"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world." -Buddha
There’s no getting around it: we, as Americans, have a major issue with unhealthy dieting. Overindulging in the wrong foods too frequently is prompting a wide range of health problems. We know it’s wrong and frantically want to change, but how? Everything tastes so good. And good tasting food is everywhere.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself though. High caloric food is rare in nature. So our brains are wired to seek it out and work for its energy. Luckily, what your brain considers to be high in energy is largely relative. So we can actually retrain our brains on what we crave. Instead of suppressing cravings, try teaching your brain to desire something else. This requires some willpower in the beginning. You may have to restrict yourself to certain foods, and it won’t be enjoyable (at first).
When initially adjusting to a healthier lifestyle, what we may struggle to determine what feels good and what feels bad. Eating an apple versus crackers and cottage cheese... what’s the difference? But wait and pay close attention to your cravings. At the start, they will only be for foods outside of your regular diet. Then, over time, you’ll notice you’ll begin to develop a broader range of preferences inside of your once-feared new meals. In fact, you’ll start looking forward to meals again! You’ll also notice you have more lasting energy (rather than fleeting, ecstatic bursts), and better moods!
Once you make the transition to a healthy, well-balanced diet, congratulations! However, just because the hard part is over, doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Food is like a drug, so you are very susceptible to relapse. To prevent a dietary relapse, to it’s imperative to understand the conditions that helped bring about bad eating habits. Note that none of these are justifications for a poor diet!
Bad food everywhere!
And we mean EVERYWHERE. Stroll down almost any aisle of any grocery market and you’ll see the shelves lined with junk food. So much so that you probably don’t even realize it. Almost everything has high fructose corn syrup in it. Most whole wheat bread, juice, granola bars, canned fruit, processed oatmeal, canned tomatoes (the list goes on and on) all have high fructose corn syrup. Unhealthy food is practically unavoidable. Be sure to eat lots of whole fruits and vegetables and avoid the hidden nasty ingredients.
Portions are out of control
We all grew up being told that if we didn’t finish our meals then it's like that same food portion was being taken away from someone who is starving. However, don’t feel ashamed about leaving some food on your plate (you can always have leftovers later). Unfortunately, so much about American food begs to be eaten in its entirety. When we start eating a pizza or burger, we feel more compelled to finish it because the food is all in one piece.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to meeting the challenges we face in our current world of abundance with some personal discipline. And if you’re struggling with your diet, don’t think that in order to be healthy, you can’t enjoy food as much. By adjusting and monitoring your eating habits, over time, food can taste wonderful again. And, over time, you will shift from trying to stay motivated and disciplined to eating and moving well because of built-in habits.
Be Flyte Fit,
Marketing & Customer Engagement Manager