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How To Start Eating Healthy Today And Turn Your Life Around

How To Start Eating Healthy Today And Turn Your Life Around

It’s never easy to change our unhealthy habits. Our bodies have gotten used to one regime, and any sudden change results in stress. Luckily, these changes do not need to be sudden. You can always take baby steps and gradually adopt new patterns. One bad habit a lot of us share is an addiction to fast food. Sure, we don’t feel hungry after eating it, but the nutrition provided by such a meal is almost meaningless. Even though this may not be regarded as a serious addiction, we can see how this diet can take its toll.

If you stick to a diet high in fast food, you will find yourself at the doorstep of obesity at some point. You need to fight this habit before it’s too late. The later you start, the harder it will get. So, here are some good suggestions on how to leave behind your old eating habits and embrace a healthier diet.

The negative side effects of eating high fat, sugary, and overly salty foods

We can’t see what’s going on beneath our skin, but rest assured that what we put into our bodies has a huge impact. Of course, as long as you don’t push your body or tap into your energy reserves, you can’t really feel the backlash of an unhealthy diet. But, eventually you’ll start to feel certain side effects, like mood swings, headaches, a lack of motivation, and even depression.

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Perhaps knowing what happens underneath the surface will be a powerful motivator for you to start fighting your bad eating habits. When you ingest high amounts of carbohydrates, these carbs are broken down into glucose that is later released into the bloodstream. This leads to blood sugar level spikes, triggering an insulin response. These alterations of normal insulin responses can cause insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. This is just one instance of what occurs inside your body when you opt for unhealthy dietary choices.

So-called “healthy” options can be harmful too

    Truth be told, we are all aware that fast food should be avoided, however, even foods that seem healthy can be harmful. We grow up being told how fish, fruits, and vegetables are good for our body, yet this is not always the case. There are at least 16 different meals and drinks that we eat or drink on a daily basis while thinking they are healthy, yet they can lead to cancer. Here they are:

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    • Canned Tomatoes (dangerous due to their high acidity)
    • Soda (empty source of calories and filled with sugar)
    • Farmed Salmon (high level of PCB’s, cancer-causing dioxins, and mercury)
    • Processed Meat (various chemicals and preservatives, including sodium nitrate, are used to make them look delicious, yet they are really carcinogens)
    • Microwave Popcorn
    • Potato Chips
    • Hydrogenated oils (contains more than enough Omega-6 fatty acid)
    • Highly processed white flours
    • Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO’s
    • Alcohol
    • Red Meat
    • Non-Organic Fruit

    It can be hard to keep track of all of these unhealthy substances, but a skilled nutritionist can prescribe the correct diet to you. It’s important to know about these harmful foods and to avoid them where possible.

    Incorporate all the different colors of fruits and vegetables into your diet

    Let’s focus on what you can eat, or better yet, what you should eat to look and feel young and healthy. Here are five foods that feel like a breath of fresh air to your body.

    • Tomatoes (but not canned ones) contain an abundance of lycopene, which gives our skin a healthy hue. People with a higher concentration of lycopene also have smooth skin and reinforced UV ray protection. You can also find lycopene in carrots, guava, watermelons, and grapefruits.
    • Strawberries are basically a vitamin C injection that can ward off your wrinkles. They promote collagen production — a very important protein used for wound healing. Eating strawberries can help with age-related skin problems, like dryness.
    • Watermelon can offer so much more than lycopene. It also gives you an anti-inflammatory effect. This means that you are less likely to suffer from premature aging.
    • Tuna can help with wound healing as well, since EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) can preserve collagen and keep your skin firm. Furthermore, your body will be replenished with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which helps in skin cancer prevention by warding off inflammatory compounds that support tumor growth.
    • Blueberries can serve as Vitamin C and E boosters, which help brighten skin.

    These foods may not make up your everyday diet, of course, but if you are looking for a quick snack, these foods are safe options.

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    Reduce junk food to a single meal or snack a day over several weeks

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      If your new diet is to be fully efficient, you need to make constant efforts to reduce your intake of junk food. As mentioned, you do not need to resort to drastic measures. You can gradually reduce the amount of junk food you eat on a weekly basis and then bring the number to a single meal of junk food in a month. I know it sounds ambitious at first, but keep working at it and you will get there. The important thing to remember is not to starve yourself. When you are too hungry, you are weak and more likely to give into this urge. To keep these incidents to a minimum, always have a healthy snack nearby, and you’ll be less likely to go out and buy a hot dog or a hamburger.

      Banish all unhealthy foods and snacks from your kitchen

      First of all, junk food usually contains an unhealthy ingredient called trans fat, which is hard to avoid. The acceptable dose of trans fat for one day is 2 grams, but fast food with 0.5 grams of trans fat is allowed to be labeled as “trans fat free,” thus we can easily fool ourselves.

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      We’ve already talked about what foods should be avoided, but it would also be wise not to keep these foods in your house. Here is a full list of things that should never find their way in your kitchen or pantry — if they are accessible to you, you are more likely to make bad dietary choices.

      Don’t treat little moments of weakness like massive failures

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        The important thing to remember is that you should set your own pace and regime. A slow pace means you’ll be less likely to become disappointed or depressed. When we are sad, there is a high chance that we’ll turn to greasy fast food to lift our spirits, and we all know how that goes. So, set your own boundaries and be realistic. The more room you give yourself, the better. With every small achievement, your confidence will rise and you’ll feel more motivated to continue. Also, don’t delude yourself — this will be hard. You’ll have moments of weakness, but don’t allow them to break you. Just move past these incidents and do your best to make sure to learn from your mistakes. Good luck!

        Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anabadili/ via flickr.com

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        Aleksandar Ilic

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        Last Updated on December 2, 2018

        How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

        How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

        Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

        The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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        The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

        Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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        Review Your Past Flow

        Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

        Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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        Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

        Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

        Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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        Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

        Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

        We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

        Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

          Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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