Janice Stanger, PhD

Janice Stanger, PhD

Posted January 9, 2011

Published in Lifestyle

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Five Actions You Must Take Now for Healthy Eating Success

Read More: diet, learning, stages of change, whole foods

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child reading progress_opt.jpg

Change is a learning process, not unlike mastering reading. You may remember developing your own reading skills, or maybe you've watched a child enjoy their increasing proficiency as they moved from one grade to another.

Generally, the student starts with learning the alphabet, reciting all the letters from A to Z. Then the child is taught the sound each letter makes. From there, he or she can start sounding out or recognizing simple words.

The child advances from kindergarten picture books to Shakespeare, but the process takes time, patience, and motivation. Certainly some ultra-gifted students can read difficult literature right after learning their ABC's, but the vast majority of us can't. We need to learn one step at a time.

Just as you became skilled at reading, you can master an eating plan that supports your health and a trim figure. Understanding and moving through five successive actions will get your food choices exactly where you want them to be.

These actions, also called stages of change, are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation/planning, action, and maintenance. Here's an explanation of each and how to move forward through each step.

Precontemplation. At this stage, you are not even aware you have a problem. Or you simply don't care. You scarf down fast food, processed meat, chips, white bread, soda, cheese, and other fattening health-killers while in denial of the consequences.

In order to move to the next step, you need to recognize and care that you have a problem. You can do this by

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