When you’re first starting a healthy lifestyle and trying to refine your habits, it’s common to try and banish all unhealthy foods from your diet. It’s certainly not a bad idea to recognize which foods you should treat as cheat items and which should be your staple meals. That said, becoming a bit too zealous about how you’re going to start eating healthy can lead to some counter-productive results. (Check out Part 1 of this series for troubles at the supermarket.) Banning foods outright presents problems, but piling on the guilt for not being a dietary saint can be just as troublesome.
The blame game doesn’t work
Cutting back on unhealthy food is most definitely a good idea. Eating enough at meals to satisfy your hunger is essential. Keeping snacks in the cabinets and healthy foods on the counter can help you avoid the temptation as well. This isn’t about how you need to give up on being healthy, it’s how you need to admit that nobody’s perfect, including you and your diet. Messing up from time to time is inevitable and should be expected (within reason). Your reaction to these slip-ups is the important thing.
While it’s already been shown that fat shaming other people doesn’t work, it’s important to note that this applies to self-shaming as well. Berating yourself for giving into temptations can lead to you viewing food as a sort of “enemy” to your health when the exact opposite is true. If a little mistake in your diet is viewed as a vast failure of yourself as a person, it’s a pretty sure thing that it will happen again.
Basically, the only thing you should really forbid yourself from doing is thinking “if you’re such a bad person that you can’t even eat perfectly every second of every day, how can you hope to get healthy?” That’s the beginning of failure, not success. If you have a tryst with a chocolate cake, you need to be more productive with your response. Forgive yourself and move on. Don’t let guilt drag you back to where you started. Even worse, coming down on yourself too hard can make you less likely to try getting healthy again
What to do? Make friends!
Meals should be enjoyable, full of wholesome food you like to eat. Variety is a great way of maintaining a healthy diet and keeping you engaged.
For a small number of people, viewing food as simply fuel for the machine of your body, rather than as a delicious pleasure, is a reasonable and sustainable means of eating healthy. You are probably not one of these people.
It’s true that mistakes in your eating habits will impede your progress. However, there are lots of ways to react to this beyond self-flagellation. Your diet isn’t the only thing that makes you healthy. Getting enough sleep and exercise are essential as well. Fortunately, diet, rest and fitness are interconnected, meaning the other parts can offer support when one starts to fall behind. Olumia Life is built around this fact. If you’re diet encounters a few hiccups, sticking with a proper exercise routine and getting enough resting will help keep any problems from lingering. Finding the right sort of motivation means sticking to your goals not your punishments.
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