Many people out there recognize that they need to change their eating habits. Whether it’s because they need to lose weight or support their exercise program, or it’s because they just want to be healthy, they just don’t know where to begin. Changing something that is such a huge part of your life can be quite challenging and overwhelming.
Over the course of this series, I will give you detailed and strategic steps that you can implement into your life to get you on the right track to eating nutritious, healthy foods the majority of the time – for a lifetime. Feel free to follow along with each of the steps in your own life, and report back how it’s working for you.
Why Change My Eating Habits?
If you’re reading Coach Calorie, you probably already know and understand many reasons why you should be eating whole foods. But just in case you’re a complete beginner, let’s look at some of them:
- Eating processed, refined, hydrogenated, and bleached foods is toxic to your body. These high-calorie foods offer little to no nutritional value, and can cause your insulin to spike and then crash, which then results in a reduction in insulin sensitivity (which over time can lead to Type 2 diabetes). Many contain ingredients such as trans fats, which are known to have all sorts of negative effects on health including an increased risk for cardiovascular disease .
- High insulin levels have been linked to certain types of cancer including breast, pancreatic, colon, and stomach. Since Americans currently ingest an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, you can put two and two together and see why cancer might be so prevalent in our society .
- Obesity is an epidemic in Western civilization. Obesity itself leads to an increased risk in an entire host of lifestyle-related illnesses that can cost us thousands in medical bills, medications, and even our lives.
- Eating a well-balanced diet of whole, clean foods will likely lead to an overall decrease in calories, which will translate to a healthy weight loss for those who are eating too many calories.
- Eating clean, whole foods will provide the nutrients to your body that so many are missing out on, but so desperately need – vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, omega-3 fats, etc. Once you are eating these nutrients, your body will be able to function more efficiently – resulting in more energy, feeling better mentally, lowered body inflammation, and sleeping better at night, all while also providing it with important enzymes needed to do things like combat cancer and keeping your insulin levels controlled.
- Eating clean, whole foods will support a healthier body composition (lower body fat), and also will support activities such as daily chores, playing with your children, and intense exercise or even athletic competition.
What’s Your Motivation?
If you want to change your eating habits for the better, there is likely something specific motivating you. Whether it’s to lose weight, to become a good role model for your children, to feel better, to support an exercise program, to lower your risk of diseases that may run in your family, or even just to have clearer skin, write down your motivation somewhere you will see it everyday.
If you want something, you need to keep your eye on it so you don’t lose sight of why you’re making the changes. You might also want to make a list of the things in your life that you feel are stopping you from making the changes so that you can recognize them when they come up, and can better plan around them. This might include a busy work schedule, small children, injury, an aversion or allergy to certain foods, etc.
Are You Ready?
If you are ready to make changes, follow along here weekly as I offer you the steps to achieving a healthy diet. Read the articles with an open mind, a willingness to change, and always keep your motivation in mind. Before changing your eating habits, you should always check with your doctor to make sure what you are about to do is a good idea for you.
For this week: write down your main motivation for changing your eating habits, and put it somewhere where you’ll see it often. Also, write down your obstacles that have prevented you in the past from reaching your goals.
For next week: we’ll be taking an inventory of your current state of wellness and health; from your physical health to the state of your kitchen.
This article is part of a blog series titled The Steps to Developing Healthy Eating Habits. Be sure to check out the rest of the series.