Food and health
You can wake up fully motivated to eat in a really healthy way but get waylaid at ANY time of the day.
Because we HAVE to eat, every day we make choices about food. Sometimes our choices serve our intentions and sometimes they don’t.
The key is to be realistic, holistic and not give ourselves too hard a time.
If you genuinely want to eat in a healthy manner (whether that is for weight loss or not), you need to accept that you are not ‘on a diet’. You are choosing to change the way you eat as part of your lifestyle.
There are tons of ‘diets’ out there that rely on you changing the way you eat in an unsustainable way. But if you’re looking at making long-term changes and creating a sustainable way of looking at food, you have to take a much bigger viewpoint.
I’m not a nutritionist and if you are unsure of what constitutes healthy eating, I would really recommend an appointment with a nutritionist who can put you on the right track.
If you want to change the way that you eat, the first thing to look at is how different is what you eat from what you plan to eat? If you don’t plan, that is possible the first place to look. Because we make so many decisions about everything, every day, it can be hard to make good decisions at the point of hunger. Making decisions about how you will nourish yourself ahead of time is more likely to lead to food choices that feel more in line with the health you are trying to foster. For me, personally, this means I make a meal plan for dinners (which also aids my shopping because I am a disaster without a list) and I make plans for what breakfast and lunches look like, although I don’t specify on which day I will have those, unless I have particular workouts that require a bit more thought. I also plan for ‘treat’ foods such as takeaway, cake and chocolate. I actively plan these into the week because that’s what my realistic and holistic eating plan looks like.
If you’re just starting on a change to a healthier eating lifestyle, here are 3 tips that I really recommend:
Understand why you’re eating what you are eating. When you make a choice that you later wish you hadn’t, why did you make that choice? Could you have made a choice that served you better if you had chosen earlier (i.e. choosing one particular type of lunch because you were really hungry versus having bought a different lunch earlier?).
Stop surrounding yourself with temptation. Constantly having to lean on your willpower is asking a lot of yourself. If you have lots of food you would rather not eat in your house, you will end up eating it. If it is not there, you are less likely to choose it.
Don’t make any one food off-limits. A deprivation mindset will not help you with always avoid something. Think about maximising other choices that serve you better and having the foods you feel are less healthy in lower quantities and less often. Treat any diet advice that suggests removing any food entirely from your eating with caution. Unless you can envisage never, ever eating that food again, it’s unlikely to work and you are more likely to binge, setting yourself up for feeling bad. Keep thinking holistic, long-term changes to your diet are what will make a holistic and long-term change to your health!