Finding your Sweet Spot: How to Establish a Balance in your Diet
At some point in our lives, we will all struggle, one way or another, with food. Finding that right balance of the food we consume can be difficult, but I'm here to let you know that it doesn't have to be daunting, if we break if down into baby steps.
First, set small goals for yourself. Don't expect to make a complete overhaul in your nutrition and eating habits overnight. Make one small change at a time. A good starting point is to keep a diary of what you eat and at what times to see exactly what changes you need to make. This way, you will also be able to tell if you are an emotional or stress eater. And, if so, add this a goal to work on.
Second, remember that moderation is key. Don't deny yourself of foods you enjoy, otherwise, you'll be unhappy and less likely to stick to any changes you want to make. Your overall diet is what is important. So pick a ratio that is most likely to work for you, such as 80%/20% or 90%/10%. Example, eat the foods that are best for you and stick to your plan 80% of the time. But, save your 20% for the weekends when you want to go out and enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine. And, if 90%/10% is too difficult right now, remember what I said above about goal setting. Start at 80%/20% and work from there. Just remember, nothing is off limits as long as you apply moderation.
Next, and very importantly, prepare your own meals. Sure, it's convenient to go out and grab food. It saves you time slaving in the kitchen and all the clean up. But, often those foods aren't the best choices for your. During the week, try to stick to your vegetables, good fats, dairy, healthy meat choices, and limit your processed foods and sugar. And, reward yourself on the weekend and go out to dinner. Above all, remain hydrated every day. Hydration equals healthy choices. Keeping hydrated will keep you healthy. When you go to reach for a snack, ask yourself if you're actually hungry or just thirsty. Most times a bottle of water will hit the spot.
Lastly, don't think of yourself as on a "diet". Think of nutrition as a lifestyle. Feeling good is a journey. And finding balance in your life will help lead you to balance in your diet. When you find yourself going backwards, look at your goals one at a time, and see what goal needs extra attention. Hold yourself accountable because only you can create the healthy lifestyle that you want.