In the world of fast pace of life, creating a healthy lifestyle sometimes seems unattainable. The truth is, it shouldn’t be like this. Follow these eight simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to better health.

Step 1: To get to where you want to be, you must first know where you are.

Take a notebook and write down your eating and exercise habits in a log. Keep track of both routine (working days) and non routine (weekends) activities. At the end of each day, take 15 minutes and look at what you have been doing. Observe and identify any trends that may lead to unpleasant weight gain if the behavior is not verified. Take action to correct these negative trends. These small steps will give you an achievable victory, and you will feel successful.

Step 2: Stop eating “Impulse”.

Most likely, you are doing it and you don’t even know it. This is probably why it is called “Impulse Eating”. Impulse eating is caused by your environment, which initiates food behavior. These triggers include your senses such as vision, sense of smell and sound. Have you ever gone to a fast food restaurant and craved their combination dishes? You may not even be hungry, but your subconscious is programmed to react. The trick is to realize it and fight against thirst.

Impulse food can also happen at home. One of the strategies that I recommend is to choose a place in your home and limit food consumption to this particular area. In my house I chose the dining room, because it can also create an atmosphere of good eating. One of the tips is not to do anything else, like watching TV or reading a book while eating. The reason for this is that when you do something else and eat, you do not pay attention to how much you consume, which in turn will lead to overeating. Over time, this weight will be piled up, and you won’t even know how it happens.

Step 3: Do not feed your emotions.

When we get excited, sad or upset, we sometimes fill these emotions with food. When we consume food in response to emotions, we usually try to feed an unmet need. The trick is to identify these unmet needs and find healthier, non-food-related ways to meet the situation. It often happens that we usually confuse thirst with hunger. So before you eat anything, try an 8 oz glass of water. You will be surprised that sometimes all you need is to drink water.

Step 4: Thirst really does happen. Get distracted.

The traction sneaks up when you least expect it. Here you need to focus on doing or thinking about something else. The addiction usually lasts less than a minute. You will only give in to the addiction if you allow it. It’s mind over matter, so keep your mind strong!

Step 5: Plan, train, act!

Unhealthy behavior can be broken down into 1 out of 3 problems: the inability to anticipate the unexpected, the inability to plan, to cope with trials, or the inability to take action when trials occur. For example, when going to a restaurant to anticipate and plan in advance. Put yourself in a state that does not exceed your dietary parameters, but be calm for your decision in choosing. What you do not want to do is to limit yourself to such an extent that you will not follow any further. A good advice is to eat slowly, and when you feel full, stop eating. You can always bring home the rest of your food the next day.

Step 6: If you fall, come back.

If you fall from your plan, dust yourself and return to the right path. Do not use this as an excuse to give up. Plan a few new strategies so that the next time you face the same situation, you will have the tools to help you succeed. Take some time to evaluate your success, and then imagine what it would be like to go on to the next milestone. Set some realistic goals and aim to achieve them. Always learn from failures, but do not stop at them.

Step 7: Rewards are important.

Set these short- and long-term goals and be sure to reward yourself when you reach them. Do not use food as a reward. An award for food can prevent you from achieving your goal of a healthy lifestyle. Choose rewards that recognize your hard work and achievements. An award in the form of massages, makeup, new clothes or some cool sporting goods can be an incentive to reach your next milestone or goal. For reaching a great goal, you can celebrate it with a spa vacation or a wellness center.

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