Attempts to diet for the purpose of weight loss can be demoralizing and unsustainable. People often decide that eating healthy isn’t worth the stress. However, when viewed through the eyes of the value a good diet, meaning fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats and the absence of processed foods and sugar, brings to a person’s overall health, the bridge between a person’s health and what they put into their body is built.
A fact sheet from the Center for Disease Control links poor nutrition to increased risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and deficits in brain function. If people are still making unhealthy choices with such staggering implications, it is clear that a serious disconnect exists – disconnect that starts with a limited view of the term “diet.”
The word may elicit images of a specific weight-loss regimen, perhaps even an extreme one. Oftentimes people, dissatisfied with how they look or feel, adopt a diet that requires them to sacrifice taste or quantity of their food in the short-term in order to shed pounds or alter certain metrics such as their blood pressure.
However, your diet should be a natural part of your life, not a quick fix. For a healthy, sustainable diet, it is necessary to understand what constitutes poor nutrition. Harvard Health notes that:
- Sugary drinks constitute the single largest source of calories and added sugar in the U.S. diet.
- Besides also being high in sugar, processed foods tend to be stripped of their basic nutrients.
- Low nutrient intake and high sugar consumption have implications such as increased stress and risk of chronic diseases.
It sounds simple – limit sugary drinks and processed foods in your diet. For dietary shifts to be long-term, though, it is important to start with some mindset shifts:
- Look at food as fuel for your body and brain. You deserve quality fuel so you can function at maximum capacity.
- Understand the benefits fruit, vegetables, lean meats deliver to your body, such as healthy weight, stable blood sugar, and balanced energy.
- Instead of always feeling like you must choose between good tasting or healthy food, understand that those do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Once you are armed with the right mindset, start with small shifts in food choices. Dieting is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s important to find a pace you can maintain. If you want your diet to benefit you in the long run, you have to be in it for the long haul.
Accountability is a key component of maintaining a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, including eating mindfully. That’s where the AllHealth CHOICE Lifestyle Management Solution comes in. This proactive tool helps participants track routine health activities and maintain focus on regular exercise, good food choices, provides a way to track fitness and vitals from year to year and more!