By Ann Musico
When most people think about improving their health or losing weight, they naturally think about all the “bad” foods they love that they will have to eliminate from their diets. Even if they begin full steam ahead, sooner or later they think longingly about their favorite junk food. Allow those thoughts often enough and you set yourself up for failure. I have a different take on this. I believe that by gradually adding in healthier food choices, they will naturally crowd out the unhealthier ones.
For most of us, going on a strict diet of just vegetables and water is only going to last so long! Every commercial on TV is going to have your special favorite snack food and before very long you will throw up your hands, throw caution to the wind and the veggies and water will become a distant memory. Then you are back where you started.
I suggest making any changes very gradually. In this way you don’t become overwhelmed and frustrated and you are able to create a new normal, step by step. For example, why not just add in one fresh, raw salad daily. It could be part of your lunch or your dinner. Then when others are having French fries, you will have added in that healthy and delicious salad. It will be so filling and satisfying you won’t even miss the French fries.
Do this for a few weeks and you will have created a new normal for yourself. By adding in one healthy food choice, you eliminated one very unhealthy one pretty easily. Let’s go another step further. Once a daily salad becomes a habit for you, you might decide to carry a small baggie of raw nuts for those times when you are away from home and hunger pangs strike. Where you normally would’ve looked for a vending machine or bought some other processed snack food, you grab your baggie of nuts and find that they really satisfy your hunger – and much longer than cookies or candy ever did! Soon you find you’ve added another healthy habit and subtracted another one effortlessly!
Then you can experiment with seasonal fresh fruits when you normally would’ve grabbed a bowl of ice cream at night. Berries, peaches, pineapple, melons are all in season in the summertime and so sweet and delicious! You can make them into a fruit salad, combine them with plain Greek yogurt or make a delicious protein shake and you have added in more nutrition and subtracted empty calorie foods that sap your energy.
Math is not my strong suit but honestly, this simple kind of addition and subtraction is something I have no problem doing! Give it a try and see how much easier it is to add good things in than to focus on trying to subtract the unhealthy ones.
– Ann Musico is a holistic health coach who helps women, at every age, to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body. Her mission is to show women how to adopt a healthy lifestyle in a way that is simple and achievable, empowering them to take responsibility for their own health in order to be a positive influence on their families. You can visit her website at threedimensionalvitality.com