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Healthy Eating Plans - A Technique to Help You Eat Healthier Foods

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Do you have trouble sticking to healthy eating plans or diets? If so, you are far from alone in having this difficulty. There are several reasons that can contribute to this. First of all, there are simply so many temptations to stray from your diet that it can seem like you need an iron will to be consistent.

Then there is the issue of information overload. We get so much contradictory information about what we should or should not eat that we can easily get overwhelmed and simply eat whatever we feel like. It's also possible, if you have a half dozen different nutritional theories running around in your head, to selectively pick the one that conveniently fits your current whim! In this case, you are not really following any plan at all.

So how can we remain faithful to a healthy eating plan when it is so easy to fall back on old habits? If you are someone who has trouble sticking to diets, then you may want to try a different approach. Rather than trying to follow the precise rules of a particular diet, use sensible guidelines that will point you in the right direction. Along similar lines, don't make promises to yourself, such as people do when they make New Year's resolutions that you will "never again" eat a donut, drink a soda, order a double cheeseburger or give in to whatever your weaknesses happen to be.

Strict diets and resolutions sound good in theory, but they have a fatal flaw built into them. They can be a way to set yourself up for failure. Then, when you predictably give in to temptation, you say to yourself that you've failed yet again, and quit even trying to stick to your original plan. If, on the other hand, you work on gradually eating fewer donuts and cheeseburgers and drinking more water and less soda, you can't so easily "fail" by making a single slip-up.

You may feel that having "guidelines" rather than rules is going to be too vague and not put enough pressure on yourself to change. This is not the best approach for everyone. If you think you really can stick to a good diet, then by all means do so. However, if you have repeatedly failed at this, it may be time to try a new approach.

One thing you can do is make your healthy eating guidelines more real and powerful is to write them down and frequently refer to them. You can also cut out or print out pictures of the foods you want to eat and make a vision board. This may sound silly, but it can be a good way to help your subconscious mind absorb your new goals. Using this approach, it's better to focus on the positive rather than the negative. In other words, write down and collect images of the foods you want to eat more of, not ones you want to avoid.

For example, your list may include water, various types of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, salads and natural meats and dairy products, depending on the diet you want to follow. It would be convenient to carry around a single page with names and pictures of, say, a bottle of water (or a picture of stream), luscious looking fruits and so forth. When you think about food, whether when shopping or before ordering at a restaurant or take-out deli, refer to your list. This will get you moving in the direction of eating more of the foods you know are good for you.

Carrying around a vision board of nutritious foods is only one technique. It's not essential to do, but it's a tool that can help you stick to healthy eating plans.

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