Last updated on June 14th, 2020 at 09:04 am
Some random thoughts about how to eat healthy every day and maintain a healthy diet long-term to lose weight, feel great and be healthy. Not just for a period of time following a healthy meal plan or a challenge.
Let’s start with what’s not a secret:
Obsessing over eating healthy, superfoods or dieting is not healthy.
Actually I’ve been struggling on and off with this over the last, what now, 3-4 years, but I’ll talk more about it in a different post.
Today I want to share three little secrets about maintaining a healthy diet that would’ve saved me some headache, bloating and time, if I knew them years, or even weeks ago.
Now, when I say diet, I don’t mean dieting as in starving or counting nutrients as if I’m participating in a Nintendo game. (<- alright, I don’t really know what people do on Nintendo, the only game I ever played was Farmville in 2009 and it sucked, but I was OBSESSED.) With healthy diet I mean – healthy way of eating.
Okay, so let’s see.
3 Secrets About Maintaining A Healthy Diet I Wish I Knew Years Ago
Don’t forget, but forgive and look at the big picture.
I told you about the mindset that I’ve developed to make the healthier choice most of the time. In short it’s about making your food and lifestyle choices based on how they’ll make you feel right now, during that particular day, not in the future. Not because you’ll look pretty in a bathing suit during summer or because you’ll have a healthy glow a month from now. You can read the post here.
Still, even when you’re very clear about your decisions and actually keep your eye on the why, there comes a time when you want a chocolate filled croissant and can’t resist that craving. More than that, you don’t want to resist that craving.
And the chocolate filled croissant is there. And it’s warm. So you get it. It’s not every day you get to eat a warm croissant after all.
You eat it, it feels good.
Then your friend suggests you go for pizza. Well, today, let’s let it go and eat whatever you want. As much as you want? Fit people have cheat days, don’t they? Let’s go for it.
And then the WHOLE day you eat like it’s your last one.
I don’t know why this is the case for everyone. But for me – I do this, when I feel even the slightest amount of guilt about eating something “bad”. I feel like I’m breaking rules and push the limits to see if I can break them some more without “punishment”.
The times I don’t feel ANY guilt, I can stop at the croissant. I’m fully aware – I’m getting that croissant and I’m good with that decision. No need to make excuses or to feel guilt.
But I keep my promise to do well at the next meal. I forgive, but I don’t forget I ate that croissant. A full day is too precious to waste.
When we look at people who seem fit and healthy, they have cheat meals or cheat days. But we don’t really see the big picture. We don’t see that the person with abs who just ate a batch of chocolate chip pancakes hasn’t eaten anything sweet for a whole week. Or a month. We don’t watch them throughout the day – how much they walk, stand, run or sit on their asses. Probably not for 10 hours a day. We don’t see how much they sleep either. Aaaand we don’t see how they actually feel.
See the big picture in your own life. If you want the croissant, take the croissant, but then make sure to get your veggies.
Control What You Can!
So the problem with maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle isn’t the fact that you would eat a batch of chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. It’s what you do next, throughout the day.
If you eat like there’s no tomorrow the whole day, everyday, there’s probably a bigger reason for that.
From my experience when I’m going through something and am stressed, I tend to say: “Screw it, I need to deal with this stressful thing ASAP, can’t eat healthy right now. Hasta luego, salad.”
And then I eat chips and pizza and drink coffee…and then more of it.
Whether it’s work, family, relationships, take a step back and know you’re responsible for many things, but not for everything. You’re only responsible for the things you can take some action about. Get it together, take that action, let go of trying to control everything and everyone. Let everything else go its natural way. Because let’s be real: it will anyway.
Salad’s always better.
I know some people hate salads, I see articles about this everywhere.
“Here are 700 healthy recipes that aren’t salad. How to eat healthy when you hate salad, How to make a salad actually edible…”
I was lucky enough to grow up in a family where we actually ate salads. True it was always the same salad: cucumbers, tomatoes and onions and always as a side dish, but at least there was always a salad. We’d have this salad always with grilled chicken and BREAD or some other meat and bread. And when I say bread, I don’t mean a little bit of bread here and there, I mean mostly bread.
So to me…salads are awesome. I don’t need to cook, I basically cut things in pieces and put them in a bowl with olive oil, salt and sometimes vinegar. Easy to adjust taste and flavor and don’t need any meal prep.
But, see, when I’m eating out, I don’t want to eat a salad. I’m eating out after all. It needs to be something big and special. Something that will make me feel GOOD.
So two weeks ago at 10pm I got a huge fat burger thinking I really WANT it and that I’d be missing out and really regret if I don’t get it.
That burger came, I had one bite and it was enough.
It wasn’t delicious, but I felt like I needed to force it down my throat (My parents married really young and didn’t have much money, so I’ve been taught my whole life to not leave anything on the plate).
Walking after that burger was a big achievement and I couldn’t sleep that night. The next morning I woke up swollen, I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t do anything. It felt like a waste. I only wanted coffee and to go hide somewhere until that torture was over.
I should’ve gotten the salad. I say it every time and I do it 60% of the time. Here’s to 80%.
I know, it sounds sad to go out for dinner and only order a salad. I felt sorry every time I saw a girl on a date with some guy who’s eating a steak and she’s eating a sad looking salad. Like get some self-respect, you can eat too.
But, well, she’s right.
A salad is much better than a steak or burger if you really want to feel good and not just give into cravings. It might not always seem like the thing you want at first, but it’s always the better choice and it tastes much better, honestly.
Well these are the 3 things I wish someone told me a while ago about eating healthy. But then again, would I have listened? Probably not, I’m a stubborn human being.
If you’re one of those lucky ones, who actually listens when they get good advice – I hope you find this little post helpful!
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