When you eat like crap, you feel like crap. Enough said! I should end this post with just that one sentence because how much simpler can it get?
I love a cheat day just as much as everyone, but I often give up before the day is even over. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach and I end up tired by 6:00 pm and ready for the day to end so I can get back to healthy eating tomorrow. And when I do have these days, I sleep like crap too. Tossing and turning all night long because my digestive system is in overdrive hating me for how hard I am causing it to work.
Healthy eating is a lifestyle; a mindset, not a diet or something you choose to do to reach a goal. You choose to do it to live your best life. There are various diets swirling the internet these days and I’m not opposed to a diet. They are a great jumpstart to get anyone into the mindset of healthy eating or maybe push past a plateau if weight loss if your goal. I often use a diet to reset my body after weeks of travel. But day in and day out should not be lived in diet mode. Diets are restrictive and tend to lead to overeating after it ends or mid-way through when you throw in the towel. Everything in moderation is healthy eating and in the long run provides the best benefits for your body.
The rule of thumb for healthy eating is 80/20. Eat healthy 80% of the time and the other 20%, you can have your cake (and eat it too). Fill your plate with nutritious meals that include foods from all the food groups (whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and limited amounts of healthy fats) and make healthy snack choices such as almonds or a piece of fruit. This gives you the freedom to enjoy your favorite treat (insert a few peanut butter cups) from time to time without wreaking havoc or causing guilt.
Living a lifestyle of healthy eating prevents you from depriving yourself of those things you love most. Starving yourself or eliminating certain food groups are dangerous roads to travel. In fact, saying “No” to a particular food group or a favorite food, will only lead you to craving it more. Ever wonder why you say, “no sweets until after my beach vacation”, but then all you can think (and even dream) about are a fresh batch of brownies, still warm and gooey from the oven? Yep, this is your mind playing tricks and trying to control you. Just laugh, have a taste, and stay the course of healthy eating. But if you say no and deprive yourself of a brownie, it will lead to you eating that entire pan one forkful at a time.
I would be remised if I didn’t mention water in a post of healthy eating. Please don’t forget the water. Hydrate – Hydrate – Hydrate!! Along with healthy eating comes consuming your body weight in ounces of water. Daily. Yes, I know that sounds like an impossible task – but it’s truly not! It’s common to think you are hungry and reach for a snack rather than a tall glass of H2O and indigest unnecessary calories as a result. Often, you really aren’t hungry, your body is just thirsty. So, drink that glass of water first and if still hungry find a healthy snack or prepare a well-balanced meal to give your body the nutrition it needs to thrive.
Healthy eating is a habit that improves all areas of your life. Your skin will be clearer, your body less inflamed, you’ll notice a flatter stomach, have sounder sleep, and overall experience more energy. All these improvements lead to your days being better, brighter, and more productive. And the biggest benefit from a lifestyle of healthy eating is a strong immune system. And who doesn’t want one of those these days? It’s been said, it takes 21 days to establish a habit. Try adopting the habit of healthy eating for the next 21 days and take note of how improved your body feels as a result.