When you start out on a journey of “health and weight loss,” you can become overwhelmed by all the rules and guidelines.
“Eat more fruits and vegetables, cut out the fat, and choose only whole grains. Wait a minute. I don’t see the chocolate listed anywhere!”
You need to remember that this is a whole new healthy lifestyle – Something no one can change overnight, and in fact, should not be attempted overnight. This is bound to set the stage for feelings of incompetence followed by giving up on the whole thing.
Rather, begin by incorporating the changes that make sense to you, those you can easily put in place with little effort. As you have those changes under control, take on one or two more.
First you need to realize that is not just a diet, but also a healthy lifestyle change. You don’t have to be perfect to make it work. The body will appreciate and capitalize on any good you do.
Also, the word “diet” to most people stands for a temporary measure. For example, we go on a diet to lose weight; once this is accomplished, we go back to real living.
Of course it was real living that caused the weight problem in the first place. Thus, real living is not what we want to go back to once we have achieved our health and weight loss.
This health producing way of eating is to be thought of as a life-long healthy lifestyle.
When you first begin following new dietary recommendations, after a few days or weeks, you will probably find that you begin craving everything that should not be eaten.
Do not be discouraged by this, it is a normal occurrence and is due to a physiological change in the body’s chemistry.
During that time, try to hold out and not submit to your craving. I know it’s hard, believe me! (I’ve never shared this with anyone before, but I’ve actually been known to leave the house at 1:00 am, scavenging for chocolate!)
So when those times do happen, (and they will) go ahead and eat a small portion of whatever you are craving, and then continue on with the healthful program.
Do NOT feel guilty when you eat the wrong foods. Keep in mind that you are developing a new lifestyle. And it takes time. Don’t beat yourself up for it!
As each month passes, simply attempt to improve a little more.
When you do get off the program, either because you just want to, or you’re in a situation where you feel obligated to eat something that is not healthy, try to make wise choices. (grilled chicken instead of a fried pork chop) and then eat only a small portion.
Doing this now and then will not destroy your overall progress to health and the body can certainly clean out and overcome the odd splurge meal now and then.
Take note that these days of craving the wrong foods become fewer and further between as time goes on.
Also you will note that as time passes, when you do eat your “no-no” cravings, they will not taste as good as you remembered them to be, and in time you may find you don’t feel too wonderful afterwards.
Plus, as time goes by, this diet will become easier simply because of developing new habits, displacing your old ones.
If you slowly, but steadily work on adapting this new lifestyle, in one year you will look back and be amazed at how far you have progressed and, of course, will reap the health benefits that go with the improved way of eating.
Just think, ten years from now, you could be ten years healthier!
Cyndi Thomas N.D, C.N.C