The importance of making healthy eating a lifestyle is a topic that I believe everyone should know about. Since I believe this is a really special topic, I wanted to have a very special person share it with you. I invited Jamie, the blogger at Dishing Out Health, to talk to you about the importance of making healthy eating a lifestyle. Jamie has a fabulous blog filled with tons of healthy and delicious recipes. She’s also a registered dietitian that offers counseling in general health and nutrition, weight loss, specialty lifestyles, and much more. She’s amazing, so be sure to check out her blog. And now… let’s hear from Jamie!
The only way to live a nourishing life and be in a constant state of mental and physical health is to end the fad-diet mentality. The key word in diet is ‘die’ because they do just that – they die. Usually leaving your body in a physical state of deprivation and an enhanced state of mental stress.
One of the many problems with dieting in general is the inevitable blow to one’s self-esteem when they fall off the diet train. As soon as they stray away from egg whites and grilled chicken salads, they feel a sense of failure. This is not the way of life. When we buy into restrictive diets, we lose touch with our body and what it is telling us we need. We stop listening to our signals of satiety and hunger and torture our minds with restrictions that are impossible to sustain.
In order to free ourselves from the fad-diet mentality, we need to tune out the media and tune into our own mind and body signals. I challenge anyone reading this to change the dynamic of working against their bodies to working for them. Our bodies support us day-in and day-out through sickness, physical strain, mental stress, and personal endeavors. By changing our internal thought process and supporting our body’s needs, it will continue to support us.
I don’t personally subscribe to any dietary labels. Though some may be beneficial for certain individuals, I believe in fueling and nourishing my body with real, whole foods as often as possible and indulging in moderation.
I strongly believe in being flexible and listening to my body. By following an 80/20 approach (80% clean, whole food and 20% indulgences), deprivation no longer exists in my life, and it’s an extremely liberating feeling.
In terms of listening to your body, what you need on Monday could be very different than what you need on Thursday. For example, if you engage in a more physically demanding workout, your body requires more protein for rebuilding muscle, as well as additional calories, as you will be burning more at rest. These days you should be refueling your body with more nutrients than you would on day of rest and rejuvenation. On the flip side, if you are out at your favorite restaurant or celebrating a special occasion, it is OK to indulge and enjoy yourself.
The reality is you don’t have to eat a perfect diet all day, every day to be healthy. You will not suddenly develop a nutrient deficiency from one day without fruits or vegetables, or gain weight from one indulgent meal. What we nourish our bodies with consistently over time is what counts. It’s the day-to-day healthy habits that contribute to an overall state of well-being. Building a positive relationship with food and fueling our bodies with the nutrients it craves will help support these healthy habits. That is what makes health a lifestyle and it will always be rewarding.
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Thank you so much, Jamie, for sharing with us the importance of making healthy eating a lifestyle. Hopefully we can do another guest post soon! Remember to check out Jamie’s blog – Dishing Out Health.