In this age, people have now become more conscious of their lifestyle choices and how their eating habits affect their bodies in the long run. This is why many decide to switch to an absolute healthy diet to reap its benefits such as weight loss, increased levels of energy, improved mood, and reduced risks of diseases.
With plenty of resources available about nutrition, you don’t need to be a doctor or a dietician to know which foods are good or bad for you. However, despite knowing which foods are best for our health, how come it is such a struggle to eat better? Why do we keep craving stuff that has little to no nutritional value for us? Is there anything we can do that can actually make healthy eating easier?
Why do we crave unhealthy food?
The straight answer to this one is because our taste buds have become genetically engineered to desire high-calorie and high-fat foods. Centuries ago, humans hunted for food that provides energy more than anything else. But through the years, people have managed to develop foods that taste so good that we often disregard its nutritional value and health repercussions. Just imagine which one is more irresistible than the other, a cheeseburger or a salad?
To back this up with science, there was actually a study published in 2010 in Nature Neuroscience about how fast food can reinforce addiction. They observed the eating behavior of rats after regularly feeding them fast food. Their tests showed that the rats have become obese and refused to eat when served with healthier foods. This is just one of the many researches that prove that fast food can build a sense of dependency. This answers why you keep coming back to burgers and fries despite these are bad for you.
Top add to this, fast food seems to be more available to consumers compared to healthier options. They also channel lots of efforts in advertising these unhealthy products, making it more enticing to us.
How do I change my diet?
A consistent healthy diet doesn’t just happen overnight. Despite how much you convince yourself that you will only eat healthy food, if you take the wrong steps or you are not in the right mindset for it, chances are you will find yourself craving for sweets and fatty food all over again. The key is building sustainable ways to keep a healthy diet and lifestyle so you will not crash back to your unhealthy habits.
Keep in mind your long-term goals instead of adhering to your short-term objectives. Don’t settle for immediate gratifications and understand that proper nutrition is a long process, and not just something that you have to do when you get sick or when you wanna lose some weight. Let this be your guide in your lifestyle change in order for you to create sustainable habits that will help you maintain a healthy diet.
Start by eliminating junk food from your diet. Take time to assess yourself and think about your current diet and lifestyle. Avoid drinking soda and other sugary beverages and stick to water. If you are also the kind of person who longs for a sweet dessert after a meal, try opting for a piece of fruit instead. If you often go out for dinner and drinks with friends or co-workers, you could lessen the night outs for the meantime until you get used to not consuming unhealthy foods as going out triggers temptations to cave in to cravings. Another bad eating habit to avoid is midnight snacking. Avoid this by sleeping early or simply drink water when hunger strikes you during late hours.
How do I keep a healthy diet?
One of the first problems that people think about when it comes to eating healthy food. There’s always a notion that healthy food are disgusting and not delicious. This perception cannot be more wrong! The belief that nutritious food are not tasty is just coming from the feeling of restraint from eating the normal high-calorie, high-fat, and sugary selections of food. There are plenty of healthy dishes and snacks that are unquestionably yummy! Once you put the bad stuff out of your diet and get used to consuming more nutritious foods, you’ll find that you will have less craving for junk food.
Another common reason for people to struggle in maintaining a good diet is because healthy meals are not as accessible as foods with low nutritional value. Well, the simple answer to this one is to make healthy food more accessible for you.
The best course of action for this is to start preparing your own food instead of eating out for your every meal. By doing this, you can know exactly what does into your food and you can have better control of your diet. This will also help you resist the temptations of your unhealthy cravings. If you’re the type of person who eats out often, this may be a big lifestyle change for you. So begin by switching one meal per day to something you prepared.
Start with your breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. This is because what you eat in the morning kick starts your metabolism for the day. The right selection of food for your first meal can actually keep you feeling full and energized for hours, and prevent you from craving unhealthy snacks throughout the day.
A balanced breakfast includes protein, fiber, and carbs. You can get your protein fix from eggs, flaxseed, or greek yogurt, while oatmeal, berries, and chia seeds are rich in fiber. Make it a habit to maintain a healthy breakfast everyday to boost your mood, productivity, and energy for the rest of the day.
Once you’ve conquered a healthier breakfast routine, it’s time to improve your lunch and dinner meals! Preparing all your meals and packing them might seem like a lot of additional work everyday, but there’s actually a smart way to do this that requires little time and effort — meal prepping! Meal prepping is a way of planning and preparing your meals for an entire week in just one kitchen session. This way you don’t have to prepare 10 dishes for your lunch and dinner meals. You can simply cook big batches of a few various dishes and properly portion them. Make sure you opt for recipes that require few ingredients and easy instructions so meal prepping wouldn’t be a burden to you. The goal of meal prepping is to make healthy eating convenient for you, so it shouldn’t be something that would cause you stress.
Switching to a healthy diet may not be as easy as 123, but its benefits for you and your body in the long run are simply priceless. It will definitely be challenging at first, but once you get used to eating, you will be better. You will notice significant improvements in your mood, productivity, figure, and your overall wellness.
You should also keep in mind that you don’t have to stop at a healthy diet. You can develop more healthy habits such as sleeping early or exercising or doing meditations. Achieving absolute wellness leads to a healthier, happier you!