What we eat doesn’t just affect our physical health, it impacts every aspect of our life, from our sleep and mental health to our ability to focus and connect with others.

But even when we know the importance of healthy eating, many of us adopt beliefs that hold us back; for example, that eating well during our busy workdays is a luxury we can’t afford.

Our feelings about food can also be intertwined with judgement – coming from outside and also from within. We may hear a voice, like an obnoxious roommate living in our head, telling us to eat this or not eat that, or even that we are ‘bad’ or ‘weak’ for making the choices we do.

As a result, we may feel pressured to make big, sweeping changes to the way we eat – an approach that can backfire. Drastic changes like short-term restrictive fad diets often do more harm than good – and even decrease your basal metabolic rate (or the number of calories your body burns at rest).

Adopting Microsteps – simple strategies that are too small to fail – is the best way to make sustainable changes that will last a lifetime.

Here are three Microsteps to help create healthier habits:

Before snacking or during a meal, pause to ask yourself how hungry you are.

When you’re intentional, you’ll enjoy your food that much more and avoid unwanted calories.

Pick one processed food you eat each day and eat less of it.

You don’t have to cut it out entirely, just have one less serving than you normally do.

Read the label on a food item in your home you think is healthy

Many foods – including cereals, juices, fruit yoghurts, jams and even bread – are loaded with sugar, even though they’re labelled as healthy. A glance at the label will quickly boost your awareness so you can buy a different brand or swap it for a healthier version.

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To see how Thrive Global handles your personal information please see thriveglobal.com/privacy/.