Lose the Complication: Simplify Healthy Eating
4 min read
Why is Healthy Eating so Overwhelming and Confusing?Low carb, keto, fasting, food allergies, bad foods, superfoods, organic, low fat, high fat…and the list goes on. It’s no wonder so many of our clients tell us they are overwhelmed and confused about what to eat and what not to eat. This month we are focusing on simplifying healthy eating.
Dietary needs should be personalized but not complicated. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we are faced with an unending variety of foods readily available anytime anywhere. This is a big reason why identifying what is working and not working in your body can be a challenge. You probably have a general idea of what is good for you and what is bad, but there can be many factors that influence the way you eat. Lifestyle, family, budget, and environment can all play a role in the daily choices you make. There may also be food sensitivities or allergies to consider. How can you achieve a simpler solution to eating healthier in a way that fits your body and your life?
We have found that the key to lasting change is to just get started right away somewhere in your overall diet and chip away with steady progress at those habits one at a time.
We have put together a simplified list of tips and questions to explore that will help you get started.
List any items that you are 100% sure you should not be having in your daily diet.This can include food allergies or things you should avoid due to health risks. It also involves tuning in and listening to your body. This may not always be a ‘no’ food for you but a food sensitivity. It is your body’s way of telling you it is not what it wants to be fueled on or you are eating too large a portion. Your questions to ask:
- What foods or drinks have I identified as being allergic to (such as a peanut, shellfish, or dairy allergy)?
- Are there any foods or drinks that my doctor has told me to avoid? For example, diabetics should not have foods with added or processed sugars.
- Are there any foods that I know make me feel bad? Some examples may be:
- Fried foods make me feel itchy after I eat them.
- I get very sleepy in the middle of the day after eating a burger and fries.
- Too much cheese gives me heartburn and gas.
Make a list of all the foods you love to eat, and you know fuel your body the way you would like.You will be happier and more successful with healthy eating habits when you make this your focus. Stop focusing on the foods you can’t have and shift that into all the great and tasty foods you can. Explore new and healthy ways to have these foods. Your questions to ask:
- How do I want to feel, or how would I like my energy to look like throughout my day?
- How can my food choices and portions support this?
- Do I enjoy eating these foods and how do I like them cooked and prepared?
When in doubt choose something less processed and closer to nature.An apple and some raw nuts are just as simple and a much better choice than a protein bar or bag of potato chips. Your questions to ask:
- What convenient snacks and foods am I currently eating that I know are poor choices?
- What are the top reasons these are my go-to choices?
- What can I change in my day or week to trade some of these poor choices with quick and simple close to nature foods?
- What will I do to be better equipped with these healthier choices?
Shop less, spend less, eat less, and simply nourish.Repeat after me, healthy eating is not expensive and is not complicated. Stop letting this misconception hold you back. Go with a budget and a list of only those healthy foods you want to focus on. Only shop for and buy from that list. Don’t worry about recipes and exact balance when starting out. Just choose foods that are easy to prepare and mix well together. Don’t overspend and don’t overthink it. You will find that your basket can be just as full yet much more nourishing. Your questions to ask:
- How often am I purchasing foods that I know do not fuel me properly?
- Where is most of my food spending going to?
- What can I eliminate from my typical spending to allow for more expenditure on delicious, nutritious foods?
Eliminate or cut back on ‘out of the home’ eating.This means dining out less, driving through less, and convenient snacking less. This is the quickest way to simplify your life and your nutrition. There is nothing more complicating to your diet than the choices you have the minute you walk out your door. It can be a tough transition, but when you eliminate all the time, stress, money, and decision making that goes into this you free up your life for better choices. Stick to simply preparing and packing foods you chose to keep at home. Your questions to ask:
- How often am I getting my meals and snacks outside of what I shop for and/ or prepare?
- What steps do I need to take to make a shift in this area?
- What meal or areas can I start to make this shift in first?