8 tips to improve your eating habits

The health crisis has disrupted the lifestyle of many Quebecers. The polls speak for themselves: many nibble more, eat more junk food, move less and drink more! It’s not too late to regain control and review your diet. Focus on eight winning tips!

Highlights:

  • 25% of Quebecers admit to having poorer quality food
  • Young adults aged 18 to 24 are the most likely, 36%, to report that the quality of their diet has decreased.
  • 31% report eating more junk food.
  • 22% of adults say they have consumed more alcohol.
  • 34% of adults say they are concerned about their weight.
  • 31% of Quebecers have reduced their practice of physical activity.
  • 39% snack more.
  • 37% eat more.
  • 30% eat sweeter.
  • 26% eat more salt.
  • 23% eat more fat.

1. Establish SMART goals

An objective SMART East :

  • Specific : This is the description of the goal you want to achieve. For example, eat more vegetables.
  • Measurable: You have to define a quantity, a duration and a frequency. This will let you know if your goal is achieved. For example, eating a serving of vegetables with each meal.
  • Accessible : These are the means you use to achieve your goal. Your goal must be compatible with these means. For example, stocking up on enough vegetables to reach the goal.
  • Realistic : Your goal must be important and useful to you so that you can achieve it. For example, you like raw vegetables in salads.
  • Temporally defined : Indicate when you will achieve your goal. For example, by setting a deadline or a deadline. By setting reasonable goals, you increase your chances of maintaining them over the long term.

2. Get back to a routine

Even if you are still telecommuting, try to get back into your pre-COVID weekday routine with scheduled meals, structured snacks, and adequate sleep time (7-9 hours). Limit alcohol to a few nights a week as you used to do before the pandemic.

3. Eat mindfully

Mindfulness is being in the present moment. By eating mindfully, we pay attention to how our body feels and what surrounds us when we are eating. It’s much easier to listen to our hunger and fullness signals then.

Here are some tips to help you eat mindfully:

at. Involve all of your senses and take the time to appreciate the flavors, smells, tastes, colors and textures of the food you eat.

b. Take small bites

vs. Chew food well.

d. Take breaks while you eat.

e. Eat slowly.

f. Make the eating experience pleasant and satisfying.

4. Give yourself challenges

Challenges are motivating! Challenge your spouse or your children, why not! For example: The challenge of the week Eat vegetables at all meals, drink 2 L of water a day, walk 5,000 or 10,000 steps, etc. Remember to take it step by step, one challenge at a time. Changing your lifestyle takes time, and taking it one step at a time increases your chances of maintaining them over the long term.

5. Block time on the schedule

Food is all about compromise and at no time is perfection in your business. However, the only thing that is necessary if you want to change your habits is to invest a minimum of time. Block time slots on the calendar to plan your meals, cook and get moving!

6. Keep a progress log

People often tend to emphasize the negative. Each day, take care to jot down two small victories (two positive things) that you made in connection with your decision to take care of yourself. For example: I ate more vegetables, I ate whole grains, I tried tofu, I took the time to sit, without distraction, to enjoy my supper, etc.

7. Avoid processed foods by cooking more

Good news, 68% of Quebecers have cooked more since the arrival of COVID. You have to maintain this habit which allows you to reduce your consumption of processed foods. Ultra-processed products often contain too much fat, salt and sugar. By cooking your meals, you can improve the quality of your diet and flavor your meals with fresh or dried herbs and spices. Plus, cooking will save you money since processed products often cost more than unprocessed products. This will kill two birds with one stone, improve your eating habits and save money.

8. Stop eating your emotions

Stress and anxiety levels are at their peak in many homes. Eating becomes a source of comfort for many. Instead of freezing the emotion while eating (often foods high in fat and sugar), instead try to respond adequately to the emotion with relaxation or relaxation techniques. Taking a time out to be aware of what you are going through can often prevent uncontrollable food cravings.

Sources: Léger survey conducted among 1001 Quebec adults from March 27 to 29 ASPQ.

INSPQ survey on the attitudes and behaviors of the Quebec population.

Online survey conducted by MBA Recherche among 1002 adults between May 15 and May 19, 2020.

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