Everyone knows that they should be eating healthier; the problem is, not everyone knows how to do it or how to keep themselves on track when the doughnuts call. The following will explore several things you can do to improve the health of your diet and keep your motivation and energy levels equal to the demand of your new diet.
Understand that health products are often not healthy
This is the first big kicker when it comes to healthy eating, but it needs to be addressed first because if it isn’t, you might end up devoting hours of your time, endless amounts of energy, and a lot of money towards something that had been advertised as healthy, but is just as bad (if not worse) for you than the alternatives.
Any product labelled “diet” is a no-go. Any fake or alternative option to a standard product like artificial cheese, vegan meat, or the like is a no-go. Things that have “low-sugar” or similar phrases written on them are a no-go.
It seems harsh, but this is a quintessential health lesson. Spend ten minutes googling each of the ingredients on the back of one of these “health” products, and you’ll be shocked by the absurd amounts of additives and chemicals they contain. Anything that is designed to taste like something it isn’t is bad for you.
Whole, simple foods is where you’re going to start
The primal rule when it comes to healthy eating is to seek out whole foods. This means eat red peppers; don’t each red pepper-infused crackers. When purchasing foods, read the ingredients on the back. This is more complicated than it sounds because companies are trying to trick people into thinking products are healthier than they are because health is the new thing that sells food products.
If there is something on there that isn’t a recognizable food, it is likely unhealthy. You might find a salsa, for instance, that contains onion, garlic, tomato, and peppers. These are all foods you recognize, so it’s a safer bet. If a label says, for instance, maltodextrin, you want to avoid that food.
One of the biggest issues people discover when they set out on a health journey is that it’s hard to go it alone. Not only do people get offended when you pass up on unhealthy options in front of them, but you can begin to feel like you’re going crazy.
You read all about toxic ingredients online, so you know the cupcakes everyone’s having at the office meeting are severely problematic, but people look at you like you’re nuts. They also don’t respond well to being informed that their eating cancer-inducing chemicals.
Your best bet is to find someone or a group who are also exploring healthy food. Look for local clubs or even social media pages where you can gather with like-minded folk.
Consider joining a challenge with some internet friends like the smoothie-based one from www.blendtopia.com, as this might help you find people who are beginning around the same place you are. Don’t underestimate the power of your social circle. Everyone likes to think that they’re individuals, but we’re pack animals. It’s really hard for us to go against the herd even if we know it’s the right thing to do.
Read the science
While it might seem boring to hunt down academic articles and read through them, nothing is going to help you stay motivated more than understanding why food is bad or good for you. If you know that each time you eat almonds, your skin is getting vibrant, and your heart health is improving, it’s easier to reach for them.
Likewise, if you know that wrapping your food in aluminium before your cook is causing flakes of aluminium to leech into your food, float around in your bloodstream, and gather in your brain, increasing your risk of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative disorders, it’s going to be a lot easier to stop cooking with aluminium. Yes, even if you have to scrub the pan afterwards.
Natural sugars are still sugars
One of the biggest tricks happening in the health food industry right now is the advertisements revolving around natural sugars. Cane sugar, raw sugar, maple syrup, honey, and the like are still packed with sugar. And since cutting down on sugar is one of the fastest ways to improve your health, you need to be wary of the total sugar count, even if the source of the sugar is natural.
The above tips should help you begin your healthy eating journey. It’s important to understand that your gut microbiome is used to you eating your current diet. This means the bacteria that is currently living in your digestive system is the kind that responds well to the foods you normally eat.
When you begin to eat healthier, you might experience gas or bloat at first. This is normal and will pass. It’s the result of the old gut bacteria dying as they’re starving.
Don’t worry, your body will very quickly develop new gut bacteria that thrive on healthy foods, and this drastically improves your mental health because our mental states are intrinsically linked to our gut microbiome.