In the age of instant gratification, we expect to see results and we expect to see them fast. The diet industry knows this and it promotes miracle ingredients and extreme diet charts that work their magic in a matter of days. Unfortunately, most of this magic wears off after the diet and we’re left disillusioned and ultimately a few pounds heavier than we were before this extreme feat of willpower. The biggest change that we need to make when creating a healthy body is a shift in mindset. Instead of looking for a quick fix, we need to cultivate a healthy lifestyle. By nourishing ourselves through a balanced diet, we can make steady progress towards a sustainable and healthy lifestyle that will leave us filled with vitality and preserve our mental health in the process.
As children, our behaviour is learnt through mimicry. A lot of people apply this approach to dieting —after all, if it worked for our friend, surely it should work for us too. While this might seem like a rational argument, our bodies aren’t that straightforward. Bio-individuality is a dietary theory that suggests that one person’s food can be another person’s poison. While a high protein diet may work brilliantly for some, others might notice their body recoiling after being exposed to an excess of meat. One way to determine whether a particular type of diet suits you is to observe how your body reacts to it. When experimenting with a new dietary lifestyle, be mindful of other factors, such as the climate, to determine whether they are compatible. Living in hot climate, for instance, makes it easier to maintain a light and predominantly raw food diet while a cold climate may require a higher intake of cooked foods.
We’re repeatedly told that all food in moderation is a good thing and while that may seem like a healthy attitude to assume, the reality is that not all food is created equal. Some food is engineered to override our ability to exert the self-control that is required for moderate consumption. We all have trigger foods, certain items that keep us reaching into the bag. For some these items are salty, for others they’re sweet or fat-laden. Regardless of the form they take, it’s good to identify these triggers and steer clear of them as you begin to steer your taste buds towards healthier options.
When buying healthy food, a lot of us fall victim to the sneaky tricks of clever marketing. This can explain why our best efforts and conscious decisions don’t provide the results we expect. When trying to determine if something is healthy or not, look at the ingredient, not the claims on the front of the pack. A packet of biscuits that commends itself on being “gluten-free” may have double the amount of sugar to make it palatable, while food labelled “all natural” may reveal a host of synthetic ingredients on the back of the pack. One way to outsmart these diet food tricksters is to stick to the extreme edges of the supermarket where the fresh produce is kept. This will enable you to effortlessly bypass the processed food and fill your fridge with wholesome food to ensure that you can whip up an authentically healthy meal.
When changing our dietary habits, it’s easy to get caught up in the food, but one of the best ways we can secure our health is by looking at our life through a wide-angled holistic lens. If we are fulfilled in the other areas of our life, making a few changes to our diet is going to seem far more manageable and less daunting. We can help cultivate this nurturing environment by getting enough sleep, meditating and spending time with people we care about. These seemingly irrelevant actions contribute to a contented disposition, which is a big asset when it comes to getting our health back on track.
Written By : Emma Oriana