The advice to eat more healthily is by no means brand new information. We are bombarded with information about how we can lose weight and the impact our diet can have on our health, but it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to make those big lifestyle changes.
True, it can help to motivate you if you know what specific benefits your diet can offer you. For example, while what you eat definitely impacts your weight and general health, it can also cause very specific changes to your health.
For example, your diet can improve the symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and other health problems, such as autoimmune disorders. It can also change how your immune system works, making you more or less susceptible to infectious disease. Your diet also directly affects your digestive system, which can in turn have a massive impact on your wellbeing.
It’s not just how you look, but it’s how you feel that matters.
However, while it can be helpful to be motivated, what are some other ways to eat more healthily?
When you think of the word “dieting”, what comes to mind? Are you thinking of a hugely restrictive, low-calorie diet that you keep up with for a couple of months or so? Some people lose a lot of weight on these diets, but they are flawed.
The weight change is usually temporary, as these extreme diets are unsustainable. Not only that, but you don’t get any healthier. You shouldn’t cut out whole food groups unless your health demands it, as this can lead to malnutrition and other issues. It can also mess with your metabolism, making it harder to keep weight off.
Instead, think of the other definition of “diet.” The standard American diet, for instance, is a diet. It’s not necessarily a healthy one, but it’s the kind of food most Americans eat every day. Rather than attempting a temporary crash diet, try a sustainable, permanent diet change.
This can mean looking into your relationship with food. Food isn’t the enemy. Quite the opposite, food sustains you, keeps you healthy, and ideally, makes you happy.
With this in mind, think about substitutions rather than eliminations. For example, some people are able to cut out breakfast and reduce their calorie intake that way. But this doesn’t work for everyone. If you get hungry in the morning, try eating healthy, high protein breakfasts that keep you feeling fuller for longer.
If you like grazing and snacking, keep healthier snacks in the house. Cook meals and snacks at home if possible, as you won’t get caught by all the sugar, fat, and salt that have been snuck into readymade food.
Eat meals that satisfy you, while still filling all of the major food groups. Cut down on fatty meat and find other protein sources, while increasing your vegetable intake.
You don’t need to completely eliminate food that you enjoy, but that isn’t healthy. Turn it into a treat, rather than a villain.
If you enjoy your diet, you’re far more