Thursday, March 19, 2015

Eating Habits are Contagious

Do you wish you made better food choices? Interestingly enough, reading the latest book or scouring the internet is not the best way. Studies show the best way to change the way you eat is to talk to someone who you consider healthy and learn about their daily diet. You are more likely to stick with a new healthy lifestyle if you socially engaged with the person or group you consult. Good thing we offer group nutritional coaching classes at Sana Vita Studio!

Simply, we do not want be to told what to do, but want to be told what others do. Just think about it when you were young and began making choices about your wardrobe.... which one seemed like the better option: wearing what your mom told you was cool or wearing what friends valued as cool? Same difference when it comes to food choices. As soon as we can start making choices about what we eat, we become greatly impacted by the influence of others which we admire and by groups of people we dislike. For example, if you get happy hour cocktails and appetizers every Friday with your favorite co-workers, you probably look forward to it! You may associate happiness with this weekly feasting. On the flip side, if a group you dislike enjoys a certain kind of food, you adjust your tastes so you do not align with whatever they like, because you do not want to be associated with them.

Make a list of your favorite foods or frequented foods...
  • Are any of them something your family or friends enjoy? 
  • Are any of them well respected by a group of people you aspire to be like or associate with? Maybe from a publication, food source (store or restaurant), people or person you respect...
  • Are any new foods (healthy, think chia seeds or or unhealthy, think cronuts...) you enjoy that a friend or family member told you about?
I thought about my favorite foods: baked potatoes, pad thai, cookies, peas, collard greens, raspberries, tuna, tamales and lasagna.

Baked potatoes, tuna, peas, cookies, chef or chopped salads - all family favorites. And i'm constantly finding new ways of preparing all of them on food blogs and from publications. Pad thai, collard greens, tamales - all friend favorites and things we like to eat when we are together. Raspberries - my favorite fruit after I watched a family member incorporate them into her diet. They are low GI, full of antioxidants, and fun to eat. Lasagna - my idol, Garfield's favorite food.

All of my favorite foods neatly fit into a category above... how about yours?

We are socially engaged with food. We should consider the way the internet, specifically social media, impacts the foods we crave. Try following healthy people and blogs that will motivate you, instead of looking pictures of your friend's Sunday night football chicken wing platters. Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter give you the ability to discretely hide or mute posts by friends or family that may be throwing stones at your new healthy lifestyle.

Because healthy (and unhealthy) behavior is contagious try posting new recipes and exercises you have found tried and true that are actually good for you. You could change your love ones lives by being a positive food and fitness source! Posting pictures of Sana Vita Studio or a cute #healthie (like a #selfie... but when you are being engaging in something healthy) keeps you health-positive and motivated and in return may do the same for people that follow you on social media!

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