group. You should not be on a
diet to lose weight, you need to be making a lifestyle change.
It means finding new ways of eating and develop new habits even
for your everyday activities so that the new way you are eating
becomes your new lifestyle.
The Best Way To Change Bad Eating Habits
The best way to change your bad eating habits is to do it very
slowly. If you try to change everything all at once, it will seem
too hard to maintain. Try changing one thing at a time. For
example, perhaps you like a morning cappuccino. Decide to stop
drinking your morning cappuccino and drink bottled water
instead. Don’t change anything else about your eating habits
until you feel totally comfortable about that dietary change.
Then move on to something else, like healthy snacks. Instead of
that chocolate energy bar, pack a piece of fruit and a small tub of
yogurt. Essentially fruit is natures snack food, it’s also cheaper.
Once you’re comfortable with this change, then move onto
something else. You get the picture. When you’ve got your diet
sorted out, then you can move on to getting some exercise into
So it doesn’t have to be an abrupt change you just need to
understand more about what you are eating and what the energy
value is and the nutrient value of the foods you are consuming,
and make slow but sure changes to your lifestyle.
Why do you think overweight children come
from families with parents who are also
In a way it is endorsement to the children that their eating habits
and lifestyle habits are acceptable. Just like any of us what better
role models than your parents. If they snack and eat unhealthily
then the children will as well.
However having said this, there are other considerations to take
into account. For example there is some tentative evidence that
people who are obese are genetically pre-disposed to it. So if
this were the case, these families may have an underlying reason
for their weight problems. This does not necessarily mean that
there is nothing that they can do to lose weight. Families who
may have these genes who eat eat wisely and exercise will be
showing their children how to eat, how much fun it is to exercise,
and can maintain normal weights. So while genes don’t excuse
bad lifestyle choices, it may be a reason why they are more likely
to become overweight.
Are much of our lifestyle habits linked to
Sure. Emotions and stress - all those things get factored into it.
Everybody has times of emotional need.
I know from watching myself. When I get depressed and
overworked, I lose sleep because I’m trying to get work done, or
something has happened that I feel bad about. When I get into
these situations, I definitely end up simply eating more than I
would have normally, partly to try and make myself feel better
and partly because I’m so tired, that my body is craving more
The way to avoid allowing yourself to be controlled by emotional
eating is knowing what to eat, how much to eat, what is healthy
and maintaining enough down time and sleep. These all factor
into just having a healthy lifestyle.