By Madison Skakle
I’ve never been one to go on a diet or believe in diets. To me, the term “diet” is a temporary term and not good for sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Why diet when you can change your lifestyle to be sustainable and healthy for you, both mentally and physically?
Here are the keys for me to having a healthy relationship with food. (Now, this is personal to me, so please use what you can, and disregard the rest, because all of us have different bodies and different needs.)
- Full of whole grains and YES, carbs. Yes, ma’am, I eat carbs and yes, ma’am, I eat them every day. If I were to cut carbs completely, I would be a very angry person and not myself. I know that carbs are good for my happiness and that I mostly need to enjoy “good-for-you” carbs. There are lots out there! I eat mostly whole grain when I can and try to avoid processed white flour (other than desserts and treats obviously).
- Drink as much water as possible. Water really does wonders and makes you feel fuller, makes your skin look better and keeps your body going! I try to drink at least 96 ounces of water a day. This does mean more trips to the bathroom, but that’s okay. I like to get up out of my chair at work more often and if that means going to the bathroom, then so be it. I’ve found that when I am drinking less water, I am also eating more sugar. Sometimes we mistake hunger for thirst.
- Enjoy treats daily. I’ve tried to just enjoy treats on the weekends, but that ends up with me going crazy and eating way too much on the weekend. I need to have a treat every day to feel satisfied. Some days this means 1 single square of dark chocolate and other days this means a homemade brownie. It’s okay to indulge daily as long as you aren’t indulging all day every day. I love to look forward to a little treat every night and this helps me make healthier decisions throughout the day.
- When the time comes, cut sugar out. When I am trying to be healthier and if there is an event coming up where I want to feel my most confident, I will cut out as much sugar as I can handle. This really only means eliminating my dessert I have almost daily. I do love desserts and almost everyone who knows me knows about my insane sweet tooth. Cutting sugar out does help reduce bloating and makes my skin clearer. However, this isn’t sustainable for me to be a happy person. I try and cut sugar out every couple of months to make sure I’m not too addicted and help me get stronger emotionally and physically.
- A healthy lifestyle involves working out almost daily. Even if this means a walk with my dogs, I try and be active 5-6 days a week. Working out helps me make smarter choices in the kitchen. On days I don’t work out, I crave junk food! On days I do work out, yes, I still sometimes want junk food, but more often than not I try to make healthier decisions to help fuel my workouts.
The moral of the story is, do what works for you. I’ve found these few things help keep me on track and promote a healthy lifestyle. I want to feel good, be confident and be the best person I can to others, and these tips help me do just that. Experiment and find out what is best for you, your body and your heart.