Healthy eating guidelines are very important because lets face it, most people go by the notion, if it tastes good eat it. They forget or simply do not know that what they are eating could be hazardous to their health.
The picture above shows me doing push-ups. You might be thinking, what in the world does push-ups have to do with healthy eating guidelines? My response is simple...
I have been doing push-ups five days a week for over 25 years. My arms are pretty strong, but it did not happen overnight. I did not do push-ups for a couple of weeks or months and then stopped. I have to stick to guidelines ( in this case push-ups) if I want to continuously get the results I have.
Exactly, the same holds true with nutritional health. You have to follow healthy eating guidelines if you want to gain vibrant health.
There are a host of healthy eating websites that tell you what you should eat to be healthy. However, the healthy eating guidelines you will find on this web page go beyond the "does and don't's" of healthy eating. Why?
I think that we all eat foods that are good for us from time to time. However we must realize that from a nutritional standpoint, we will never be healthy, eating healthy foods occasionally. I believe that has been our problem.
Many of us have started healthy eating diets and within six months find ourselves back to our "old ways" of eating unhealthy.
So let's get to the root of our problem!
We Need to Develop Healthy Eating Habits.
According to Webster's dictionary a habit is “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.”
If we simply apply this principle to our healthy eating guidelines we will be on our way to nutritional health?
Breaking The Bad Eating Habit Lifestyle
Bad eating habits do not develop overnight. Therefore, one reason why many adults have a hard time sticking to healthy eating guidelines is because their bad eating habits have been a part of their lifestyle since childhood.
Why Do We Eat Food?
There are two main reason we eat food. One is to supply fuel for our body. The other reason is for pleasure. Unfortunately some of the foods that gives us pleasure are unhealthy.
Most people make their food selections based on what they see, smell or taste.
Look at the three statements below:
That pie sure looks good!
That pie sure smells good!
That pie sure taste good!
Notice that all three statements involve food and pleasure. However the food that is producing the pleasure (in this situation the pie) may or may not be good for you from a nutritional standpoint. That is why we need to be wise in our food selections and not simply leave it up to our sense of sight, taste or smell.
The three aspects to healthy eating guidelines that I am about to give you are also principles that you can apply to other areas in your life. Believe me, they work so please do not take them lightly. Ok lets begin!
The first aspect is to ”get educated”. I am not telling you to go to college and take a course on nutrition. You do not have to. There are many books, health articles and e-books (An e-book is a digital book that you can download and read on your computer screen) about healthy eating that will educate you.
Have you ever heard the old saying “Ignorance Is bliss“? What people mean when they say this is, not knowing something can be more comfortable than knowing it.
However, what you do not know can sometimes hurt you or even kill you.
I am sure you can think of situations that have caused you unhappiness or disappointment in your life that could have been prevented if only you had known better. I can. So to me a truer statement is Ignorance Is Not Bliss!. This statement certainly holds true when it comes to developing healthy eating habits.
Every day millions of people get out of bed and set about their daily business. They go to work, go to college, play sports, watch TV, take their kids to school, ride the bus, read the newspaper etc.
While they go about their daily routine many of them eat too much foods that lack fiber, too much foods that are processed and too much foods, which contain Trans fat. Many of them do not know that these foods can lead to diet relating sickness or disease. That is why getting educated is vital as it relates to healthy eating guidelines.
Knowledge is Powerful!
I grew up eating a lot of starchy foods such as white bread, white rice, potatoes and sugary soft drinks. However when I became an adult I read somewhere that studies showed these foods to be linked with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
I learned that it is far healthier to eat whole wheat bread than white bread. Whole wheat is higher in fiber, vitamins B6 and E, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and chromium.
I learned that it is healthier to eat brown rice than white rice. A cup of brown rice has three times as much grams of fiber than white rice. We need from 15 to 25 grams of fiber in our diet each day.
I learned that many of the sugar substitutes that are on the market today are actually bad for your health. For instance Saccharin has been associated in causing bladder cancer in lab rats.
To be wise in our food selections we need knowledge. To get knowledge we need to be educated.
Every Self-Improvement Plan Requires Commitment
The second aspect to healthy eating guidelines is commitment.
You maybe committed to your children, husband, wife, job, grandchildren, church, or education (and I commend you) but are you committed to the health and well-being of the most important person in the whole world... YOU?
Have you ever said to someone “my New Year's resolution is to lose weight?” Or “my New Year's resolution is to get out of debt”. The New Year comes and you start what you said you would but in a couple month you quit. Well let me tell you that you are not alone. Studies have revealed that only a small percentage of those who make New Year's Resolutions ever reach their goal. There are many reasons but the principal one is lack of commitment.
How To Be Fully Committed To Eating Healthy
I am a firm believer that if you are not sure why you are doing something, then chances are you will not be committed to it. So I highly recommend that you think of specific reasons why you want to develop a healthy eating lifestyle. Write them down on index cards and keep them with you. By Keeping these goals in Sight, you will be fully prepared to ignore temptations to give up.
Here are some sample reasons for healthy eating you might consider:
You may want to have a desirable weight.
You may want to be a health example for your children.
You may want to feel better.
You may want to look better.
You may want to reduce risks of diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Share The Message
The third and final aspect to our healthy eating guidelines, is what I call “sharing the message” .
I have learned from personal experience that talking to others about a healthy diet and how it is benefiting me, makes me feel accountable to them. Being accountable to others helps me “stay on course” with my healthy diet. So I highly recommend that you tell others how eating healthy has changed or is changing your life. Share the message with your family, circle of friends, co-workers etc.
Your testimony might be how you have lost weight, or how you are sleeping better, or how you are feeling better ever since you changed your diet to a healthy one.
Your testimony might be a list of benefits not mentioned here. That is fine. The important thing is that you share your message.
Sharing the Message, Can Inspire Others to Have a Healthy Diet
Many times when people hear and see the benefits an individual is having as a result of self-improvement, they also want to “jump on the bandwagon” so that they can receive the same results.
It is a rewarding experience to see others change their unhealthy eating lifestyle and faithfully following healthy eating guidelines all because you took the time to share the message with them.