How to Preparing for a Healthy Diet – Anti – Inflammatory
- The Correct Mindset
- There Is No” Good Food” or” Bad Food”
- Ditch the Guilt
- Eat Mindfully
- Keep It Realistic
- Take It One Meal at a Time – Eating Plan
- Watch a Relevant Video
- Listen To The Article
- Coming Soon
Perhaps you hear the word ‘diet,’ and you think of restriction, blandness, and misery many people do. But fear not! ‘Diet’ simply means the sum total of the nutrition that you take into your body, and you don’t have to survive on anything but lettuce and unseasoned chicken to improve your health.
A part of the reason why people keep falling off of diets is usually because they fail to make it on their own. Everyone is different, so what works for one person may not work for you.
But with a bit of time and thorough research, you should be well on your way to establishing a successful, you-specific diet.
The Correct Mindset
These stereotypes that surround healthy eating are merely misconceptions but buying into them even subconsciously can place blocks in our path to relief. When we associate nutrition with restriction and control, the rules and regulations that we place upon ourselves become suffocating.
It becomes less about health and more about the process of ‘cans’ and ‘can’ts.’ Eating and exercise become intrinsically linked in our brains, forcing us into a cycle of boom and bust. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Eating healthy foods is not a punishment for having chronic inflammation; robust nutrition is a form of self-care and compassion that you do not have to suffer through.
Unfortunately, however, our brains are just like any muscle. The thoughts that we think the most often become our brains’ strengths.
Therefore, if you have spent most of your life buying into the negative stereotypes surrounding healthy eating, you mind will follow those paths of thinking unprompted even when you are consciously aware of the benefits of eating anti-inflammatory foods.
This article focuses on breaking those mental habits so that you can begin your anti-inflammatory healing journey on the right note. Sadly, the commercialization of wellness and self-care has meant that many of us unconsciously link health with wealth and spending power.
Eating well becomes about buying expensive superfoods, healthy movement assumes the form of gym memberships and personal trainers, and self-care is reduced to expensive bath bombs and bottles of prosecco. But you don’t need to be trapped in this mindset.
So many of the concepts we have learned regarding health and wellness are marketing gimmicks, and it’s beyond time that we break free from them. The US weight loss industry alone is valued at $61 billion (“Exceptional Diet Statistics – HRF,” 2021).
That money is made by convincing people to hate their bodies. The industry is dependent on making people believe outdated nutritional myths. Those restrictive capitalistic stereotypes self-care is reduced to expensive bath bombs and bottles of prosecco.
But you don’t need to be trapped in this mindset. So many of the concepts we have learned regarding health and wellness are marketing gimmicks, and it’s beyond time that we break free from them. The US weight loss industry alone is valued at $61 billion (“Exceptional Diet Statistics – HRF,” 2021).
That money is made by convincing people to hate their bodies. The industry is dependent on making people believe outdated nutritional myths. Those restrictive capitalistic stereotypes tell us that entire food groups need to be banned, substituted with ingredients labeled as “low-this” and “free from that.”
But as you have seen in the previous article, making wise nutritional choices does not mean elimination instead, it’s about information.
Knowing the benefits and downsides of various foods allows you to make the best choice for you and break free from that restrictive dietary mindset that says that “fats make you fat” what nonsense! The truth of the matter is that restrictive dieting does not work.
A whopping 86% of adults have attempted to eliminate an entire food group, such as sugars or fats, at some point in their life, yet 95% of those people found themselves equally or worse off Healthwise as a result of those restrictions (Statista Research Department on Food & Nutrition on behalf of the US Dept. of Agriculture, 2020).
There Is No” Good Food” or” Bad Food”
No food is strictly ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Sure, a particular ingredient or meal may be more calorific and less nutritionally dense than other options, but this doesn’t mean that it should be evacuated from your shopping list altogether. Let’s be honest; that kind of elimination simply isn’t sustainable.
We all want a bag of chips or a pack of candy now and again. They’re tasty and provide our brains with a rewarding dopamine hit.
What would happen if we tried to abolish eating chips and candy entirely? I don’t know about you, but I would certainly end up binging on multiple fun-sized packs in a single night, calling it a ‘treat’ and waking up feeling tricked when my body’s inflammatory processes went into overdrive.
