If you want to feel your best and accomplish all the things you’re capable of, taking care of your physical body is a necessity. Your goals may not include running great distances or rocking a bikini, but having a fitness level that enables you to tackle your to-do list and still have enough energy to take care of yourself and those you love is important! So, what do you need to do to be healthy? There are many ways to get there, but these are the basics to comprehensive health:
We’ll dive into each of these over the next couple of weeks, but today I’ll focus on real food! Most of us are busy, so it’s far too easy to rely on packaged foods and the drive through when we don’t have a better plan in place. The reality is that these “convenience foods” are more costly; full of extra fat, sodium, and chemical additives; and while they leave us with excess weight because of the increased calorie content, they are very poor in nutritional value. The result is that people who eat these foods regularly end up overweight, undernourished, and addicted.
So where do you begin if you’ve been living on a diet of packaged and fast food? The simplest way is to reduce these and increase your meals at home. If you’ve been eating take-out regularly, even a rotisserie chicken and salad mix from the grocery store is an improvement. It costs less than the extra value menu, and it’s just as fast as the drive through. Increasing vegetables and protein at each meal and crowding out starches and packaged foods will improve the calorie content and nutritional value of your meals, and it’s easier to make changes when you focus on the things you’re adding rather than what you’re trying to eliminate.
So what’s the next step? MAKE A PLAN. We’re all in a different place, so if you’re currently eating fast food every day for lunch, decide how many days a week you’ll start bringing a lunch from home instead. Don’t say every day – set an easier goal that you know you can accomplish! Maybe it’s 1 or 2 days a week to start. Then if you end up packing a lunch 3 or 4 days instead, you’ve exceeded your goal! If you are already a healthy eater but have indulged a little extra around the holidays, maybe your goal could be to cut back on sugar this week or skip dessert until the next party or special occasion.
Whatever action you decide to take, write it down! Share your goal with others, or post it on social media. Tell someone you know will hold you accountable! Do what it takes and make 2017 your healthiest year ever!