Here’s my first advice: Don’t Stress About It!!! Anything’s fine in moderation.
Start with the basics. When a the golf pro begins golf lessons he always starts with the basics: grip, aim, stance, etc. It’s the same with a health quest: start with the basics.
Begin with realistic, smaller goals. Don’t attempt everything at once – it’s too overwhelming. You’ll get frustrated and quit. Start small:
- Consider why you want to change. If you’re not ready you’re simply spinning your wheels. Start when you’re determined.
- Recognize what you’re eating now, is it primarily processed foods or whole foods? Whole foods should be one of your first goals.
- How much stress is in your life? Stress changes chemistry into a acidic pH which creates hunger pangs and worse, illness. Practice relaxation techniques, soft music, massages, aroma therapy . . .
- Do you eat too quickly? Why? Do you lead a hectic life? Put that fork down in between bites and savor your food. Chewing releases enzymes.
- How much exercise do you incorporate into your daily routine? Find something you enjoy; walking, gardening, pickleball, dancing . . . exercise should be play. You know: fun! It was when we were kids, why not now?
- Are you skipping an entire food group because of crazy diet fallacies? Contrary to popular belief there are only three food groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. (water, mineral, vitamins are included in those basic food groups already.)
Target one unhealthy habit a week. I know, I know, we live in an instant gratification society and everyone wants instant weight loss. Quick weight loss doesn’t stay off. Physiologically, your body will rebel and hold on to calories to “protect you.”
There’s a cute saying I heard years ago which professed: Today’s generation is the only one who can stand in front of a microwave and complain it’s not fast enough!
Slow down!!! Trying to accomplish too much only leads to frustration. But surely you can overcome ONE habit and then go on to the next, right?
Conquering a bad habit by replacing it with a good one builds discipline and self-esteem.
Let’s say you want to eat healthier. Start out small – by adding more vegetables and different whole foods and less processed foods into the daily mix. Search for interesting recipes which are simple to make and chocked full of nutrients. Eat for nutrients!
“But carbs are fattening!” You declare. Not if you eat fruits, veggies and whole grains. In fact that’s where we get most of our B vitamins. A whole grain means corn, sweet potato, flaxseed, beans, quinoa, couscous, oatmeal, whole wheat or whole grain pasta to name a few.
Please distinguish the simple versus complex carb difference. Whole grains are packed with B vitamins. Riboflavin, Thiamine, Niacin and the various other B’s convert fats, protein and carbohydrates into energy. If you fail to eat complex carbs how are you going to absorb B vitamins? Become cognizant of what you eat.
Are you planning to weigh yourself daily? Some dieters swear by it; but I wouldn’t recommend it. A pint = a pound and sodium holds water weight. Rather weigh yourself once weekly at the same time. In the meantime, how do your clothes fit? Take a photo and compare your facial characteristics a month later. You’ll probably notice a thinner face. That’s true, noticeable progress.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” (Colossians 3:23)
This has only been an overview. In the next few weeks we’ll dig more deeply into our mental, physiological and spiritual relationship to food.