Two Healthy Eating Bonus Habits

By Leo Babauta

As we tackle the final week of the Healthy Eating module, I have two habits for you to focus on, if you feel up to the task:

  1. Watch your fullness. This is one of the most important habits you can learn — learn to be mindful of how full you actually are, as you eat. So you’re eating a delicious meal … many of us will simply keep eating until there’s no more of this delicious food on our plates. That’s whether we’re full or not. And the result is that we often overeat, and feel too full afterward. We then need a nap. Instead, learn to watch your fullness, and let this be your ultimate guide to whether you should take another bite. Here’s what you do: take a bite or two, then pause. Notice how full or hungry you are. If you’re hungry, take another bite. Repeat with each bite. Stop before you’re really full. Often you don’t even feel full, just a little less hungry, but if you pause for a few minutes (put your fork/spoon/chopsticks down), you’ll slowly notice that you’re really full. So do what the super-healthy Okinawans do — stop when you’re 80 percent full. That takes some practice, and you won’t be great at it at first. Just pay attention, pause between bites, and watch. You’ll get better at it. If you can eat smaller portions each meal or snack, you’ll be healthier over the course of a lifetime.
  2. Change your taste buds. This is another important habit. Right now, you might love unhealthy food but not really like healthier foods. That can change — I’ve done it, and so have many others. Just try a healthy food, like kale or spinach or broccoli or quinoa or raw walnuts. Eat a little, try to find something to like. Eat it again tomorrow. And again the next day. If you keep an open and positive mind, you can grow to like it. Don’t look at it as suffering — look at it as learning how to change. Repeat this with another healthy food, and so on, until you love all healthy food ever created in the history of the Universe.

You can do both of these habits this week, as you also make one healthy eating change (as planned). Or you can focus on one, and then the other in the coming weeks and months as you continue to learn to eat healthier.

Good luck, my friends!