If you’re just beginning to rethink your food choices to make them healthier, shopping at the supermarket can take on a somewhat intimidating air. It’s hard to shop healthy when you haven’t been doing it already.
One of the key parts of the Olumia Life Nutrition plan is that you are refining your diet to be healthy, not razing your old diet to the ground and forcing a new one on yourself. Diet in the sense of “I need to go on a diet” is a four-letter word both literally and figuratively. It creates an antagonistic dynamic between you and the food around you. You want that cake, right? Too bad! It’s the enemy now! That’s the dreaded “diet” that a lot of people mistakenly think is a requirement for good health.
“It doesn’t have to be this way” sounds like the start to some suspicious marketing gimmick, but it’s true in this case. It doesn’t have to be this way! Being healthy should mean food is your friend not an adversary. Going to the supermarket is fun!
Stop viewing the supermarket as a trap
One of the most common reasons for taking up a healthy lifestyle is the period when your metabolism slows down and eating pizza every night starts to have noticeable consequences to your waist size and more. The “student diet” of ramen, hot dogs and other cheap eats can’t last forever. That’s when the labels on food start to matter a whole lot more, leading to the decision to start eating healthier.
Enter the supermarket. Chips, soda, and hamburgers can’t be on the menu every night, so you try substituting the low-fat, “diet” versions. Unfortunately, you check the labels on the back and find out that all the “health-ified” foods are full of sugar, sodium and other stuff you’re trying to minimize. Even artificial sweeteners are problematic. They’ve been lying to you! Food is not to be trusted!
Initial missteps when trying to eat healthier can lead to a very confining diet of a small set of allowed foods. Foods in this sort of diet are very healthy but constrict your options to such a degree that breaking your diet rules becomes all but inevitable. Fish with steamed rice and broccoli is a great meal, but it isn’t quite so good if you eat it every night of the week. You’ll end up either you give into temptation or in a meal situation where the few foods you allow yourself are simply not available.
Forgive and progress
OK, so you’ve been cheated by marketing. How do you move forward? Broaden your horizons! One great aspect of the Olumia Life program is the variety of foods you can and should eat as part of the Nutrition section. Ideal suggestions are important, but, for the real world, more pragmatic alternatives are also present. If you want to find you and the supermarket on better terms, you need only broaden your horizons.
A diet isn’t meant to be a cage, but a means of learning new foods and ways of preparing them while raising your awareness and knowledge of the sorts of foods that will benefit you. A diet is the gateway and path of a healthy lifestyle. It’s all the foods that you do you eat, not a list of the ones you don’t.
Set a few ground rules
So what should you do at the grocery store? Relax. The choices you know are healthy, like fresh produce and poultry, whole grains, etc., are still the best options. That said, Olumia Life has a Cheat Half-Day so that you don’t spend all your time denying yourself your favorite decadent delights.
Trying to ban something, such as sugary snacks, never really works; you need to control and regulate them instead. Telling yourself they’re forbidden just makes you want them more, so what you really want to do is be an aware eater. Keep track of your meals each day. Planning them ahead of time helps.
What if you still give in to your sweet tooth here and there? Since your overall health is made up of more than the food you eat, you can help yourself out with an active lifestyle and a healthy sleep schedule. Check out Part 2 for more about this and avoiding the “Blame Game.”
Connect with us to discuss how Olumia Life can benefit you and your practice. Physicians may contact our Olumia Life project lead, Steven Willey MD.Connect with Us
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