Leading a healthy lifestyle does not mean obsessing about every morsel of food you put in your mouth.
That type of focus is what dieters do and it is short-lived.My advice, as a Certified Nutritionist, is to focus on changing your relationship with food. Until you make friends with food, rather than treating it like the devil, you will not be able to get to a healthy weight, let alone sustain it.
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle Avoids Drastic Changes
Many people who decide they want to lose weight settle on solutions that are far too drastic. The result is that they starve themselves or choose unhealthy diets that exclude whole food groups. Yes, you will lose weight with extreme calorie deprivation. But you will not change your eating habits for the better, and you will go back to those bad habits when you get tired of starving.
Another common mistake that weight loss wannabees make is taking draconian measures. They demonize certain types of foods and are determined to totally avoid them as a weight loss technique. Some do this under the religious guise of Lenten penance. I’ve heard many people swear off all sugar or any food that has carbohydrates. Not only does this turn out to be a short-term “solution,” it is not a real-world answer. Although many people are consuming too many sugary snacks, the fructose in fruit is healthy and rich in nutrients. While simple carbs in processed foods are not healthy, complex carbs such as whole grain foods should never be excluded from a healthy diet. After all, carbohydrates provide our primary source of fuel to keep our bodies functioning.
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle Does Not Involve Obsessing About Food
Those who have an “unhealthy obsession” with otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from “orthorexia nervosa.” The term which means “fixation on righteous eating.”
Typically this obsession with clean eating starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthfully. But, orthorexics become totally focused on food intake. They might become fixated on eating totally pure, 100% organic food or line caught fish to the point where it interferes with healthy eating and leading a normal life. Or, they might become very rigid about how much to eat, and beat themselves up for sneaking a 4 calorie strawberry. When they slip up, they punish themselves for their lack of discipline and label themselves “bad.”
This type of rigid behavior is not part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Don’t let your desire to eat well and maintain a healthy weight turn into such an obsession that it takes precedence over enjoying life and having an active social life.
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle in all About Moderation
Most of my weight loss clients are overweight just because they’re eating too much food. It’s that simple. Portion perceptions have been skewed by restaurant dining and supersizing. We start thinking that the portions served at restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory represent a single serving size. The sad reality is that when you eat out, the entrée you order represents two, or maybe even three, servings. And it’s loaded with butter and salt both of which are great flavor enhancers.
You can live a healthy lifestyle without taking any of these extreme measures. My prescription for maintaining a healthy weight is to eat real food in reasonable portions. Focus on a colorful plate and eating a heart healthy Mediterranean diet, which allows you to live a normal life and enjoy eating.