Article reposted with the permission of the author.
Jennifer Silverberg, owner of the popular Facebook page and healthy eating blog, Eat Yourself Well, has spent years inspiring others to make healthy lifestyle changes. As our guest today, she identifies the biggest barrier to change, and the key to breaking through the barrier and creating successful, stress-free long-term health.
“Our culture makes unhealthy decisions the easy, ‘default’ choice, virtually 24/7,” she says. “That means that most people, when they’re hungry, have to navigate around at least a dozen junk food opportunities before they get to a good choice. That is a tremendous strain on your willpower, at the times where you are most vulnerable. Food marketers take full advantage of this.”
Jennifer says that the key to successfully building new, healthy habits is deliberately creating a space where you make healthy habits the “default,” easy choices. “I like to think of it as an arms-reach life preserver floating around my clients, made up of real food choices that support their health,” she says.
This requires a little pre-planning, and offers the following three top tips.
1. “Think of the places where you spend the most time, particularly the spots where you are when you become hungry, or bored: your desk, your bedroom, your car. Make sure that the easiest foods for you to get to in these places are the ones that you want yourself to choose.”
2. “If meals are a hassle, and you find yourself ‘making do’ with last-minute pizza delivery or similar, consider meal services that deliver fully-cooked, healthy meals to your home. For one to three weeks, put the ‘what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner’ choice in the hands of an expert. But don’t compromise with fake packaged foods, insist on real food beautifully prepared,” she says. She recommends services like Real Food Works, a healthy meal delivery service out of Philadelphia.
3. Use the marketer’s trick in reverse: Make it least convenient to get the foods you least want yourself to choose. Rather than making foods “off-limits” and thereby turning them into obsessions (yes, we’ve all done that), Jennifer recommends “leaving the ice cream at the grocery store, so it’s always a car ride away.” You may find yourself “settling up” for a little plain yogurt with some fruit instead.
Think about the 4-6 “life preserver” changes you can make this week, to make healthy eating easier than making poor choices. Let us know what changes made the biggest difference, in the comments below.
Jennifer Silverberg, Eat Yourself Well
Jennifer has over 20 years experience as a Marketing executive, consultant and entrepreneur across multiple industries including adult and child nutrition, packaged foods, and much more. Her experience has given her unique insights into the methods used by food marketers and other influencers to erode the very meaning of the word “food” … resulting in blind consumer acceptance of what constitutes an “acceptable,” or “normal” diet, and “acceptable” or “normal” health. Today, she turns those principles on their heads to help clients regain vibrant health as easily and naturally as they once gained weight. Jennifer’s dream: that one day it will be as socially unacceptable to give a child lab-created-sugar-and-chemically-filled-junk-food as it is today to hand them a cigarette.