Being healthy is all about you.
When considering making a lifestyle change, especially with nutrition, it's crucial to understand what healthy means to you. Food is often seen as bad or good. My clients echo this sentiment, and these feelings can lead to emotions of guilt and shame when it comes to everyday nutrition.
A healthy diet is not about the latest fad diet or counting calories; it is more about getting to know yourself, understanding your lifestyle and routines, and then taking the time to allow food to be a part of this without it becoming an all-consuming goal that which needs to be achieved.
We eat food for many reasons, to have energy, to be social, and sometimes to deal with emotions. Hopefully, along the way, we also enjoy the food we eat. No matter what you eat, your body's response is not to count the calories—it can’t—or to decide whether it is good or bad food; instead, your body takes the energy that it can from the food, which allows us to go about our daily lives.
However, from calories to scales and points to mealtimes, society has been keen to associate different numbers with food. We all focus on these numbers instead of paying attention to our body’s internal signals.
We sometimes find ourselves eating meals even when we are not hungry because it is just the way we have always done it. How many of us eat breakfast because “It is the most important meal of the day?” Many of us grew up hearing this daily and continue to believe it, yet no science has proven this to be a fact. Before the early, 1900’s breakfast often consisted of cooked meats, potatoes, cakes, and pies. With the health of North America declining, companies such as Kellogg's and Post worked on a simple concept of eating whole grains, a healthier option.
This quickly morphed into sugary, ultra-processed cereals that were promoted with the idea of a quick and easy meal that didn’t need to be cooked. This started the culture of cereals and milk for breakfast.
When we take the time to listen to our body’s needs and make the necessary changes to our nutrition, people are often surprised by what they learn. Eating less at meals or when you are hungry and not when the clock tells you to means that you not only improve your digestion and have more energy, but you also manage your weight successfully.
Understanding how foods work for your body and the different elements they bring to you is key to making lasting changes. With this knowledge, there is no longer the need for diets and trying to achieve sometimes unrealistic goals. Instead, work on objectives that can be adapted and modified according to your individual needs and lifestyle.
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