Why is it difficult to change our eating habits
The change in our eating habits, which in the most common case is due to overweight and obesity, is a war with ourselves. It is related to the overall lifestyle – nutrition, work, recreation, entertainment. But to say that only strong will is needed in this war is not enough. Moreover, there are methods through which one can make the change gradually, without much stress and cruel constraint over himself, while maintaining his comfort and the good frame of mind.
Nutrition is related to all processes in the body because it is essential for the metabolism and nourishment of the cells, and from there it is connected with the functions of different tissues, organs and systems. Thus eating habits have imposed a certain “rhythm” of the organism – healthy or harmful according to the way of eating and its adaptation to the biological clock of the human being. In addition, they often create physiological dependencies – many people, for example, become nervous and can not concentrate without sweet foods.
Sugar and other nutrients are related to the intestinal microflora – it is proven that different bacteria in the intestinal tract produce chemicals that affect our taste preferences and mood. If, for example, the beneficial bifidobacteria are predominant, there is a desire for vegetables. If sugar and yeast are predominant, our taste preferences will be for cakes and pasta. This, of course, is a schematic explanation because bacteria in the gut are numerous.
The eating habits are also related to psychological dependence without the presence of a physiological one. These are the “rituals” we are used to. Many people, for example, do not drink coffee at home, but they always drink it on the way to work, in the office with colleagues, and so on. If we are accustomed to “eating” candies after dinner, no matter how much and what we eat, this also speaks not of dependence, but of automatic habit.
The list of things that make it difficult for us to change our diet can be long. Then how can we change our eating habits successfully? Above all, we must be aware that it will not happen fast, because changing your taste preferences is not a simple job.
As mentioned, one has to fight the “demands” of trillions of bacteria, physiological and psychological dependencies, “temptations” of the social environment, and so on. If we underestimate the complexity of these processes and start unprepared, there is a great risk of failure. Therefore, it is best to seek help from nutrition specialists, weight loss programs and detox, as you can find such in the specialized clinics. In addition to the diet and daily regimen prepared personally for you, the specialists provide methodological, motivational and psychological help.
The eating habits should be consistent with the biological rhythm
When we talk about how to change our eating habits for transition to a healthy diet, a clarification needs to be made. This is in fact a consideration of the natural biological rhythm of the body. The activity of the organism (including digestive processes) is subordinate to cycles and activity in nature – day/night, phases of the day, phases of the night.
Of course, this is subject to adaptation – for example, the rhythm differs in daytime and evening form of training, at work, at frequent long or short trips, or work in one place, etc. Which only confirms the need for a specialist to assess the body’s needs according to the biological clock, characteristics of the body, physical and mental workload, age, gender, etc.
In general, the beginning of the rhythm set by nature is at 4 o’clock in the morning. Then the body releases cortisone – the stress hormone that triggers the body’s basic functions. This hormone wakes up people who get up early.
The body itself awakens between 5 and 6 a.m. when the metabolism accelerates, the amino acids increase, as well as the sugar levels. Between 7 and 9 a.m., the digestion and absorption of substances accelerate, the processing of food and its conversion into energy get activated. Nature has determined this time for breakfast, which, however, many people miss and so the “expectations” of their body remain unsatisfied.
When we have breakfast, the body absorbs the obtained energy between 9 and 10 a.m. One has increased attention and concentration, and the short-term memory is active. The peak of mental activity is between 10 and 12 o’clock. Then, until 14 p.m., the brain needs rest, and the digestive processes increase, and the lunch is a peak for the day. That is why the lunch should be the main meal for the day, it may consist even of heavier food.
The next two hours are for intensive digestion, and the resulting energy occurs between 4 and 6 p.m. when systems work optimally. The dinner should be consumed until 8 p.m. at the latest, as it should be light, then it is a good idea to spend one hour walking or to do some sports. Around 9-10 p.m. it is time for social contacts, books, listening to music, and so on.
The phase of sleep begins at 22 o’clock, the activity goes down, the body prepares for rest. Between 23 and 1 a.m., the metabolism slows down, it’s the time for deep sleep, and this is the best rest for the body. Until 3 a.m., all kinds of chemical reactions are delayed, no hormones are produced. Being awake at these hours can make the condition and mood worse for the whole next day. Because of the low digestive activity, nighttime “eating” is so bad.
What can we do to change our eating habits
As mentioned, the change in taste preferences, respectively food types and diet, is a complicated and long process for which it is good to seek help from specialists. But there are a number of things we can do on our own. Particularly important is our psychological attitude and way of thinking because it is about breaking stereotypes. For example, we often postpone the change – we wait for a holiday to end, a guest to go, a birthday to pass, and so on, and this is an endless process because “something is coming out always“. This should stop and a firm decision should be made.
Then it is time to remove the harmful products from your home, as these are the foods you have to give up. Otherwise, you will torture your psyche with “delicacies” that are supposed to be for the others at home, but you will also try. If your relatives can not do without these foods, they should carry these with them, or go for a small amount to the nearest store.
Instead of having an unhealthy meal with colleagues in the office, bring your own food from home. In any case, you should not give up even if you fail to follow the plan. Reward yourself with a gift, for example with a garment for every “victory” that gives you strength and motivation to continue with the elimination of bad habits.
In order to have success, begin to quit your addictions, starting with the products you are least addicted to – such as coffee with a croissant, candies or anything else. You can gradually decrease their consumption if you fail to quit at once. Then move on to the next “enemy”.
An important step is to stop excusing ourselves that we do not have time to eat because of duties and start finding time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, instead of staying hungry or half-hungry during the day, and overeating in the evenings without realizing it. It is good to make a plan to create new, healthy rituals. For example, the traditional picnic for a weekend relaxation with food, beer, wine, can be replaced by an outing and walking in nature.
Several basic rules to change our eating habits
If a person has decided to change his eating habits and to follow a healthy diet, he should regularly monitor the nutritional value of products – both kilocalories and proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins. This will help him to avoid extra calories, while at the same time the body will receive the necessary substances.
In addition, he should focus on natural products and cook healthy recipes at home, rather than using semi-prepared and canned foods that have undergone industrial processing with preservatives, flavors, colorings, and so on.
The daily calorific intake depends on physical activity, age, and so on, but generally it can be determined between 1500 and 2000 kcal. It is also important to drink plenty of water – no less than a liter and a half or two liters a day. This can be monitored by marking and a plan, which also applies to the consumption of seasonal fruits and vegetables. They contain a lot of vitamins and trace elements that are necessary for the body.
The menu can include white meat as well as fish. Beans are also useful – green beans, soybean, peas and others, which in their protein content are close to the meat. However, these proteins of plant origin are much easier to digest. In addition, beans contain useful fats, organic acids, minerals, vitamins.