Our diets, or way of eating, make up what we are. Our bodies are a reflection of the nutrients we chose to put into our bodies and eat. To be our best selves we need a diet that can provide us with the healthiest and most nutritious foods. Here are our six best health tips for a successful diet:
The best diets stress the importance of whole foods. Why? Because whole foods have naturally occurring vitamins and minerals that help power our bodies. Paying attention to these nutrients does not mean we must be overwhelmed. If you make conscious efforts to pick whole foods you should naturally be able to reach your daily vitamin and mineral requirements. Eating whole foods will also give you more fibre, which is essential to maintaining a healthy gut!
Have you read that the key to weight loss is only a matter of maintaining a calorie deficit? There is plenty of health advice on the internet, and most will simplify weight loss into calories in vs calories out. This type of thinking is common. However, this is not always the case. The type of food that we put into our bodies matters. Eating five-hundred calories in digestives will not give you the same result as eating five-hundred calories of whole foods. Why? Because our bodies are not at their most efficient when we consume large amounts of processed foods. Focus on quality over quantity is a good way to maintain long term weight loss and make lifestyle changes that will last.
Successful diets are not meant to be achieved within just a few weeks. When we try to lose weight in too short a time frame, we often gain the weight, we lost, back - sometimes even more. People who get trapped in this vicious cycle are called “yo-yo” dieters. Many of the mainstream diets over-restrict our calories and we are left hungry. Our hunger builds up and pushes us to overeat on less healthy food.
We have all heard the phrase, eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, but how do we know when our bodies are truly full? The hormone ghrelin is responsible for stimulating hunger by acting on the hypothalamus. The more ghrelin is produced, the more hungry we feel. As the stomach begins to fill levels of ghrelin decrease and we no longer feel as hungry. Sadly, our culture has become poor at recognizing and respecting these signals. Traditions of larger portions, finishing our entire plate, and indulging on special occasions contradicts our natural mechanisms of hunger and satiety. Therefore, we must “re-learn” how to pay attention to our hunger cues and be mindful of our meals.
Changing your diet can be daunting and stressful. People in your immediate circle of friends or family might not relate to, or understand, your need for change. Having a support system in place is essential to help motivate you and guide you away from dieting mistakes. Whether you require more education surrounding nutrition or simply need accountability for your fresh start, forming connections with others who support you is essential. Dieting should not be a lonely or isolating change. On the contrary, your health journey should make you feel more connected with yourself and others!