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Breaking Bad Habits

November 21, 2008

We all know the right food can contribute greatly to your health. But many of us aren’t always eating to nourish our bodies. Life gets in the way. Whether it’s time, traditions, relationships or emotions, many factors contribute to unhealthy eating habits.

A recent Prevention magazine article outlines some ways to work around these triggers so you can live a happier, healthier life.

Avoid banning foods. Restricting foods will just lead to bingeing. Instead, incorporate more whole foods so you have less room for processed, junk foods.

Open Communication. If your friends or family are being negative toward your health goals, tell them. Be clear about your intentions and let them know of ways they can support you.

Make room for healthy habits. If you spend most of your time on the run, find time a couple days a week to cook healthy meals, or fit in some exercise.

Make new traditions. Food has become a way to stay connected. Think about it. Every holiday you get together with friends and family to sit around a table of rich food. Whether it’s your mom’s pumpkin pie or sweet-potato-and-marshmallow casserole find one that really matters and keep it on the menu. You probably don’t need both.

Focus together time on non-food fun. Instead of an all-you-can-eat buffet with your family think of other fun activities, like going for a hike or playing board games. Food does not have to be the only thing that brings you together with friends and family.

And a tip from Integrative Nutrition:

You are not alone. All great athletes have coaches, so why not get a health buddy or coach? Find someone in your life to support you in achieving your goals. Many times, we try to hide out and do it all alone. When you share your goals with others, you have greater accountability and you might even inspire those around you.

Who is your health buddy?

About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.