Healthy Eating Advice that’s not Too Hard to Swallow
wayne 34 Views
The healthy eating advice we hear all the time is ‘eat a balanced diet’. It really is as simple as that. Or is it? I’ve been thinking about my diet a lot recently. I’m training for a marathon. Once you look into the most effective diet, you soon find there’s a lot of people offering […]
I’ve been thinking about my diet a lot recently. I’m training for a marathon. Once you look into the most effective diet, you soon find there’s a lot of people offering their version healthy eating advice. And most of it is aimed at people who consider themselves to be overweight. Here’s the essence of what most nutritional experts say:
- Eat six pieces of fresh fruit every day – and eat most of it in the first half of the day
- Eat as much raw food as possible – salads, cereals, vegetables and fruit (not raw meat!)
- Avoid processed food
- Avoid eating sugar and foods with a high sugar content
- Don’t eat too much fat, especially fat that is solid at room temperature like butter or fatty red meat
- Eat oily, cold-water fish two or three times a week
- Only eat until you are about 80% full
- Drink plenty of water
All this sounds like sensible healthy eating advice. But it is quite hard to follow to the letter. Try eating an apple when you’ve already eaten a kiwi fruit, an orange, a banana, some berries and a peach. And then tell your dentist! Most fruit is quite acidic, and it contains a lot of natural sugars. Your teeth and stomach can take quite a battering.
It’s also hard to avoid eating processed food. It’s everywhere. It’s convenient. And it tastes good – it’s been designed to. There’s so little nutritional value in a lot of processed food that tasting good is its only virtue. And of course some of it tastes so good that we can’t resist it – in huge quantities.
Back to the marathon. The main issue with a marathon runner’s diet is to make sure you have enough sugar in your blood so you don’t ‘hit the wall’. Runners hit the wall at around the 20-mile mark. Their muscles have burnt all their blood sugar. The body responds by breaking down stores of fat and glycogen in the liver. And that hurts.
But many experienced marathon runners say, ‘It’s all in the mind.’ The ‘wall’ is a mental barrier. If you want to finish the marathon, you have to go through it – you have to take the pain. And that’s how I have come to view the balanced diet and all the other articles of healthy eating advice. If you want to lose weight and be healthy, you have to have the right mindset. Ignore the cravings for processed food. Hitting the Wallmart is a mental barrier. Youcan overcome.
So here’s the ultimate healthy eating advice: you have to want to be healthy. You have to want to be slim. And not just a bit. Badly. Because healthy eating is a state of mind.
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