Changing your diet by making healthier choices will help you to live longer. Greg, owner of GH Personal Training in Chicago, agrees that by giving your body the fuel and nutrients it needs you will live a longer, healthier life. When you feed your body what it needs and what it was made to consume, your mind and body can focus on the other things it was made to do! Here are some simple guidelines to help you get started:
- Sticking to good, clean food will make a huge difference in how you feel! You will fall in love with how you feel and making healthier decisions will become easier and easier. Before you eat, think about how long the type of food you are about to consume has been around. For a great clean eating plan, try sticking to foods that have been around for 100 years. This is an easy way to distinguish between processed and unprocessed foods.
- Look at the preparation of the foods you love. Going for steamed vegetables instead of stir fried is a great example of the difference preparation can make. If a recipe calls for sour cream, mayo, or heavy cream use non fat Greek yogurt instead. Choices like these will keep you going in the right direction.
- The most important factor to my personal success has been to plan ahead. Thinking about the consequences of poor decisions and the benefit of great ones helped me to survive the holidays without weight gain, even though I knew that my favorite fudge would be at the annual holiday party. I kept thinking of how the sugar from the fudge would give me a short sense of euphoria, but I would feel terrible later. Because I prepared myself mentally to face this challenge, I was able to resist. Instead, I brought some fresh berries and enjoyed those while my family members all indulged and joked about my choice. And guess what? 20 minutes after their dinner and fudge, they went into food coma, while I was energetic and ready for the card games. I was more alert and able to think about the game instead of how full I was from overeating! I could focus on my friends and family without guilt about holiday bingeing.
- Training your taste buds may be a new concept for you, but it works great. Deliberately conditioning your taste buds and trying new healthier foods is just like training your muscles to a new exercise. It takes time. Think of it as a challenge and an adventure. Gradual changes will ensure a stronger more capable change and will help to avoid YO-YO dieting. Remember your goal is a healthier lifestyle. Adapting your taste buds to like broccoli instead of chips is hard, but if you stay attuned with your body and reflecting on how you will feel after making the healthier will help reinforce your healthier actions.
As I am making changes to my diet, I have noticed that I now have adapted to the new flavors of clean food and can actually taste and feel the difference between processed food with preservatives and actual fresh food. I am now finding it easier to turn down my old favorites and taking on some new favorites. I cannot believe how much I enjoy eating egg whites! I love how clean they taste and how good I feel after I eat them.
You will reach this point. You will have slip-ups that cause you to feel guilt and remorse. Rather than let these feelings turn into a self-defeating attitude, use them as motivation to reach your goals. The feelings of accomplishment you get when reaching a goal are related to how difficult the journey was. Challenges make success that much sweeter!