Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This is especially true when it comes to dieting.
Why are so many of us living as if we are insane? Call it human nature or fear of change. Or maybe we’re so oblivious that we don’t even know that we’re doing it. We do this dieting thing over and over again thinking each time that it will finally stick. We think all of our troubles will be gone because we will be thin and feeling great. We lose the weight, but soon it starts to creep back on. So what do we do? That’s right: We start another diet, maybe a different diet, because this is the time it will stick and all of our troubles will be gone because we will be thin and feeling great. Sound familiar?
Let’s talk reality and be done with insanity. First, look at your eating habits as a lifestyle. Start paying attention to what you put into your mouth. Begin with journaling what you eat, when you eat and how you are feeling at the time you eat. So many of us emotionally eat. Emotional eating is often unconscious. We may do it because we are stressed, sad, depressed. Whatever the emotion, the bottom line is that it’s easy to eat mindlessly.
Get a baseline of your overall health. Buck up and go to the doctor for a complete physical with blood work. Find out the facts about your health. No more playing ignorant. The truth is that it’s much easier to prevent illness than to treat it once it has occurred. You do have a choice when it comes to your health, and staying in control of your health only gets more important as you get older.
Eat a balanced diet filled with fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables; lean proteins like chicken, fish and lentils; and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like flax seeds, walnuts and salmon. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains and starchy vegetables (potatoes and yams) are also important because carbs are processed as glucose in our bodies. These complex carbs are considered low glycemic foods because, unlike other carbs, they don’t cause your blood sugar to spike. Low glycemic foods also help to counter inflammation in the body, which becomes more common as we age.
As we age, our metabolism begins to slow and we must keep it running efficiently. Eating five to six small meals throughout the day is a great way to keep your metabolism running at an even pace. When we don’t eat, our bodies think that we’re starving and hold onto fat as a means of survival. But if you’re eating small, regular meals, your metabolism will be running well – and a healthy metabolism can, in turn, help you drop those unwanted pounds.
When you change your perception about food by becoming a conscious eater, you will see that a healthy lifestyle is a choice. And it doesn’t have to be that hard. Plus, eating small meals throughout the day will help curb the extreme hunger that we often face when dieting. When you eat healthy and move your body, the weight will come off. It won’t be a quick fix, but over time you’ll see that the weight will also stay off, because you’ve changed your lifestyle. It really is that simple.