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Saturday, January 28, 2012

4 Easy Tips for Creating Healthy Eating Habits

Creating healthy habits includes knowing what to do as well as what not to do. Introducing small changes into your everyday routine can make it easier to improve personal wellness than you might think. Of course changing long-held habits can be challenging, but making small, seemingly insignificant changes can make a big difference in the long run.

Most people don't just wake up 20 or 30 pounds heavier one morning. Weight slowly creeps on because of a few bad eating habits. It's also possible, however, for it to slowly come off with a few healthy changes.

These mindful eating tips can help you start taking better care of yourself now. Improved personal wellness might only be one new habit away!

1) Put unhealthy snacks in a solid container: Surprise! The tip isn't about getting rid of junk food. It's simply to move it from clear containers (or from the original bag with all its delicious pictures) to a container you can't see into. An eating study found people ate less candy when the candy dish was changed from a clear jar to an opaque jar.

2) Move snack jars to the other side of the room: If you've already put your tempting snacks into a solid container but still find yourself eating more than you'd like, move it to a location at least six feet away. A research study found that workers ate 9 pieces of chocolate per day when candy bowls were on top of their desk. They only ate 6 per day when the jar was moved inside their desk. The number fell to 4 per day when the container was moved across the room. It appears the candy became less tempting when they had to walk to get it.

3) Decide in advance and save the proof: If you're going to treat yourself to a favorite food or snack decide how much of a splurge you're going to have before you get caught in the throes of an all you can eat wing frenzy or a Halloween candy office bonanza. Once you decide your upper limit, keep a reminder on your plate until you're done. A plate full of chicken bones or candy wrappers gives a more accurate count of how much you ate than your post splurge memory might.

4) Create natural stopping points: If the jumbo size bag of chips was on such a fantastic sale that you "had" to buy a bag or two, don't despair. You can still exercise discipline after the fact. Look at the serving size on the bag. Divide the bag into servings and put them into smaller baggies or containers. Put those out of sight (tip 1), ideally some place far away (step 2), and decide how much and how often you'll indulge (step 3.)

Improving personal wellness might not be easy, but it's probably easier than you think. Make small, gradual changes and keep building on your success.

Be well.

© 2011 Donna L. Hamilton, MD

Holistic Wellness Speaker Dr. Donna L. Hamilton, MD, MS supports people in becoming optimally healthy. She passionately teaches people what being healthy really means and provides practical tools and strategies to address the five key areas affecting health. Dr. Hamilton-a former board certified pediatrician-is Chief Wellness Officer and owner of Manifest Excellence, LLC. She specializes in holistic wellness promotion and speaks nationally on this topic. Dr. Hamilton teaches a comprehensive approach to health and wellness that addresses mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical wellbeing. For more information, to schedule a wellness presentation for your group, or to request a copy of the free personal wellness guide, "It's Easier than you Think," visit

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