Truth: This was a question in my inbox this week…“At this point, why bother to eat healthy now?” The worst thing is that it came from a 34-year-old woman…
While I understand most people’s resistance to modifying or completely changing their dietary choices and exercise habits, I take this question very seriously. Let me share some reasons with you.
Think of your health as the amount of money in your bank account. Why not just spend it while you can? Same question, different words: Why bother to eat healthy now?
➡ Just as you’d like to have more money and keep it growing, it’s also wise to have more health in your body and keep it functioning, prevent Diabetes or have better control over an existing diagnosis of Diabetes, prevent heart disease (which come in several different flavors) or manage a current heart condition well, and guarantee you’ll have a future.
And while maintaining a balanced diet may not always be convenient or cheap, it’ll definitely pay off both in the short and long-term health plan you intend to have for your body.
A healthy diet means you’re doing the following on a daily basis:
Eating a healthy breakfast
➡ Eating foods rich in folate, as dark leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers
➡ Balancing your intake of lean protein and whole-grain carbohydrates.
There are very few foods to eliminate completely, and articles pertaining to what to eat, meal preparation, etc. can all be found on this website. I will list some of the links to them at the bottom of this page to get you started.
➡ Cut back on sugar, salt, fats, and alcohol
➡ Eat fish 2 or 3 times a week
➡ Have 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
➡ Drink caffeine in moderation
The most important thing anyone can do to stay healthy is to eat a well-rounded diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fiber.
Think about your current state of health and how long you’d like to stay healthy or how willing you are to start taking the actions that will guarantee your dreams.
For good diet control, one good trick is to divide your plate.
➡ Mentally visualize your plate divided into 4 quarters.
➡ One quarter should be lean protein (the size of your palm is the ideal serving size)
➡ One quarter should be complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice or pasta
➡ The last 2 quarters should be fruits and/or vegetables.
A good point to keep in mind is that the more colorful your plate, the healthier it is for you
(And NO, colorful M & M’s don’t count!
Enhance your emotional state:
For a quick pick-me-up, the first thing most people crave is pastries or something like French fries. But the truth is, those foods contain refined carbs which although they help the brain produce serotonin (the feel-good hormone), they will also cause a quick crash.
➡ On the healthy side of the spectrum, whole-grain carbohydrates will produce a longer-lasting effect on your mood and sustain the levels of serotonin in your body.
Maintain A Healthy Weight:
Staying within your recommended daily calorie intake and eating moderately sized meals are two ways you can be in control of your weight, which can affect SO many of your organs, muscles, and joints.
Boost Your Energy Levels:
Eating foods high in iron sustains your energy levels throughout the day since the mineral iron helps carry oxygen throughout the body.
➡ Examples of food sources rich in iron are spinach, Swiss chard, almonds, and quinoa.
➡ Also, snacking on nuts and fruits, and drinking water helps maintain your energy levels.
This is what happens to your body when you start eating a healthy, nutritious diet:
After 1 day:
➡ You’ll feel fewer hunger pangs
➡ Your metabolism will get a big boost, giving you more energy and helping you to maintain a clear, focused and happy brain.
After 1 week:
➡ You will notice/feel increased energy levels
➡ You’ll sleep better
➡ Your bloating will go away
➡ Your emotions will stabilize…no more mood swings
After 1 month:
➡ Your skin will look and feel more youthful
➡ Eating healthy will have become a lifestyle choice. Not a “have to” but a “want to” because your body thrives when you eat healthily.
➡ You’ll save a lot of money on soft drinks, fatty junk food, and snacks
After 6 months:
➡ The boost in your self-confidence will turn upward sharply
➡ Your sex life will improve
➡ Your blood pressure will stabilize
➡ You will have stronger bones to support your body and prevent serious injuries as you age
After 1 year:
➡ You will have reached your goal weight (you’ll probably do it sooner than that)
➡ You’ll feel much more confident and be making smarter food choices
➡ You’ll feel stronger and more alive
➡ You’ll get sick less often
➡ Your concentration and memory will have increased
Nutrients are the important components of food that are essential for the growth, development, and maintenance of body functions.
What is essential to understand is that if a nutrient is missing from your diet, many aspects of your body’s functions and your health will decline. Some will stop working altogether.
There is no way around this. We are what we eat. You can look at your skin, your hair, your nails, the function of your bladder and bowels, in short, head to toe, and see the results of either a good diet or a bad one.
It’s NOT about the weight itself…it’s about why you may be having trouble controlling it.
It’s NOT just about preventing a heart attack. It’s about not having to experience the devastating effects of having had one, the recovery, the rehabilitation, the forced better diet, your energy level, your ability to focus, the quality of the sleep…the quality of your future.
If you think about it in that perspective, you’ll realize that food is much more than just counting calories or reading food labels.
The absolutely best decision you can make for your life is to look at food as the sustenance we need to keep going strong for many years to come. And I will be here to help you do just that.
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