On June 12th, 2017, CNN news came out with shocking data that revealed one third of the world’s population right now is overweight. One major reason cited for this epidemic was the food climate in countries such as our own.
One thing doctors have been increasingly doing to reduce this problem is “prescribing” dietary restrictions. This is all well and fine, but society does not make keeping healthy habits easy. Here a few secrets to keep in mind that may help:
Never EVER Starve Yourself!
The most common mistake people make when dieting is depriving themselves of important nutrients by cutting things out and “going without.” Doing this can be dangerous because it puts your body into a protective mode that not only halts fat loss and makes you lose muscle, but makes you prone to binging and anxiety.
Have you ever gotten “hangry” or more anxious as a result of skipping a meal? This is because your mind is responding to a hormone that reminds you to eat, called ghrelin, that is in place to keep you healthy. The best way to prevent causing your body to go into starvation mode is to know what nutritional balances you should keep, and talking with a doctor can help with this.
Avoid Going Out to Eat Like the Plague
Another important thing to avoid is going out to eat. Many restaurants say they have “healthy stuff,” but many of those foods are just disguised to make it seem that way.
If you look on the nutritional facts for things like salads served at popular fast food places, a lot of the dressings or toppings they have make them just as bad, if not worse, than the regular burgers and meals. It is better just to avoid a lot of fast food altogether.
Learn to Cook Well
In order to eat well, you need to know how to cook well. You want to avoid things that come in packages because they often come with more sugar and additives in order to keep them fresh.
The best thing to do is find recipes of things you like with your dietary restrictions included and then try them one at a time. If you don’t like something, you don’t have to try it again, and if you do, you’ve gained yourself a skill and meal you can keep your entire life.
Plan What You Eat
According to psychologist, Robert Epstein, approximately 25% of happiness hinges on how we handle stress, and a lot of that stress can be alleviated through planning and organizing. Planning your meals not only makes it easier to save money and avoid fast food, but it also helps you feel better along the way.
The best way I have found to plan meals is to make a menu, set aside meal prep and cooking times, and budget a grocery list. I like to practice this with an online calendar on my google account, but there are tons of apps for phones that make it easy.
Surround Yourself with a Supportive Group
A peer reviewed article by Debra Umberson and Jennifer K. Montez on NCBI contained study information that showed, “among adults with coronary artery disease, the socially isolated had a risk of subsequent cardiac death 2.4 times greater than their more socially connected peers.” This means that if you are trying to lose weight, going at it alone can be very challenging.
Having a good support group can be pivotal to the success of your goals. Likewise, you should also protect yourself from damaging influences who don’t support your goals.
Reward Yourself for Doing Great and Don’t Give up When Doing Bad
The last thing to remember is to reward yourself for doing well and don’t be too hard on yourself for slipping up. The only time anyone ever truly fails is when he or she stops trying. Never shortchange yourself by believing you cannot accomplish what you set out to do.
If you find yourself struggling your way into a vicious cycle, where you lose the weight then gain it back, get help. Seek people out who want to do the same thing, find inspirational materials where people have already done what you are doing, get into a support group, or take a class.
There are no limits to your success! If you want to keep your ball rolling or halt a nasty pattern, try some courses with CEWT. They host cooking classes, personal development courses, dance lessons, you name it. Get some credit for seeking to live healthy with ISU, and visit certain.isu.edu or call (208) 282-3372.