Instead, allowing myself small amounts of these nutritionally-sparse foods on a regular basis is a sustainable way of ensuring that my inflammation levels remain manageable at all times.
There has been a lot of shame placed on eating certain types of food over others. We get it! Some foods are more calorie-dense than others, and yes, they may lead to excessive weight gain when consumed in large amounts with little to no physical activity.
However, asking someone to entirely get rid of such foods in their diet is a recipe that’s bound to fail. Perhaps you can go a week without eating sugar, but the nature of sugar is that it’s addictive.
I think nutritionists need to become more realistic in their approach to diets. Tell us all we need to know about the foods that we’re putting in our mouths without placing too many expectations on us.
After all, many of us have different needs. I hardly believe that we’re all at a point in our lives where we need to lose weight. Some of us are seeking healthy foods to remedy illness. A diet that’s specific to what someone wishes to achieve would be best.
Because of this, surfing the web for diets may not be a good solution for anyone. It might be a better option to sit down with a nutritionist that will take time to draft a diet specific to your needs.
It’s important to remember that your body needs calories to function, and all kinds of foods offer this service to your body.
Food is a gift! If you look at the many diets out there on the internet, you’ll recognize a trend of demonizing calories. Some of these diets even go as far as eliminating important food groups, all in the name of losing weight fast.
I can tell you this the best and most natural way to lose weight and stay fit is to do so at a mild pace. Every tier on the food pyramid serves specific functions for the body.
So, unless your doctor specifies to you that something on the food pyramid is causing your body harm, you don’t need to eliminate it entirely. Moving forth, we need to embrace food, practice discipline and ditch the guilt.
Ditch the Guilt
When it comes to eating healthily, the most important thing is to ditch the guilt! You do not need to earn food. You also don’t need to beat yourself up when those pro-inflammatory foods sneak their way in.
Instead, acknowledge their place in your life and seek to approach nutrition in a mindful manner. I don’t want to lie to you. Your diet will never be perfect because there’s simply no such thing as a perfect diet.
You will have days where you feel like eating that particular pro-inflammatory food, and that’s okay. The best way to succeed in keeping a healthy diet pattern is to recognize that some foods aren’t good for you but also that they aren’t poisonous.
So, when you feel like eating something you think you shouldn’t, don’t feel ashamed about it. Just make sure that you don’t overindulge. The best way to stick to a healthy diet is to eat things in moderation, just like how our parents told us not to eat too much candy before dinner.
Simply eating that one piece of pro-inflammatory dessert on a relaxed Sunday will not kill you but eating pro-inflammatory foods on a daily basis is also not ideal.
The only thing that guilt does is convince us that we will not achieve our goals. If you’re aiming for a perfect eating lifestyle, get rid of that idea.
Believe me; even the strongest fitness gurus have their weaknesses. This, however, does not stop them from showing up. So, when you feel like you have fallen off your diet, the best thing to do is get right back onto it. The aim should be health over perfection.
The simple effort of eating healthy foods one day a week is still better than not eating healthy at all. In the case of eating for your health, the more you commit, the more likely you are to see results, so feel free to start slowly to ease yourself into the diet.
One other diet habit we need to eliminate is punishing ourselves for slipping up. I’ve been on lunch with a friend who, after eating a burger, said he would have to work off the calories as soon as he got home.
This behavior is one that will make you hate healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle. I know you want to see progress quickly, but as I mentioned before, the best results are those that take time. There is no “get fit quick” scheme in dieting.
Can you imagine binging on anti-inflammatory foods just because you had a small guilty snack? The longer you commit to a healthy eating lifestyle, the more you will see the results.
And once you do, they will motivate you to keep moving forwards, unlike setting unrealistic goals for yourself. One other thing you will notice when you commit for a longer period is that you learn more about your body.
You will start to better understand the lengths you can and cannot take and become an expert in your own health. Don’t worry about any mistakes you might make today. They are helping you gain knowledge about your health so that you can be wiser in the future.
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely directing your attention to the present moment. In regards to diet, this can be implemented through mindful decision-making and eating.
