Tired of dieting and feeling like you have to follow a strict and unfulfilling lifestyle in order to get the results you want? Many fitness experts would argue that in order to be successful you must deprive yourself of anything but what it needs scientifically. Well they may be missing one very important part of the equation— Happiness. Everyone is different so if your body is trying to tell you otherwise, take a step back to listen to your natural self and you may be surprised how exponential the results are.
You Are What You Eat
You ever hear of a saying, ‘You are what you eat’? Well this can go a long way when it comes to living a productive lifestyle, especially when you need that extra boost for a long work day. Rather than focusing on calories in and calories out, give your body what it needs to thrive. Through attaining a balanced assortment of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, you can optimize your biological systems for more energy, strength, flexibility, and mental and emotional stability.
Dr. Maryann Eastep, a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition instructor at the University of Delaware, advocates for complementing half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Secondly, you should aim to make it as colorful as possible. A good way to determine whether or not you are getting the right nutrients is by how much variety you see on your plate. Often, different vitamins and minerals pertain to different colors of the rainbow. Ever wonder why all citrus are yellow or orange, or why our parents have been pushing leafy greens on us our whole lives? Well there’s much more where that came from!
Food is Medicine
Physician and New York Times best-selling author Dr. Mark Hyman describes that the human gut-bacteria can detect a multitude of diseases from heart attacks to cancer, allergies, asthma, Alzheimer’s, auto-immune disease, fibromyalgia, obesity, diabetes, and even arthritis. For instance, Lycopene is an antioxidant that is commonly used to lower prostate cancer risk found in tomatoes, watermelon, and guava. Ever wonder why whole grains are so necessary after a rough night out? Fiber is actually partially responsible for the removal of carcinogens. Next time mix in some broccoli cabbage to speed up the process! Dr. Hyman is an avid promoter in holistic medicine, particularly through using food as medicine. In following this belief system, he has successfully treated patients suffering from a variety of chronic diseases all through the removal of toxins and irritants in substitution for nutrients one may be lacking in.
Everything in Moderation
Don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while. There is nothing worse than missing out on opportunities or sacrificing time spent with friends and families because you are following a compulsive diet. Focus on adhering to a healthy majority, but give yourself the freedom to enjoy the things you love moderately on special occasions. In doing so you will be able to recognize how much better you feel when you are eating the right foods, and soon enough you may not even crave that late night pint of ice cream anymore!
Written by GUADs intern Joe with contributions from ultrawellnesscenter.com and holtinternational.org.