While it may be everyone's goal to eat healthy so that they can improve their lives, they are dealing with forces far greater than they imagined.
Who doesn't want to get that toned, healthy body, right? And yet, no matter how hard you try, it seems impossible to get healthy. You can't help but compare yourself to others. How come others who have tried the diet and exercise routine you did lost weight? Did they exert more effort than you?
Why are they blessed to have that athletic, well-toned body? Frankly, there's no magic wand you can wave or some weird secret. Perhaps understanding the forces that work against you is the first step to unlocking the mystery. When you know what you are up against, it is easier to find a way to move around it.
At the beginning of every year, everyone says they will try to keep a healthier diet in the coming year. They promise to try to do better. They begin by looking for an example of a balanced diet. They try it for a few days. Some could last a week. And then, they ditch it altogether. What happened? What went wrong?
Here are some things that could be working against you, thus making it harder for you to reach your goals:
For example, when you wake up in the morning, and you're in a hurry for a meeting at 8, you want to cook up something healthy or perhaps prepare some oats and fresh fruits. However, these meals take a bit too long to prepare, so you end up eating a quick bowl of cereal or buying a muffin from the coffee shop near your office.
You have been planning to eat a salad for lunch, but someone is celebrating his birthday in the office. There are a lot of unhealthy options for you, but the food comes for free. It can be very tempting to go for a slice of pizza or perhaps two pieces of fried chicken. After all, you would look bad if you don't eat along with everyone else.
Another example is that maybe you want to give up eating sweets, but a cousin is celebrating their engagement. The family gathering you go to has a table full of your favorite desserts. They pass it in front of you and offer you a slice or two. How could you say no?
You have been eating healthy for several days. But on the fifth night, you wanted nothing but carbs and sugar. You tried to suppress the urge, but it was just too strong. And so you decide to give in with a bag of chips and a can of soda. It was like your body was telling you what it wanted because you kept giving it something it does not like at all.
You are tired from work. You had a rough day. You feel like you need comfort, and you get it only from eating treats. Once again, you gave in. You got yourself some snacks for comfort. Sadly, these snacks were quite unhealthy.
If you are dealing with the lack of time, social forces, hormones, and cravings, how do you teach yourself to eat healthily? Most people could beat these forces. Perhaps with a little bit more effort, you can make it happen too.
How do you teach yourself to eat good food? In truth, the first thing that you need to ask is not the eating part. You need to learn what a balanced meal actually is. How do you differentiate it from the one you are having right now?
Here are some tips to help you learn to eat healthily:
What is a balanced meal? What is the most essential food? You shouldn't eat too much protein, and you should eat some carbs. It's all about balance. Make sure that your diet is composed of 45% carbs, 30% protein, and 35% of good fat. Usually, you get good fat from eating fish, olive oil, or nuts. Remember that eating too little fat makes your body feel deprived. Don't forget to sprinkle bits of almonds on your salad or maybe put parmesan cheese on your whole-wheat pasta.
Only stick to buying real food items. These are meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grain pasta, rice, and bread. Every time you buy processed meat, you are putting yourself farther from being healthy. Go for the good stuff. No matter how tempting it is to go and but that drive-thru burger, eating a nice healthy meal at home will always feel more rewarding.
The bulk of your diet should be dependent on green things. Apart from the green vegetables, you can also include tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and other plants. Vegetables are good for your body because they are full of nutrients, and they are very rich in fiber too. They fill you up, minus the guilt. You'll be surprised at how much weight you can lose if you stick to an all-green diet.
This food journal or diary is where you will detail everything that you've eaten. When you write down everything you eat, you can keep track of your calorie intake. This practice will help you become more conscious of your body and the food that you put in it. This way, you'll be able to see when you're eating unhealthy foods and understand what may be triggering these cravings.
Setting limitations will help keep you on track and help you get healthy. This isn't to say that you have to limit your food. We want to encourage healthy and mindful eating, not eating disorders. When you let yourself eat what you want when you want, you will end up eating more than you should. Count the calories if you must. If you usually eat 1,500 to 2,500 calories a day, then stick to that. Try to eat less on days when you are not moving a lot. Whenever you feel tired, eat a little bit more. When you have set those limitations for yourself, it would be easier to say no to the cravings or the temptations.
If you want to be healthy, go ahead, and make that healthy change. You know you can do it.
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