Nutritionist Lucy Hyland

Changing Food habits

March 25, 2024
Posted by Lucy

In my Irish Executive blog this month, I talk about changing food habits for the better.

Do you have a long list of excuses about some of some of your food habits?

Do some of them serve you well and others get in the way of good health?

Read my blog below to find out how to start making some changes :



Is it really a Load of Old Horse?


The recent horsemeat scandal within the food sector has sparked a wide range of discussions about the food we eat. And although there are many aspects worth discussing, I’ll simply ask this basic question: how much influence do we really have on what we are eating everyday?

At a time like this it may be easier to throw up our hands and say “Well, what’s the point?” In the world of large supermarket chains influencing product choices, powerful food lobbies and global food supplies; how can any of us manage our eating patterns. There are too many external forces, right? Too many influences on a day to day basis that wear down our ability to choose the right foods for our health.

However, my work is about questioning those beliefs and offering the viewpoint that, at that at the end of the day, the choice is ours. Despite the long list of excuses, there are alternatives and answers. Perhaps listen to the excuses that you have formed in your own head about your behaviour – these can be verbalised through conversation or simply repeated over and over in your own mind.

Then ask yourself: Are these stories serving you or not? If they are not, how can we begin to change them? Changing habits and behaviours can be difficult patterns to break. The voice in the back of your mind often justifies and promotes the repetition of these behaviours.

What would it be like to challenge even one of these thoughts? For example: the day just wouldn’t be complete without my morning coffee and muffin break. It allows me to pop out for 10 minutes, providing me with a mental break and it helps me get through the day.

Yet, any snack containing a sugary food and caffeinated drinks are going to result in a deadly combination for blood sugar levels, meaning in your initial feeling of satisfaction will quickly be replaced with yawning and your focus will start to slide. So as you challenge your behaviour, offer alternatives:

Always have a little stash in your office desk – a few pieces of hard fruit or a small bag of nuts.

Or pack a container in your work bag every day with a natural yogurt, wholegrain cereal bar or seed/dried fruit mix.

Have these as a snack then go down and get that coffee – only!

I often find that this is how our perceptions are challenged and our habits are broken; step by step and day by day. And as we find moments in the day when we actively take control of our thoughts and actions, we challenge our assumptions and question our motivations; the movement towards a healthier lifestyle is no longer quite so far away.

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