There is a major problem in the Western world with food consumption and the problem is that there is too much of it – not too much food, but too much consumption thereof. Perhaps more accurately put, there is not enough consumption of the right kinds of food. Dieting is one of the most popular activities in the United States but it is also one of the most misunderstood. Most people want to implement a diet plan into their lives because they are interested in losing weight. But there is ” or there should be ” much more to it than just weight loss. Losing weight is a great place to begin but the real goal inherent in the desire to lose weight, whether people realize it or not, is lifestyle improvement.
So how does a person make a lifestyle change through the foods that he or she eats? First it is important to understand the difference between a diet and dieting. Dieting is an activity that usually involves a restriction from certain foods in order to accomplish certain weight loss goals. A diet, on the other hand, is the overall collection and types of foods and beverages that a person consumes on a regular basis. As such, a person’s diet is an important part of his or her lifestyle and in order to implement a healthier lifestyle, the right diet must be implemented. Following are a few suggestions for starting down the road to healthier eating and eventually to healthier living.
Drink More Water –
Someone with a great deal of wisdom once said that the key to a better life can be found in a simple five-word sentence ” drink water and be fearless. The human body is comprised of 70% to 80% water and as such it needs that supply to be replenished consistently. It is recommended that people drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. If you are not drinking this much currently, the best way to do so is to ease into it rather than try to start drinking 8 glasses right away. Drink two each day this week, then three each day next week, then four each day the week after, and so on. And spread the glasses out over the course of the day rather than trying to drink them all at once.
Fruits and Vegetables –
Eat at least two servings of fruits or vegetables with each meal. It sounds like age-old advice, and it is, but it is by no means outdated and irrelevant. Daily fruit and vegetable consumption is essential to healthy living.
Go With Whole Grain –
Unless you have gluten intolerance, one of the best changes you can make to your diet is to switch to whole grain foods. Brown rice rather than white, wheat bread rather than white bread, and whole grain pastas and cereals will up your fiber intake and help balance your digestive system.
Cut Back on Sweets –
Reducing or eliminating the sweet treats we all love so much is never fun at first but it pays dividends in the long run. Start slowly in the reduction of the number of sugary snacks you consume including candy bars, soft drinks, and even sweetened cereals. But don’t just eliminate them from your diet, replace them with something healthier like a piece of fruit or a glass of your favorite unsweetened juice. On a long enough time line and with sufficient consistency, you will find your cravings leaning away from sweets and toward the healthier alternatives.