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Start Eating Healthy

A Step-by-Step Process for Improving Your Eating Habits

1. Create a food diary which includes a list of your eating habits. 

2. Highlight the habits on your list that may be leading you to overeat.  Common eating habits that can lead to weight gain are:

  • Eating too fast
  • Always cleaning your plate
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Eating while standing up (may lead to eating mindlessly or too quickly)
  • Always eating dessert
  • Skipping meals (or maybe just breakfast)

3. Look at your food diary and note times and situations when you are prone to making unhealthy choices.

4. Create a list of "cues" using the unhealthy eating habits you've highlighted in step three to become more aware of when and where you're "triggered" to eat for reasons other than hunger. Common triggers for eating when not hungry are:

  • Opening up the cabinet and seeing your favorite snack food
  • Sitting at home watching television
  • Before or after a stressful meeting or situation at work
  • Coming home after work and having no idea what's for dinner
  • Having someone offer you a dish they made "just for you!"
  • Walking past a candy dish on the counter
  • Sitting in the break room beside the vending machine
  • Seeing a plate of doughnuts at the morning staff meeting
  • Swinging through your favorite drive-through every morning
  • Feeling bored or tired and thinking food might offer a pick-me-up

5. Circle the "cues" on your list that you face on a daily or weekly basis, as well as the unhealthy foods you tend to gravitate to.

6. Ask yourself these questions for each "cue" you've circled:

  • Is there anything I can do to avoid the cue or situation? 
  • For things I can't avoid, can I do something differently that would be healthier?

7. Replace unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones. Find new ways to handle stress (visit our blog for some tips), remove junk food from the house or move it to a less accessible location, find healthy snack replacements in the Recipe Hub. Apply these changes, one at a time, until you get used to them. This will probably be 3-4 weeks per step for most people.

8. Reinforce your new, healthy habits and be patient with yourself.