With Christmas and New Year fast approaching, a lot of people will over indulge on food and alcohol and come January, will be looking to join the gym or jump on the latest diet fad to lose weight, eat better and be fitter. It seems like a mammoth task, when in fact, with the right head space and education, you can make informed decisions on the path to being healthy and it doesn’t have to be hard work.
We hear about new diets every day and they are all backed by different, confusing research. We have the Paleo diet, Lemon diet, South Beach Diet, Raw Food Diet, 5:2 diet, low sugar, no carbs, high protein and it goes on and on…
So what do people do when they are confused by all this conflicting information? Nothing. They stay doing the same thing or worse, they jump on one of these diets only to find themselves bigger than when they started as fad diets are often not sustainable.
What we should be eating and drinking is a wildly debated topic in the western world but if the experts cannot even agree on what we should be eating, it’s understandable we’re all confused. There are two things that everyone can agree on. 1. There is a major health problem related to poor diets and 2. The more food is processed or modified, the worse it is for us.
The obesity issue is simple; we are getting bigger but with less nutrition. Highly processed foods are stripped of nutrients or fibre, making them less filling and easier to over-consume. Processed foods are often higher in salt and sugar making us crave these foods and keep us coming back. You only have to eat a meal that is high in nutritional value to feel full and crave less for longer.
So what is the solution? In my option it’s something that our parents and grandparents have probably already taught us, we just haven’t lived by it. There is in fact one diet that does work, which is simply eating foods with low human intervention (or how Grandma use to cook and live). If we simply eat as close to nature as we can and choose foods that have low human intervention, then you are never likely to diet again.
Start with your pantry. Get a garbage bag and throw out all the processed food that has too many numbers and words you cannot pronounce on the back of the pack and replace it with real food. We are human and if we get the munchies after dinner and we go to the pantry. If there is a chocolate cookie and a banana, guess what we will probably eat? When you open the fridge and there is a variety of real food; then that is what you will cook with.
This also does not mean we should live like a monk on a hill in the Himalayas. If you want a glass of red or champagne to celebrate, then enjoy it. You may find that when you start to move your diet to be closer to real foods found in nature, your body and taste buds will follow and it will be easier and easier to live a healthier life.
As we sit down to dinner with our elders this Christmas, ask them what they ate while growing up and remember…. if you change to the old fashioned wholesome way of eating, you are less likely to have health problems and will have more energy to enjoy life everyday.