6 Tips to change your diet

Hormone expert Ralph Moorman talks about the six important steps for anyone who wants to change their eating habits. This is independent of whether (and which) diet is being followed.

Follow these steps

  1. Examine yourself: what are your real motivations to change your lifestyle.
  2. Set realistic goals.
  3. Try to get a good idea of your current eating habits.
  4. Analyse which areas have the most to gain and choose better alternatives.
  5. Make a plan to work towards the goal step by step in a fun way.
  6. If successful, continue and if not: back to step 1.

These steps ensure that you keep responsibility in your own hands and get to know yourself and your (eating) behavior better. This way, you find a diet that suits you. Every diet provides guidelines but never offers truly tailor-made solutions. Get moving and be inspired by a search for yourself. Simply cutting down on food and eliminating certain things completely does not work. Instead, it is about which alternatives you choose.

Ensure a good distribution of meal times

By eating at set times, you can often get ahead of feelings of hunger. Many people benefit most from three well-filling basic meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Two healthy snacks fit in between these. A meal means a balanced combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Proteins include meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Good fats can be found in olive oil, butter, avocado and oily fish. And the carbohydrates are mainly in brown rice, potatoes, carrots, legumes and fresh fruit. But don't forget to eat plenty of vegetables. They are often low in calories but contain essential vitamins and minerals.

Many people make the mistake of cutting out almost all carbohydrates when they want to lose weight. This results in, for example, a salad consisting of lettuce and meat or fish for lunch and wok vegetables with meat (substitutes) for dinner. These are more snacks than meals. Few people feel satiated for long by such meals, so the likelihood of snacking increases significantly. On top of that, on average more is eaten than when someone does not deny themselves carbohydrates. So eat more of the good, which will automatically make you eat less of the bad.

Eat more pure and unprocessed foods

When a large part of your diet consists of unprocessed natural products, you automatically start eating less. Natural products include meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, tubers, bulbs, vegetables and fruit. These foods are not designed to tempt you to eat more of them. Many foods are so processed in smell, taste, texture and so on to make us want to eat a lot of them. Choosing unprocessed foods makes it a lot easier to limit calorie intake.

Ensure stable blood sugar

When you ingest too much sugar, it becomes increasingly difficult to start eating less. Sugar causes your blood sugar to fluctuate. You may feel tired and emotionally weak in the blood sugar dips thus created. It is tempting to opt for junk food instead of a balanced meal or snack at such times. Sugars in a product also enhance mouthfeel, aroma and taste. Therefore, chances are you will want to eat more than you intended. In addition, sugar is a substance that positively impacts your well-being, like aspartame and flavor enhancers. As a result, many people reach for sugary products when they feel emotional. But it's better not to do that.

Analyse your mental eating behaviour

Sometimes patterns are ingrained that involve unnecessary eating. Think of popcorn at the cinema or eating and drinking extra in certain crowds. Eating can also compensate for unpleasant feelings. A lack of love, appreciation, or trauma, loneliness, boredom and stress are often eaten away.

You can try to change your eating behavior with professional help, but you can also first look at yourself to see what you can already do to change your pattern. Analyze why you ate the bowl of ice cream instead of immediately making yourself feel bad. Is it because you didn't plan your day correctly and ate too little somewhere? Or is it due to a mental cause? Try to devise solutions for this to avoid such situations next time. Self-analysis is very important to achieve lasting behavioral change.

Don't worry too much

Striving for perfection often leads to disappointments that lead to a relapse into old behavior. Don't be too hard on yourself. Especially people who are permanently slim let go of the reins now and then. It is better to eat one biscuit every day than to deny yourself the whole week and then eat a whole pack at the weekend. If you restrict yourself too much, the brain and the body's survival mechanism patiently wait for a weak moment to follow. So don't make it too hard on yourself and try to reach a better average step by step.

Read more nutrition articles?

en_GBEnglish