Some people live to eat, some people eat to live, and then there’s the rest of us, somewhere smack dab in the middle. The question is, why is it so hard to eat healthy?
There are a lot of answers to that question, and we will explore them in a moment, however, I think the question that should be asked is, do you want to eat healthy? If the answer is yes, and it should be, then ask, what does eating healthy look like?
My feeling is that you should enjoy life, and eating is one of the things most people truly enjoy doing. But…(there is a big one coming), there has to be balance. Your primary objective should be to care for your body, and what you put in your mouth has a tremendous effect on your overall health. That is not a secret. We should strive for balance.
Balance in eating means that you can have that McDonald’s Big Mac once in a while. Heck, you can have a cheat meal, or a cheat day, and your body isn’t going to explode. Just make sure that the majority (I almost said vast and probably should have) of your meals are prepared with a purpose.
Ok, what does that mean? Eat with a purpose. Eat to fuel your body and to provide it with the nutrients that it needs to meet the requirements you place on it. Your body is a performance machine. Exercise and nutrition help keep it performing at optimum levels for the long run.
Here is a list of foods that can do just that along with their associated benefits:
Salmon – healthy oils that are good for the heart and can raise your HDL (the good cholesterol.
Lean chicken – filled with protein without all the fat.
Spinach – provides protein along with vitamin A and C, antioxidants, and heart healthy folate.
Berries – not only are they delicious, but they are loaded with polyphenols. Huh? Think of it this way, polyphenols can help you lose weight.
Potatoes – yep you can eat them. It depends how. Believe it or not the temperature can make a difference. A cold baked (already cooked) potato changes how we digest the starch, which can reduce abdominal fat.
The list goes on and on. It starts with what you buy at the grocery store, and what you put in your fridge and pantry. Quick tip, if it comes in a can or a box, it probably has less nutritional value, and can do you more harm than good. High in sodium, fat, cholesterol, sugar, etc. Tip number two, buy less foods from the aisles of the grocery store, and stay around the perimeter. The perimeter is where they keep the produce and fresh meats.
So, have a burger now and then, or a bag of fries, however, the majority of your meals should have a purpose, and that is to fuel your body so it will meet the demands you place on it. After all, we do that for our cars, don’t we?