Whatever your reason for wanting to eat healthier, you’re not alone. Every single day, people all over the world, are telling themselves they are going to start eating better but have no idea where to begin. Consider these lesser known concepts when asking yourself what you must know about the basics of healthy eating.
If you begin right now you will start seeing the results of your efforts one day earlier than if you wait until tomorrow. So take the first step today. No more waiting until Monday, the first of the month, or whatever excuse you have to put off until tomorrow what you can begin to do today. The smallest step in the right direction may end up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must but at least take the step.
You can’t wait until everything is just right because it never will be. There will always be demands, hurdles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. Once you start to see the result of your efforts the energy begins to flow you will become the most positive and determined person you know.
You have free will which means that you are completely responsible for all of your successes and failures. When you accept responsibility for every action you take and every decision you make, there is virtually nothing that you cannot achieve.
If you have struggled and failed to eat healthier, ask yourself where you went wrong. I’m reasonably certain that you know. Be accountable and take the steps necessary to solve your problems; this action is empowering and will lead to the results you are looking for. Taking responsibility for your actions equals success.
Emotional hunger comes on fast and is a reaction to your feelings; it’s not about the food but it’s the only thing on your mind. Physical hunger builds a little at a time and comes about because your body needs energy; it’s biologically based and connected to your blood sugar levels.
Your brain can make recognizing what you need as opposed to what you want hard to understand. Your relationship with food often changes; when you feel unhappy, lonely, or bored, you may try to fix those feelings with food. Before you eat, it’s important to stop and think; clarify if it’s your stomach that’s hungry or if it’s your mind and heart that needs attention instead.
Grocery shopping is the foundation of a healthy diet and will be your catalyst for change. If you buy good food, you’ll eat good food; the key to your success will be a properly stocked pantry. Having a well-stocked pantry is your best line of defense, it means you will always have healthy choices available.
Please don’t try to convince me that it costs too much to eat healthy, I politely and strongly disagree. Millions of people will spend $5 a day on a fancy coffee but refuse to spend $5 on a bag of fruit. The facts are the facts folks; Americans are spending more at bars and restaurants than they are on groceries.
I realize that you have a job, commitments, responsibilities and distractions that take you off course every day. To be successful in your efforts, it’s essential that you find time in your already jam-packed schedule and have healthy food ready to eat. If not, you’re going to be upset by the results you didn’t get because of the work you didn’t do.
Stopping to grab food on the go, heading out to lunch with co-workers, nibbling from goodies left in the lunchroom and too many dinners out will derail your efforts. Quit spending your day in a food coma. When making choices, ask yourself, ‘Is what I’m about to do going to get me closer to my goal or further away from it?’
For most people portion size is anything but obvious. When most people sit down to eat they tend to underestimate how much they are actually eating. The good news is that with a little practice, portion control is easy to understand and carry out; it will help you achieve your goals and establish healthy habits for a lifetime of success.
Stay flexible and adjust your portions based on your hunger, fullness, and level of activity. Take into account what you have just done or how active you are going to be in the next few hours. Above all, be honest with yourself; don’t use your answer as a convenient excuse to overeat.
Most people eat with their eyes and if given a large plate will be tempted to fill it and compelled to eat it. It’s time to resign from the clean plate club. If you choose smaller plates you are likely to be satisfied with the portion served and be able to put the fork down when you are 80% full, not when you are stuffed or the plate is empty.
Start paying attention to your appetite and fullness cues, cultivate an intuitive eating style. Many of us eat far too quickly and want to eat to the point of being full. Take your time and experience the action of eating; slow down, turn off the TV, push away from the computer, and eliminate distractions.
It takes roughly 20 minutes for our satiety mechanisms to kick in. The communication from our stomach to our brain is slow and because of this if you eat too quickly you’re likely to eat too much. Give your brain time to register that you are content and can stop eating now.
Your water intake is more significant than you may think. Water makes up approximately 65% of your weight and is involved in every type of cellular process in your body. When you’re dehydrated, they all run less efficiently.
It can be difficult for your body to tell the difference between hunger and thirst. If you’re feeling an acute sense of hunger, you may just be dehydrated. Water is high octane fuel for your body; make sure you drink enough throughout the day to meet your minimum requirements.
The lack of adherence is a significant reason people fail when trying to lose or maintain weight. For some people the simple act of having to record every bite helps discourage overeating because they don’t want to have to write it in their journal.
Additionally, food diaries help identify areas where changes need to be made by unveiling patterns and triggers to avoid, such as not eating enough throughout the day and then overeating at night, or overeating when drinking alcohol.
While most eating patterns are formed during childhood, it’s never too late to establish new, healthier behaviors. I realize it’s easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged when you begin to consider lifestyle changes. I also know that your own self-doubt will kill more ambitions and dreams than failure ever will.
In the end, it’s about taking ownership of your choices. There is nothing wrong with stepping back and taking a break from things and concentrating on yourself for a change. A balanced diet not only changes your body, but it changes your mind and your attitude.
I am a corporate wellness consultant. As a master yoga instructor, I support in-house wellness programs, seminars, trade shows and executive retreats. I help business leaders build and maintain physical and mental well-being. If you would like to learn more about offering a health and fitness program to your busy management team contact me at [email protected] or 386.871.0582
If you're searching for clear solutions and manageable strategies that will lead you to a more energetic and fulfilling lifestyle, look no further.
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