We are now two months into the new year and its time to take a look at how we stand with one of the resolutions we made at the beginning of 2017. Many of you have decided to live a healthier life this year. For this I congratulate you! Many professionals agree that sticking with a diet or attempting to eat healthy is no easy feat.
One of the main goals to living a healthier life is eating healthier. This can also be one of the most difficult tasks to stick with, especially if you’ve lived most of your life (like most of us) eating whatever looked and tasted good. Candy, fast food deserts all of these obviously taste amazing but aren’t very good for you.
Benefits of Having Healthy Food
Eating healthier provides us with so many different benefits, if we can get our choices of foods in line with healthier alternatives we can achieve many positive benefits including:
Similar to your car, your brain needs quality fuel to run properly. Healthy eating habits increase your productivity. Healthy foods are the quality fuel your brain, and whole body, need to be a lean, mean efficient and productive machine.
Enhance your mood
As the saying goes “You are what you eat”, this is never more true than when it comes to your mood. There is no single food that works as an antidepressant. However, it’s been proven that eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, like fruits, whole grains, and vegetables have been linked to an overall lower risk of depression.
Most people are aware of this benefit from eating healthy. Maintaining a body weight that is healthy for your body style can lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Not everyone who is thin is healthy and not everyone who is full-figured is unhealthy. For a long time, this was thought to be true, until we found out it wasn’t. The only way to be healthy is to eat healthy, wholesome foods and exercise, no matter what your body shape.
According to a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, a diet that consists of fruits and vegetables, in combination with regular exercise is the reason for the extended life expectancy of women in their 70s.
Other studies have also shown the same results, that healthy eating and living raises your life expectancy. No matter how you look at it, healthy eating plays an important role in a healthy lifestyle and how long you can expect to live.
Suggestions for Developing Healthy Eating Habits
If changing your current eating habits to healthy eating habits were easy, everyone would do it, and there wouldn’t be any need for me to write this article. So what do you need to do if you’re having a difficult time making the change in your eating habits?
The answer is pretty simple, for the best results, make small changes over a long period of time. As with everything else worth doing, you won’t make the transition to healthy eating overnight anyway, so do it slowly over time and the changes will stick with you better and be more effective.
This also means setting easily attainable goals for yourself, which, over time, will turn into long-term results. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Stay hydrated, you will be able to reduce your cravings when you feel full and water can help with that feeling.
- Don’t skip meals. Eat at the same time every day if possible.
- Get moving! By increasing your activity just a little bit can create the mindset of eating healthier.
- Plan for cravings. If you usually get hungry around 3 p.m. every day, have a healthy snack on hand, otherwise your options may only be what’s available in the vending machine and that’s never a good idea.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. Beating yourself up for slips will only succeed in unraveling your whole attempt at sticking to your goal of eating healthier.
It’s true that changing your eating habits and the types of food you eat isn’t easy. No matter who you are eating healthy can be difficult. However, it isn’t impossible and, more importantly, it isn’t as difficult as you think.
It is also true that some of the healthier choices won’t be identical in taste to some of your current favorites, but you will get used to them and, over time, you’ll wind up preferring the healthier alternatives to their unhealthy counterparts.