There are generally two ways that we try to implement good habits with nutrition clients.
First, is the slow & steady approach. Gradually layering one habit at a time, allowing 2 full weeks to focus and master one behaviour. This works well for most people as it is a manageable way to introduce new habits into an already busy routine.
The second approach is a total overhaul. Some people respond better to change when we implement multiple habits at once. You’ll see the success of this approach in short term nutrition challenges where strict restrictions are applied for a short period of time.
In the current situation - it’s a pretty good time for an overhaul. Most people’s daily routines have already changed significantly, opening up a unique opportunity to implement some new habits.
Below we’ll look at some examples of positive eating habits you can try to implement to help establish a great routine in this ‘new normal’:
- Eat all of your meals at the table, without distractions. This will help build structure into your day and also bring focus to your meals. Snacking while working from home is definitely a challenge with the kitchen so easily accessible. By ensuring you make a point of sitting down each time you eat you’ll keep awareness around the food you’re eating and avoid mindless snacking.
- Eat slowly, stop when you’re 80% full. Put your fork down between bites, have a conversation - try to spend 10-15 minutes on each meal at least. Eating slowly and in a relaxed environment can actually improve your digestion. It also helps us become aware of over/under eating by allowing us to tune in to our hunger/fullness cues. Additionally - slowing down can help you get back in touch with taste/texture sensations we take for granted.
- Try to include a serving of fruits and/or veggies at each meal. Fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) which are essential to maintain overall health, including immune function! Don’t worry if you don’t have tons of fresh produce available, frozen or tinned alternatives are absolutely fine - and still provide a good amount of nutrients.
- Adapt and adjust. With trips to the supermarket less frequent at the moment, you may find yourself missing a key ingredient to your favourite dish (!). Keep calm and carry on. Keep a running shopping list up in the kitchen so that you remember to pick that item up next time you have a delivery or outing grocery outing. No eggs left for breakfast?! Give the turkey and apple bowlrecipe below a go with what you’ve got!
*Top tip: a great way to boost the success of new habits is to tack them on to pre-existing routines that are well established (i.e. set the table for breakfast after brushing your teeth each morning).