To make choices in a mindful manner, take the time to become aware of your thought and behavior patterns. What do you believe about food, and why? How do these values and beliefs play out in the choices you make regarding your daily nutritional habits?
The first step to making or breaking any form of habit is to understand it. When you crave a particular food, take the time to check in with your mind and body to ask yourself what you are looking for from that food.
That craving might be based on a nutritional need, such as longing for foods high in vitamin C when you’re at risk of coming down with a cold, but often they can be based on an emotional need.
For instance, are you really craving chocolate, or are you craving the oxytocin that eating chocolate would provide? Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with wanting chocolate! But when what you really need is a hug, reaching for a bar of high-sugar food might not be the best option, and it’s better to be aware of that.
Once again, consider the strengths and challenges associated with the ingredients of your meal choices and evaluate whether it’s truly what you need right now. Once you have made your choice of food in a mindful manner, the next step is to eat mindfully.
So many of us eat on the go. Modern life continues to make increasingly higher demands on our time and energy, which means that we have become increasingly reliant on convenience.
Everywhere has a drive-thru these days, and while that seems like an excellent timesaver, this grab-and-go method of nourishing ourselves comes at the cost of our overall wellbeing. An alternative to this kind of eating is to eat mindfully. This entails you switching off any distractions when you are about to eat.
Things like the computer, your phone, and the television have to go. Then, sit at the table to eat. Pay attention to the food you’re eating and how it tastes and feels. You should chew slowly and recognize how each bite feels on your tongue as you really taste and appreciate the flavors.
Eating mindfully doesn’t mean that you should eat alone; you can have company and eat in a mindful manner. A new trend is starting among families now where cellphones are not allowed to come to the dinner table. This is a good habit to introduce in your family.
That way, no one has to fight for the attention of someone who is busy on their phone. Another thing to add is that eating mindfully will help you notice when you are full sooner than when distracted.
I believe that part of the reason why our foods are so high in salt and sugar is that they compete for our attention with everything else we consume while eating them.
If our food were produced closer to its natural state, we probably wouldn’t consume as much of it because we’re too busy consuming everything else. We require that our food be tasty enough to keep us interested.
Keep It Realistic
Recognizing that you’re eating habits need to change is an excellent first step. You may be doing a lot of research about why you need to change your eating habits, like reading plenty of articles telling you of all the benefits of committing to a new eating plan.
These are all great steps to take, but what’s not so great is rushing your progress. You need to be realistic about your goals and the demands that you will be placing on yourself.
Jumping into the deep end with a diet before you have dipped your toes in the shallow end is not ideal. A lot of the diets on the marketplace put a lot of strain on a person when they start off by placing too much pressure on themselves.
Even the anti-inflammatory diet can become a burden for some if they commit too much too early. Try to ease your way into the diet instead of jumping in too fast, hoping to see quicker results. The slower you go, the more you will learn what is and isn’t for you.
The best thing you can do is write down the eating goals you want to achieve, and then you can start gradually introducing these new habits week by week. You should see a slow improvement in your health, even as you’re taking smaller steps.
Take It One Meal at a Time – Eating Plan
A new eating plan will require some changes in your pantry, so you’ll be buying a lot of things you aren’t used to and some you haven’t tasted before.
As a result, it can be pretty demotivating to taste all of these new flavors at once and find that you don’t like any of them. Purchasing a recipe book like this one is a great start.
Recipe books help by omitting the time you would normally spend trying to figure out what would taste best with what. So, if you find yourself with bags full of anti-inflammatory ingredients, the best thing you can do is introduce new dishes one meal at a time.
Jumping into the deep end by strictly eating recipes you find in the book might make you hate the process in the long run. Instead, you can introduce two new meals each week and grow from there. You may not like all of the ingredients, so you can work around them—some you can incorporate into smoothies, and some you may just have to accept as medicine.
Ditch the idea of a weekly meal plan for the first few weeks. Once you have experience with enough recipes and have found a few you love, you can use them to create a specialized meal plan for yourself.
Listen To The Article
Watch a Relevant Video
The contents of the following article titled How to Preparing for a Healthy Diet – Part 2.
- Take It One Meal at a Time
- Tips to Prepare for a Diet Change
- Slow Down When Eating
- Become More Active