Today I want to give you the top 5 strategies we have used with clients that will get you results that will last long term. This is building a foundation for healthy eating habits.

1) Create a mindset that you will not restrict yourself. Telling yourself you will not eat sweets, chips, pizza or drink alcohol will only set you up for failure. At some point we will all eat things we know are not the best foods for us. But we must have the mindset that having something that is not nutritious is not a failure, it is human and it should not stop us from moving forward. Enjoy it and get back on track at your next meal. Use the toothbrush analogy. If you miss one night of brushing your teeth you do not stop brushing your teeth for the rest of the week. You just get back to doing it the next day. It will happen eventually and that is ok.

2) Eat with smaller plates. Ditch the large plate at dinner. Use a smaller plate at dinner to control your portion sizes. This can help prevent you from overeating. You probably grew up programmed to eat everything on your plate. This tactic will help you eat less and not feel guilty about leaving food on your plate. That being said, we also need to shift our mindset to the fact that it is ok to throw out food we have left on our plate if we are full, rather than eating more when our bodies are telling us not to.

3) Prepare a veggie bucket. Each week wash and chop veggies to have available for the week. Having a veggie bucket in your fridge is an easy way to get your veggie intake in as it is easy to access. It is best to link this habit with grocery shopping. When you get home from the grocery store take an extra 10 minutes as you put things away to wash and chop your veggies.

4) Eat a mid-afternoon snack. This is one of the most common times we see people not snacking which leads to cravings when you get home and eating whatever is in front of you as you are cooking dinner. If you are not eating between lunch and dinner it is likely you will have a blood sugar crash before you get home leaving you craving simple carbohydrates and there are usually lots of those in the cupboard at home. Take 10 minutes mid-afternoon to get a complete snack in with some protein and fat to keep you satisfied until dinner.

5) Use the plate method and the seatbelt rule. When you get in a car you always put your seatbelt on first. When you eat always put veggies on half your plate first then fill the remaining half with protein and carbohydrate. A quarter plate of protein, a quarter plate of your starchier carbohydrate or fruit and half your plate of veggies.

Today try incorporating one or two of these tactics for a week. Track how many days you completed the task. Then next week continue with the same tasks and add another. Over time you will create lasting habits.

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