Without sounding like a running cliché or random infomercial, this very simple statement if applied correctly into a daily routine is really a life changing concept. With that being said, it is also one of the most difficult to understand and live out mentally and physically for most people.
To be healthy and fit, we need to exercise, we need to sleep, and we need the proper balance and understanding of nutrition. Not the old grade school version of the pyramid, but a much more in-depth understanding of how food works personally with your body composition and your mental processing of it. What we put in our bodies will have a direct impact on how we look and feel, not only today, but also in years to come. The biggest challenge with a healthy lifestyle may certainly be the nutrition part. Our society is big on eating. Not only eating, but also eating fast, on the go, cheap and pleasure filled. People take pride in the food they cook, purchase, watch on TV, entertain with, serve and create. It almost feels like an insult when food is turned down or invitations are not kept because of certain food entertainment locations. We can eat for purpose and we can also eat for pleasure, but feel pressured to eat simply based on pleasing someone else or to feel inclusive.
Here are a few examples of situations you may find yourself in and alternatives for changing normal habits:
-Friend wants to go out for lunch. Choose a place where you can order a healthy meal, or rather than lunch, suggest afternoon tea or coffee.
-Your job is going throughout the office giving everyone a doughnut. Just take the doughnut. Put it in a place out of sight and get back to work. Or file it in #13; It will be stale come 5 o’clock.
-Family gathering where baked goods are being served. Thankfully decline. If an explanation is necessary, the sugar in cake will have you bouncing off the walls and you need to get to bed early tonight. Or simply claim health issues. The mother of all food pushers just won’t take no for an answer. Repeat yourself in expressing her kindness, but stand your ground. If she really must have you take the food, ask for a Tupperware so you can bring it home.
Many health experts and nutritionists believe that we’re predisposed to liking certain, usually sweet, salty or fatty foods because, in the past, calorific foods would have been vital for keeping us alive and so, evolutionary speaking, we’ve developed a positive association with those foods and our brains reward us with feel-good chemicals when we eat them. However, in a part of the world where food is abundant, that same draw to calorie dense sugary and fatty foods is piling on the pounds and making us more likely to develop things like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, among others.
What’s interesting is there’s a subset of people today who don’t eat for taste alone: sportspeople. They eat to bulk up, to have enough fuel in the tank to get through a grueling match or work out. To be sure, that doesn’t necessarily mean they eat healthily but the same principle applied to our every day lives with the goal of a more balanced nutritional profile seems sound: eat for our health and not just for pleasure. What if the everyday person were able to apply this? Could we actually cut our food shopping bills by more than half? Could we find that our health improves triple fold because what our body requires is not what we feed it out of emotional eating? What if income was a factor and only allowed you to make certain purchases without all the extra fluff? Could eating for purpose and not pleasure truly be the key principal we are missing that could revolutionize how we view food and the real purpose it serves our body? If nothing else, it really is good food for thought.