I think one of the biggest hurdles in encouraging people to eat healthy is that they lose their power to choose. Think about it: to choose what you’re going to eat, not going to eat, how much, how little, and how often is one of your only forms of control in this life. Yes, people choose to go on diets to “get healthy,” but they don’t necessarily choose the foods they’re eating or choose what falls within the diet’s guidelines. Diets suggest restriction and place limits or boundaries. They have no staying power because 1) they’re extreme and 2) they revoke our gosh-darn-god-given free right to choose! How many do you know someone who has gone “on a diet” and gone off in the not-so-distant future only to come back again… and then off… and on… and off? How many do you know someone who has gone Paleo or Low-Carb to see them really progress and then completely plateau, regress, or go sugar-crazy? And so the yo-yo saga continues.
I’m going to throw this out there: instead of completely changing your diet in the name of all-things-healthy, which usually ends up as all-things-the-hell-with-this-shit-I-want-some-damn-ice-cream, try viewing and using food as a supplement. I highlighted food because, in my experience, people will pop vitamins, toss back protein shakes, run miles upon miles, and guzzle bottles of water just so they can “balance” their I-eat-like-a-5-year-old diet and I-get-drunk-every-weekend lifestyle with an I’m-trying-to-be-somewhat-healthy-with-a-few-what-are-considered-to-be-healthy-choices approach and COMPLETELY NEGATE any possibility of simply choosing healthier food (now, the definition of healthier food is absolutely different for everyone so we won’t get into that). Food as a supplement involves exactly that – eating food – and it involves an awareness of a) what foods are healthy and b) what type, how much, and how often you need said healthy food in accordance to your lifestyle. For instance, the health-enthusiast word is rather programmed to drink a post work-out protein shake after every session to do all sorts of magically healthy things, but the main reason is to supplement energy, calories, and nutrients to an energy-calorie-and-nutrient-depleted body. Now, take this concept – to provide your body with the appropriate individualized ratio, quality, and timing of food to meet and/or replenish your unique energy demands – and transpose it to every day life!
Healthy eating doesn’t really have to be a daunting task or a complete lifestyle change as long as you are aware of the benefits it can provide compared to the choices and consequences which occur when “unhealthy eating” takes precedent. What seems to be the greatest hurdle, yet quite a simple “fix,” is actually eating any type of food to meet the demands and stress of the body and not necessarily eating poorly. The concept of supplementing food takes on a whole new dietary-approach because it gives a less-complex means to an all-encompassing end. Supplementing food provides your body with what it needs at the appropriate time and in the appropriate ratios through a cycle of experience, consequence, awareness, adaptation, preparation, and wisdom.
If you’d like to discuss this perspective along with other health-related insights, please contact me for a FREE Conversation.