Have you ever tried giving up a bad habit? It can be really tough to do. Changing your diet is no different. It can be really hard to just wake up one day and stop drinking soda, or lay off the cookies, or quit eating fast food if you’re used to eating it every. single. day. You might be thinking that as a Health Coach-In-Training, I would suggest that you do just that – quit the junky, processed food and poor diet cold turkey. Well, if you have that kind of will-power, then you’re pretty amazing! But in my personal experiences, I have found that making drastic overnight changes doesn’t work and isn’t sustainable. That is one reason why I don’t believe in diets – but I’ll get into that another day. Today, I want to introduce you to the concept of “crowding out”.
In a previous post, I talked about adding lemon water into my morning routine to crowd out coffee when I gave it up for Lent. Crowding out simply means to focus on adding more into your diet rather than taking away. If you introduce more and more whole, nutritious foods into your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you will naturally crowd out the unhealthy foods. Our bodies can only take so much food (much like my refrigerator above), so if you begin filling it with nutrient-rich food, you should notice your cravings for unhealthy foods start to decline.
A few simple and totally do-able suggestions:
- add a piece of fruit to breakfast every morning
- include a whole grain, like brown rice or quinoa, with your lunch
- enjoy a handful of nuts during your afternoon snack
- start your dinner with a salad