Make structural changes. When behavior experts look at the most successful ways to change habits, it’s often by presenting yourself with fewer decisions that you can reach your goals. Decisions require energy, and are stressful. What does that mean when it comes to eating vegetables? It means you attempt to arrange life to decrease the number of times you’ll have to decide between a vegetable-rich option vs. less vegetable-rich option.

Examples in action:

1. Grocery shop with a list. And not just any list, but a list that your wrote while thinking about how to eat all your yummy vegetables. Double check that it’s practical before you leave to do your shopping.

2. Pack or plan meals beforehand. If you eat away from home, pack your lunch the night before. If you eat at home, make up your lunch plate when you’re putting leftovers from the night before away.

3. Write a short list of healthy, vegetable-rich options at your favorite or most commonly frequented restaurants and keep it in your wallet. Try to select from that list most of the time.

4. Take vegetable-rich options when you go to a potluck, friend’s house, or other social occasion. Not an appropriate for the occasion? Eat some vegetables first so that you’ve definitely eaten and you’re less hungry and likely to subsist on pigs-in-a-blanket.

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