Health Psychology- Self-modification Project

Sometimes cutting certain foods in our diets is beneficial in losing weight, preventing chronic diseases, and mental and psychological health. Healthy eating incorporates eating a balanced diet comprising carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fat, fiber, and minerals. However, switching from an unhealthy to a healthy diet does not have to be a perfect process at once; instead, it happens gradually. This self-modification paper will examine an unhealthy behavior that I purposed to change, in this case, eating habits. I will discuss the behavior, my plan of action, and my results.

Discussion of the Health Behavior

The eating behavior I purposed to change is eating habits. I developed the need to vary due to several reasons. One, my skin had started showing signs of acne and dryness. Such kind of skin, in many cases, is caused by a diet that is not optimal. In particular, an imbalance of gut bacteria. Two, low energy also made me have a question about my diet. Carbohydrates and fats are rich in energy, and they fuel energy in our bodies. However, foods rich in magnesium, iron, copper, sulphur, and vitamin B also play a crucial role in fueling energy. I realized my diet was missing some of these nutrients. Three, I had digestive issues. The most prevalent were constipation and bloating. The most probable cause of bloating was too much sugar and wheat because snacks had become my staple food.

While my diet was mainly made up of sugar and wheat, current research has proved that it is unhealthy. For sugar, experts say that it is a major cause of obesity and common chronic diseases such as diabetes (Kubala, 2018). They give several reasons as to why sugar is unhealthy. Sugar can cause weight gain. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, juices, and sweet teas are the number one cause of obesity worldwide. Too much fructose causes resistance of a vital hormone that regulates body eating extent leading to one overeating, thereby causing weight gain. Secondly, sugar may increase the chances of heart disease. A study conducted on 30,000 people indicated that those who consume 17-21% of calories from sugar had a 38% risk of dying from heart disease (Yang et al., 2014).

Other reasons are; sugar has been linked to acne, increases the risk of cancer and diabetes, increases depression, accelerates skin aging process, and drains body energy. For the wheat, it is unhealthy because it raises blood glucose more than white sugar. “According to a study conducted by the University of Toronto in 1981, the Glycemic Index (GI) of white bread is 69, whole wheat is 72, and sucrose (sugar) is 59” (Pedrazi, 2014). Secondly, wheat is very much like crack.  Thirdly, there is a relationship between wheat and Schizophrenia. Wheat is also a powerful appetite stimulant and causes an individual to eat more. Lastly, it is terrible for the skin and weakens teeth and bones.

A study conducted by Kushner and Choi (2010) indicated that unhealthy lifestyle patterns in diets, exercise, and coping are more prevalent among the overweight and obese population. The study was conducted on people between 18 and 65 years of age. In America, 28.8 million Americans are reported to have eating disorders in their lifetime in which 10,200 deaths occur each year, equivalent to one death per 52 minutes (STRIPED, 2020). About 26% of people suffering from eating disorders attempts suicide. However, despite the challenges that come with unhealthy eating, interventions can be used to treat it and are explained in the following paragraph.


One of the interventions that have been on the forefront in treating an unhealthy eating disorder is psychological therapy. It enables an individual to develop problem-solving skills, improve their mood, monitor their eating habits, and engage in a healthy exercise (YWP, 2020). Another intervention is nutrition education. Nutritionists are on the frontline in educating people about what foods are healthy, how often they should eat, the importance of exercise, and how they can reduce weight, among other vital lessons. It eventually helps an individual establish and maintain healthy eating habits. Lastly, medications like antidepressants are used in treating eating disorders.

Plan of Action

To change the unhealthy eating behavior, I plan to use a meal prep and a fitness pal app. About the meal prep, I will be preparing food for four days in advance. The technique will help me cut weight in that I will always have ready food that I have prepared in my kitchen. Therefore, it will not be easy to eat at the restaurant, saving me the need to eat snacks with a high concentration of wheat and sugar. Hence, my diet will reduce in terms of sugar and wheat. Besides that, the meal prep will save me money and a lot of time. I will save time because the preparation time will be reduced.

For the fitness app, it will help me track my macronutrients in the foods I take. The advantage of the app is that it breaks down each nutrient. For instance, I know how much fat I have taken in a particular meal, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, or vitamins. Therefore, it will be easier to know which nutrient to increase in my diet and which one to reduce through using the app. For instance, since sugar and wheat are the most prevalent unhealthy nutrients in my diet, I can monitor and facilitate them with the app. Besides monitoring and reporting nutrients, the app will help me in my fitness exercises. The exercises will help reduce unnecessary weight, fat and improve my mental and psychological well-being.

Discussion of my Results

Changing unhealthy eating behavior is gradual, and so I was moderately successful in my mission. However, considering that it was my first attempt to change the action, it significantly improved my objective. At some point, I felt the need to eat snacks, and I did, although not like previously. The meal prep worked for me, and I have seen a significant improvement in my bodyweight loss. Hence, I am optimistic about changing the behavior and adopting a healthy life entirely, and thus I will continue with my meal prep and fitness exercises.

In summary, the paper has pointed out that cutting certain foods in a diet such as wheat and sugar can help our bodies a great deal. It can reduce the chances of diseases, weight gain, skin problems, and many others. Interventions such as psychological therapy, nutrition education, and medications are crucial in treating unhealthy eating behavior. Using a meal prep and a fitness app is vital to change the behavior as they ensure a healthy body.


Kubala, J. (2018, June 3). Eleven reasons why too much sugar is bad for you. Retrieved from

Kushner, R. F., & Choi, S. W. (2010). Prevalence of unhealthy lifestyle patterns among overweight and obese adults. Obesity18(6), 1160-1167. doi:10.1038/oby.2009.376

Pedrazzi, V. (2014, October 5). 6 convincing reasons why wheat is unhealthy. Retrieved from

STRIPED. (2020, August 31). Report: Economic costs of eating disorders. Retrieved from

Yang, Q., Zhang, Z., Gregg, E. W., Flanders, W. D., Merritt, R., & Hu, F. B. (2014). Added sugar intake and cardiovascular disease mortality among US adults. JAMA Internal Medicine174(4), 516. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563

YWP. (, 2020). Interventions for eating disorders – You’re wonderful. Retrieved from