If anyone knows what a bumpy and long road it can be to healthy eating, it’s me. A few years ago, I lost 50 pounds and ignited my wellness journey.
Before I was able to sustain a healthy weight, I remember wanting to eat an entirely whole foods, plant-based diet. But it seemed far-fetched, considering that I loved packaged treats and was addicted to sugar.
I found that by transitioning slowly without being obsessively strict or stressing about it made all the difference in the world. Instead of placing strict goals like reaching a certain weight or quitting processed foods completely, I shifted my thinking to trying to achieve a way of eating that was healthy, enjoyable and sustainable. I wanted this to be a life change, not a temporary challenge that would put me right back at square one.
We all know that the better you eat, the better you feel, the better you live. But if that’s the case, why do an enormous amount of people still struggle with eating healthy?
I believe that if you get in the habit of asking yourself these three questions, you'll become more conscious of why you eat and one step closer to eating the way you've always wanted.
1. WHY am I eating?
Food is a way to nourish your body and provide you with the nutrients you need to live. If you're reaching for food when you aren’t hungry, it may mean that you are an emotional eater or perhaps you eat when you're bored. Figuring out why you're eating can help you narrow in on what could be causing the cravings.
I found that in order to fix the problem, you’ve got to get to the root cause. Your eating patterns won’t change overnight, but if you get into the habit of asking yourself “why?” before taking a bite of something, you start to see and use it the way nature intended you to.
2. Am I using common sense?
Despite what you may have heard from marketing experts, the simple act of eating Cheerios will not lower your cholesterol. The scary thing is, companies can put just about anything on their labels! Remember, they're not in business to keep you healthy, they're trying to make a profit. It's your job to read the ingredients in everything you put into your body.
Common sense goes a long, long way when it comes to food choices. If you're reading a label and there are ingredients that you can’t pronounce, or things like "Yellow Number 5," which you haven't seen in nature, pass! No matter how much you're craving it at the time, if it makes no sense to you, it makes no sense to your body either.
3. How will I feel after eating this?
Maybe you already know that after you eat your favorite snack from the vending machine, you feel like crap afterwards...or maybe you don’t. When you start to apply the mind-body connection to what you eat, you start to really understand the old saying “you are what you eat.”
We get so addicted to chemicals in our food and stuck in the same routines and habits that we become numb to the consequences of our food choices. If you have stomach issues, skin breakouts, or you get frequent headaches and you’ve never considered the cause could be food, you may be surprised. Food plays a much larger role in overall health then most people realize.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com