Choosing the Diet That’s Right For You
While the word “diet” has come to refer to a weight loss plan or some kind of “punishment” or “restriction” placed on us by a physician, this doesn’t have to be the case. Your diet is really just another leg of your long-term self-care plan and should be a plan that you can add to your existing lifestyle. As such, choosing a diet you can be happy with that works well with your life and food preferences, is key to ensuring you stay happy and healthy!
Let’s say that your desired goal is to lose some unwanted “fluff” but you love the sweets, cheeseburgers or pizza and you have those foods frequently. So, to reach your goal you should totally give up those food items that you love, right? Not really. The best way to ensure that you stick to a plan is to compromise with yourself. Instead of staying away from sweets altogether, you may want to limit yourself to once or twice a week so that you don’t feel deprived, which can lead to “cheating” and ruin your momentum. Offering your sweet tooth healthier, yet still sweet, options like fruits is also a win! Adding in a proper movement plan will also help you towards any physical goal, whether it be weight loss, lower blood sugar or lowering cholesterol, we’ll dive deeper into that later.
If you’d like to maintain your current weight or just feel better in general, it might be a good idea to keep a food journal for a month or so and evaluate your nutrient levels and how your current diet makes you feel (this is a good idea for everyone). While that cheeseburger may sound and taste great, do you feel heavy or groggy after you eat it? That peach or apple may sit on your stomach hard, this could mean that your body is just not a fan of that food. It is possible that you may simply be eating the wrong foods for your body.
All that is good and well and let’s say you’ve done all of this and still not been able to correct your diet, then what?
Well, baby steps are best. When giving up a beloved food-friend, go slow or try replacement. If your body objects to your favorite food (like the peach) or it is just not a healthy choice (like a cheeseburger every day), slowly replace it. Where you might have had that peach or cheeseburger three times a week, have it twice instead and start to replace it with a “better for you” option. Maybe your body feels better after grapes or some salmon. Slowly work that in and before you know it you won’t miss those old favorites at all. You could even develop some new ones!
What if baby steps still give you a sad face? Try making it fun. Let’s admit it, we are all big kids at heart and that is ok! Try giving your salmon a happy face or throwing something colorful on that salad! Even eating your new favorites in a fun location or with a great friend can change how you feel about them! Additionally, a great friend can be a great accountability partner as well, let them know what you are doing and how they can help!
Finally, remember to stay positive! You can trick your subconscious mind into liking new foods and habits just by saying so! Your subconscious believes you. It doesn’t matter if you tell yourself you’re having a great day or if you tell yourself that this food is your new favorite, your subconscious mind is listening and hanging onto every word! So, tell yourself exactly what you need to so you can get where you want to be! Remember, this is the good part because it helps you reach your goals!