October 20 2017
Everyone is trying to eat healthier these days, but what does that even mean? One could describe eating healthy as sticking to a diet of nutritious foods that are low on preservatives, additives and artificial ingredients, but that is a vague description. While those traits are all applicable to a healthy diet, what one would actually consume and how much could vary from person to person. Our main issue with our diets these days is that it is so easy to stop paying attention to what we put in our bodies. We are all guilty of it, we choose convenience over health and quality and it is understandable as to why people do it too. We know how unhealthy junk food can be especially when eaten in excess or even on some sort of normalized basis, but why do we ignore those instincts and just shred through a whole bag of chips or an entire pint of ice cream or a whole pizza? For those of you who may not know, what we know to be junk food can actually be addictive. We cannot blame the entire junk food problem on just junk food. After all, we eat the junk food, we help in the cycle of supply and demand and therefore these foods are kept in stock. Overall as common as it is to eat a little junk here and there (don’t worry nobody is judging) the amount of junk food a lot of Western society tends to eat is a bit worrisome, especially with the amount of chemicals, preservatives, additives, trans fats, artificial sugars and sodium, empty calories and colorants and excessive stimulants these foods tend to contain and the vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein or real nutritional value these foods tend to lack.
It’s not just what we eat but how we eat as well. Sadly, many people within the last little while have developed bad eating habits, either we grew up with them or they came over a matter of time and general indifference, and we are all at least a little guilty of this. Habits like overeating, skipping meals, eating out too often or inconsistent dieting will leave you with a bit more to worry about than just your figure. Habits like these can slow down your metabolism to a grinding halt and can also cause numerous digestive issues both in the short and long term and sadly, we keep doing these things! Even when we become aware of these negative effects we still do these habits! It is time to stop making excuses for ourselves and actually try to stop these habits.
While awareness towards your bad eating habits is already a good step, it is not enough. It is important to figure out why these habits exist for you and actually constructing and executing a plan of action to change those bad habits into good ones. It is important to take baby steps towards better dietary habits, be aware of what you consume and how much. It is also important to learn how to actually appreciate and enjoy the food you are eating. We tend to overeat more or eat more junk when we are distracted, so it is important to actually take the time to sit down and enjoy your meals rather than rush through them. Skipping meals is another habit that has to stop immediately. When you skip meals your metabolism begins to slow down in order to conserve fat due to the fact that you accidentally tricked your body into thinking you were starving when you skipped a meal (especially if that meal is breakfast). Instead, opt for 5 small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism at a healthy speed. Making meal plans for yourself and keeping strict about it is also very useful. One thing that is important that will help is to be realistic. Don’t expect too much from yourself too soon. Slow and steady wins the race.