What Does a Healthy Lifestyle Mean?!
Following a healthy lifestyle does not mean that your diet consists of organic, no sugar, low carb, etc foods. While some of these foods can be incorporated into a healthy diet, so can chocolate cupcakes. This is a common misconception to those who are new to eating healthy and trying to change their behaviors. Living a healthy lifestyle means that you nourish your body with a variety foods that contain nutrients to improve your overall wellness, but also allow yourself to have things that you enjoy, whether that being a glass of wine on Friday night, a piece of chocolate every day, or not thinking twice when going to taco Tuesday with your friends. Living a healthy lifestyle means something different to everyone because every single person is unique!
Living a healthy lifestyle circles around having a healthy relationship with food, understanding the food you are consuming, making mindful decisions, and most importantly having balance. Living healthily most certainly does not mean restricting yourself to certain foods, it means that you make decisions based on how you are feeling without second guessing yourself. If you are trying to practice living a healthier lifestyle it is most important to educate yourself first. Living a healthy lifestyle comes with trial and error, and figuring out what your body needs or wants. It is okay to eat things that are not considered healthy to others because they make you feel good, but it is also okay to say NO when you don’t want that milkshake and would rather have a green smoothie. Balance is the number one key to leading a healthy lifestyle and understanding which foods make you feel good on the inside and confident on the outside. It is important to make sure we fuel our bodies with the essential vitamins and minerals to grow, but it is also important to eat the things we love in moderation for a happy soul. Remember, healthy is HAPPY.
This brings me to intuitive eating. A term you have probably heard, but not fully understood. Intuitive eating is an approach that focuses on nurturing the body without obsessing over numbers. Intuitive eating encourages a natural weight and highlights the fact that we are all meant to be a certain weight without constant fluctuation. Intuitive eating is all about the connection between food, mind, and body. Intuitive eating promotes beauty within, self confidence, and positive body image. Intuitive eating encourages eating and moving because we respect, appreciate, and LOVE our bodies!
Chronic dieting can have negative repercussions and intuitive eating is targeted to heal those who have suffered from the side effects. The vicious cycle of dieting often leads to restriction, binging, social withdrawal, and unhealthy relationships with food. A “diet” is only a short term fix, but does not serve any long term health benefits. This is why a healthy lifestyle based on intuitive eating is not a diet. Intuitive eaters do not feel guilty after eating, do not overthink their choices, make decisions based on what they are feeling in the moment, understand hunger cues, and ENJOY FOOD while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are no such thing as good foods and bad foods. You are in control and it is your turn to overcome the negative voices telling you what you can eat or how much.
Intuitive eating helps people gain a healthy relationship with food and restructures the mind to defeat its diet mentality. Intuitive eating allows people to make peace with food by giving themselves permission to eat the foods they enjoy. Making peace with food allows you to no longer feel deprivation or have uncontrollable cravings. Diets can lead people to not understand hunger, but intuitive eating allows people to honor their hunger in order to gain trust with food. Intuitive eating teaches people to realize internal cues and embrace what satisfaction and fullness feel like on their own. Intuiting eating is aimed to relieve the mental and physical stress or damage that can result from unhealthy eating patterns and extreme dieting. Eat the food that makes you feel good, and stay active to feel the difference. Make choices that honor your health and taste-buds while make you feel good and recognize yourself.
Remember that a perfect diet does not always mean a healthy one and while consistency is key, a few imperfections make us human and will not cause drastic changes. It is all about making progress and doing what makes YOU feel good to achieve your goals.