Dieting is such a bad word! Studies have shown that anywhere between 45% and 55% of 10 year olds want to go on a diet because they are afraid they are fat! They get this idea that being fat is horrible and the best way to combat it is to restrict food in an unnatural manner. Unfortunately, this often leads to a cycle of dieting, failure, and weight gain. It can also lead to serious complications such as bulimia or anorexia.
At the same time, so many of our children are obese. They are unhealthy at a young age and facing severe health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and even asthma and emotional disorders from carrying around an overabundance of weight.
If diets aren’t the answer, the question is what is the answer? These tips will help you figure it out.
1. Training ourselves to eat in order to fuel the body.
It sounds so simple – doesn’t it? In reality – Our culture is one with an overabundance of fast food joints, emotional over-eating, processed not-really-food type of foods, and a complete ignorance of how to give our bodies what we need, it’s actually quite hard to put into practice.
But the good news is this: It’s a never-ending wellness journey you can start anytime, take at your own pace and it’s a journey you can’t ever fail! It all starts with basic nutrition information, so let’s look at what this entails:
2. Start understanding what our bodies need.
Our bodies need a balanced diet of nutritious food in order to function properly. However, even those with obesity often find they are malnourished! Start researching the vitamins, minerals and enzymes our bodies need. Make it your hobby to understand how our body works and exactly how much (or little) food we actually need in order to thrive!
3. Stop making food choices based on a commercial
Companies are always in business to make money. Your health is of little concern to that CEO or the members of the board of directors. And yet we believe just about every word they put out regarding what they are trying to sell.
Our bodies need natural foods as close to whole and unprocessed as possible. A 100-calorie bag of cookies does not supply what our bodies need. Even fortified processed foods are usually fortified with artificially created vitamins and minerals. You and your body deserve the real deal.
4. Deal with your emotions.
If you’re depressed, no amount of ice cream is going to fill that empty void. If you’re anxious, no amount of fried chicken will calm you down. Take some time to understand the reasons you eat. Sometimes this is the hardest part as we’ve become a nation that numbs our emotions by stuffing our face. Face the sadness, the jealousy or the anger and you will soon start to love yourself in your own skin!
The purpose of changing your eating habits is to understand your body’s true needs. You must work to provide only those needs and stop obsessing about food, stop stressing out your body, and stop restricting foods.