Although you know you need to be eating healthy foods, old habits can keep creeping in and make you feel you just can’t get on track. The media and marketing agencies create unrealistic expectations in our mind about how we should look. Television and movies are always implying that you should look thinner and be sexier. Magazines try to sell diet product after diet product, and people keep finding that they don’t work. Or when they do, you gain back all the weight after of you stop using the product.
This is unfortunate, because eating healthy can be fairly simple. Simple does not necessarily mean easy, of course, but it’s not as complex as many advertisements claim. By making some changes, you can begin to take control of your eating habits and allow your body to guide you to the right weight for you.
- Don’t Eat To Lose Weight
This is the biggest, and most difficult, step in eating healthy. Many people in the United States, and indeed throughout the world, equate “healthy” with “thin”. But the truth is, those two things don’t have nearly as much connection to each other as people think. It’s true that being overweight can lead to certain health problems, but many of those health problems can be found in people who are thin, as well. Not only that, but being underweight can lead to just as many problems as being overweight, but doctors are less likely to look for them since the standard thought process is that thin means healthy.
So instead of eating to lose weight, eat to be healthy. This doesn’t mean you should never count calories, but calorie counting is only worthwhile if you know how many calories you need on a daily basis. Nor does it mean you should cut anything deemed “unhealthy” from your diet.
What it means is that you should make sure you’re getting an appropriate amount of food, and that you’re treating vegetables and fruits as your main substance. Meat is fine, as well, but try to make sure it’s not overly processed. Essentially, think more vegetables, less processed food, and you’ve got a good start.
- Learn What You Need
What this means in practical terms is that you should always base your food plans on your real life, not on the life a diet plan expects you to have. If you work a physical job, you may need more calories than a certain diet plan suggests. If you work indoors a lot and don’t get much sun, you may need a higher amount of vitamin D. Eggs may be a big part of your food plans, but it may be that eating eggs too often makes you stop enjoying eggs, which in turn makes you stop eating them.
Essentially, don’t think about what you “should” be doing. Think about what you actually do, and base your plans off of that. Otherwise, you’ll go right back to your old eating habits.
- Buy The Right Foods
Avoid buying frozen foods when you can. This is especially true for any “microwave dinner” type food. These are generally loaded down with salt and other chemicals in an effort to keep them preserved for as long as possible. Buy fresh vegetables and meats, and take time to cook your food yourself.
- Don’t Think Of It As A Diet
The problem U.S. culture has with diets is that they’re always talked about as a limited time thing. You go on a diet, you lose weight, and then you stop. That’s a recipe for gaining back your weight.
Instead, think of a lifestyle change. Think of having different eating habits. Consider any change you make as a permanent change, something you’ll be doing from that point on. If you can’t do it, then you shouldn’t start that particular plan. It may help you lose weight, but if it’s not sustainable, then you’ll go right back to your old habits.
Ultimately, eating healthy is a matter of being prepared and knowing what to eat. So take the time to educate yourself, and take a few minutes to prepare in advance. You’ll be glad that you did.