A Long-term Approach to Nutrition
Spend time online and you’ll probably see those dubious banner ads which proclaim that a fit body is only ‘one weird tip’ away. Similarly, in the supermarket, you’ll notice magazine headlines raving about the latest fad diet. There is an ocean of information and misinformation out there about nutrition. Why do these grand promises always fall short of real results in the long-term?
Why diets don’t work
In most cases the answer is the same: crash diets fail because they are short-term answers to a long-term issue. Despite what these adverts promise, there really aren’t quick and easy fixes to diet. Think of nutrition as one of three key components alongside the right amounts of exercise and sleep. There is no final victory or defeat in any of these areas, only an ever-changing present.
Your diet is no different. The latest miracle diet is usually unsustainable in the long-run and the switch back to a so-called normal diet will quickly negate whatever progress was made. Rather than treating such an important aspect of healthy living as a temporary phenomenon, look at ways to make lasting, sustainable changes.
Tips for a long-term approach to Nutrition
Eat until you’re 80% full
It’s easy to overdo if you take the approach of eating until you are completely full. It takes time for that feeling to reach your brain, about 15 minutes. Instead aim to eat until you’re about 80% full and give your brain a chance to catch up with your stomach.
Chew most of your calories
Just about everyone is well aware of the problems with sodas, but a lot of apparently healthy drinks can be surprisingly caloric and laden with sugar. Even a glass of seemingly healthy from-the-vine orange juice can pack in added sugar. Certain types of smoothies are equally sugary as well. Habitual coffee drinkers should be wary of how easily the calories from creamers and sweeteners can add up over the course of a day. Avoiding too many of those empty liquid calories is an effective step in managing your nutritional goals.
Make gradual changes
A sudden and drastic switch in diet can be extremely difficult to maintain in the long-run. New habits take time to form. One 2009 study concluded that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form new behaviors, with 66 the average. Start with small, practical changes and build upon them over time.
There are multiple paths to success
There’s an assumption that diet and exercise have to be unpleasant in order to get anywhere, that the most austere diets and hours of grind in the gym are the only way to succeed. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. There is no singular diet or exercise regime that guarantees results. Many seemingly unhealthy meals can become a lot more nutritious with the judicious use of vegetables and lean proteins. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore either, there are ample alternatives to hours on an elliptical. You’re far more likely to get the results you seek if you enjoy the food you eat and look forward to the exercise you do.
In this blog, we looked at some practical tips for taking a long-term approach to nutrition as part of your wellness journey. Treatments here at Genesis adopt a similar mindset when it comes to seeing life-changing results. Contact us here for a consultation with our chiropractor. Or give us a call at 215-343-3223.