How Are You Changing Your Habits?

Cooking Light’s 12 Healthy Habits is about to enter month 9. The September goal is to make seafood the centerpiece of two meals a week. Are you eating fish at least twice a week? The official recommendation is 8 ounces a week. Unfortunately, most Americans fall short of that goal. Be sure to check out the September issue of Cooking Light to get lots of great ideas to help you go fishing more often.

There’s been lots of great discussion on Cooking Light’s Facebook page on how to meet this twice-a-week goal. That’s what will make the book based on the 12 HealthyHealthyHabitslogo Habits so special. As you may know, I’m the author of the upcoming book, The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook, and we want to crowdsource solutions from all of you. Are you following the 12 Healthy Habits? Have you been inspired to make changes? Have you had some success? Tell us about your journey and what has helped you to adopt new healthier habits. We want to put your solutions in the book.

Changing your habits is all about making one small change at a time. All of those small tweaks to your day can add up to something big. What have you done that’s made a big difference for you?


Keep this in mind to help your habits stick:

  • Start small. Do not completely overhaul your current routine in one day. It’s easy to get over-motivated and try to tackle too much, which can backfire. Focus on making a series of small steps, each of which is attainable, rather than attempting to change all at once.
  • Write it down. Writing helps to solidify your commitment and focuses you on your end result. Write down what you want to achieve this month. Leave reminders on your calendar or day planner. Scribble daily goals and motivating messages on sticky notes.
  • Be specific. Studies show that goals are easier to reach if they’re action-oriented. That means being specific, such as “I’ll get up 30 minutes earlier so I can walk in the morning before work,” instead of “I’ll get more exercise.”
  • Be positive. The belief that you can make a change is a powerful force. Behavioral scientists call this self-efficacy. You’re much more likely to reach a goal if you have confidence in yourself. Have faith in your ability to change.
  • Keep track. Self-monitoring is a powerful tool to help instill new habits and achieve success. That could be writing down what you eat in a food diary, using a mobile app to calculate calories, checking off vegetable servings, logging your daily activity or tracking the steps you take with a pedometer.
  • Find a buddy. Making changes are easier and more enjoyable when you have someone who will join you and keep you motivated. Seek out a friend, co-worker, or family member who will adopt these healthy habits with you.

Hope you’ll share your ideas and success stories with us — either on Facebook or on The Twelve, Cooking Light’s blog about the 12 Healthy Habits ( or to me directly).  After all, it’s about habits, not diets. Do you agree?

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  • I think changing eating habit is like changing any other thing/habit. One should start small or set a small target and achieve it rather than setting a huge target and not able to fulfill it even with sincere try. Gaining knowledge about nutrition can also help to motivate to change to healthy eating habits.

  • I totally agree with you that we need to start small if we wish to change somethign in our life especially our eating habits. This is also true when you change from a meat eater to being a vegetarian. You always got to start some where.

  • Great blog! Changing habits is the most important part of healthy lifestyle. Once you’ve changed, you will look back and be surprised – why were your doing / eating it in the first place! It takes time, but it is easier than most people think, just the right attitude and good piece of advice.

  • I never ate fish in my life due to its smell. I never liked smell of fish.
    However my daughter, age 14, is crazy about fish. She never eats anything, if she gets sautéed fish on plain rice. She always said (kind of hammered) fish is very good for eyes, hair and complete health. I gave it a try and slowly started eating. I started to cook it some different ways every time. And now, I eat the same plate what my daughter does. If I get sauteed fish on plain rice, I do not eat anything.

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