Anyone who wants to feel and look good needs a healthy diet. A good diet helps people in more ways than aesthetic ones though. For starters, a healthy diet will provide energy, lengthen lives and reduce the likelihood of acquiring chronic diseases. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for most people in the western world to maintain a proper diet. If this sounds too familiar to you, then here are five ways to maintain a proper diet.
A lot of people go gung ho with a diet. They attempt to eliminate all bad food. For many, this is unrealistic, as sometimes in life, we want to enjoy what we eat. If you are trying to stay healthy, do not worry about eating a cheat meal one or two days a week. If you do not eat a cheat meal, you are much more likely to binge eat, which would ruin your diet. A good way to enjoy your cheat meal would be to have the meal after a great week of hard exercise. This will ensure you do not feel guilty about eating the bad meal. Remember – if you decide to NEVER eat dessert again, then you WILL fail. You will inevitably eat dessert again. If you decide to only have dessert once a week, this is more than manageable. It's about progress, not ultimatums.
Do it with a friend! Just about everyone could stand to lose some wight, and most of us could eat healthier. With a friend, you can discuss food options and even cook meals together. You will be much more likely to succeed, as you will not want to disappoint your partner. Even if you just get together once or twice a week, you can still discuss food options and how your newfound diet is going. If you have a spouse or kids, make sure they also have a proper diet, as it will be much easier to succeed if they share your diet lifestyle.
A lot of people who eat a proper diet do so while still enjoying their food. Healthy does not equal bland. While it is obvious that bad food is often delicious, it does not mean good food has to taste bad. Believe it or not, there are plenty of websites and cookbooks that offer great recipes for healthy food. Research different cultures and their food, you may be surprised how tasty and healthy some of their foods are, and that way, you don't have to compare them to what you're used to, as you likely would with a soy burger.
Stop Eating Out
It is nearly impossible to eat healthy at a restaurant. This is because restaurants make their food for one reason – to make money. Restaurants are notorious for using lots of butter, fat, sugar and salt. Some restaurants do offer healthy options now, but you can likely get the same food for far less (and much more fresh) at home. Learn how to plan your day around your homemade meals, and carry snacks with you.
If you want a maintain a proper diet, you need to make your diet a central part of your life. Don't ever think of a diet as quick fix. It should always be a lifelong journey – hence the reason you can't beat yourself up about mistakes. Every day is a new opportunity, and a little progress is better than none! Remember though, a proper diet is only one part of a healthy lifestyle. You should also avoid alcohol in excess, smoking, drugs, make sure to exercise plenty and practice safe sex. These tips, along with a proper diet, will keep you feeling and looking great for years to come.
Andy Owen writes about dieting, nutrition and education. A health care adminstrator, his proudest piece is on the Top 10 Online MPH Degrees.