The way to stay motivated about eating right is to eat the things you enjoy!
I mean it–really! who in their right minds would stay on a food plan (aka diet) that restricts you from the things you like and makes you eat strange food and sometimes weird food combinations that you don’t enjoy? I know I would not last long at all. I think that may be the main reason that I don’t identify my eating plan with any one “diet”–I think they all have good points but are too restrictive for most people. One thing to remember: this is MY understanding and perception of how nutrition works. I’ve been looking at “nutrition” for a long time and have seen fads come and go, most of which make no sense in hindsight.
Our bodies are meant to be balanced with carbohydrates, proteins and fats along with fluids. When we eliminate anyone one group or focus on any one ‘nutrient’ or ingredient it throws things out of balance. We needs carbohydrates for immediate energy, its the easiest source our bodies have. Yes, our bodies store the excess unused energy in our muscles and as fat but its a little harder to get easy access to. Protein is a great source of repair for our muscles but doesn’t really offer a quick way to get energized and sometimes slows down other bodily functions because it takes longer to break down and digest. Fat is great for neurological function, healthy hair and nails but also has its negative effects when the harmful fats are out of balance. When we balance these out in the right proportions our bodies can do more than we ask of it!
But I digress, the point is that if I told you that in order to lose weight you can only eat vegetables–and no forms of protein- for the next two weeks you just might be able to do it. Maybe. But are you learning how to properly supply nutrition to your body? I think if I were to say, ok–you can also have some protein( peanut/ nut butters, eggs, cheese, hummus) that you would be able to last a bit longer. But are you happy with these limitations? Not for a long term way of eating, not for good! By being so drastic with something that should be giving us both nourishment and pleasure we’ve already created an major road block.
Guideline #4: Eating should be fun and enjoyable.
There are so many healthy and good tasting foods –and ways to make them so they are enhanced– that you should never have to be bored with eating! You can take the most mundane foods–say broccoli, carrots and cauliflower and add a little olive oil and spices and roast them in the oven–they are totally changed in character and taste than when they went in the oven!
Vegetables roasted in the oven with a little olive oil and spices–delicious!
There is truly no reason to eat something you dislike! There are multiple options when you eat healthy. There are some foods that no matter what you do to them I still have no interest in them. That is ok though–find something else that gives you similar nutrition and you are back to being balanced. My daughter has become a vegetarian and has no interest in animal protein–I am fine with that so long as she eats food that will give her the things she needs to maintain her health; she eats nut butters, eggs, yogurt and occasionally tofu. She does not like dairy milk so she has almond milk instead.
One of the nice things with her becoming a vegetarian is that I have also learned alot more about “alternate” nutrition sources and we’ve found many recipes that we can share or alter to fit our needs. Cooking does not require a fancy degree or education, just a willingness to try something new and be open to options. I can tell you not all of our recipes have been winners–some because of personal taste preferences and some just because they are not something we are willing to make again but by being open to things I’ve found a whole new world of food choices. Grains are a huge untapped source of nutrition most of us never even think of: quinoa, wheat berries, lentils, and barley just to name a few.
So the point: find things you do like to eat and make them a part of your plan. Don’t eat the things you don’t like but find alternates to replace them. Easy as that. Eat real food, not food products. Learn what food tastes like in its most natural state and you’ll understand better how to improve on it. Eat what you need to keep your body functioning, not eat to excess.
Have you been eating food you enjoy or just food to survive? Do you abide by ‘the rules of your diet’ or do you “cheat” because they are restrictive? Are you eating for Life and making Smart Choices?
Image Disclaimer: the food images are my own but the first and last image were obtained on Google Images, my thanks to their creators!