Lose Weight Naturally – Healthy Eating Strategies That Will Improve Your Nutrition and Your Life

One of the things that I commonly encounter when I speak with other women about weight loss is their utter frustration with where they are compared with where they were when they were younger. It seems we all have these memories of ourselves in our more slender days branded on our brains and we can’t seem to get rid of those more physically flattering images of us in those cute designer jeans and form-fitting mini skirts. Yes, we all have these desires and plans to lose that weight that has mercilessly crept…no…jumped up on us and threaten to overtake us if we don’t fight back. Many women really do have the desire to do something to lose those unwanted pounds, but just can’t seem to put things together to see results they want…at least not for very long and without major struggle.

Often times there are legitimate efforts to lose weight, but there seems to be some poor nutritional habits that have crept in and sabotaged their weight loss efforts. Our discussion tends to come back to one central issue…their snack habits. I might ask them a question about the types of foods they eat and the types of responses I receive indicate that they’ve been a little naughty when it comes to indulging their guilty pleasures. I will then talk to them more about what they can do to improve their nutrition and their chances of successful weight loss. The one big issue that tends to trip them up, and which I will center the rest of this article around is why they would have trouble making healthier choices when it comes to making the wise decision day after day. Why do they tend to repeatedly trip over the junk food pile when working toward their weight loss goal? Is it because they don’t have any self-control? Are they weak-minded, or without any will power?

Why Is It So Hard For Americans To Adopt Healthy Eating Strategies?

There are so many reasons that I can think of, but one that comes to mind is that our busy lifestyles keep us focused on everything else except healthy nutrition. It just seems that we’ve always got something going on in our lives. If you’ve got small children at home like I do, then it becomes even more challenging to eat well. With more people working longer hours at the office or working two or more jobs, the ability of millions of Americans to get quality nutrition will be even further compromised in the years to come. Unfortunately, this will pose a huge problem for us all.

Another reason why it’s so difficult for us to adopt healthy eating strategies is that over the years of our lives, we’ve adopted and have mastered some very poor eating habits. Many of us grew up in families where high fat, high sodium, and fiber-deficient meals were the norm, rather than the exception. Some families had traditions that included large family gatherings with tons of food on a weekly basis. Talk about unhealthy choices. For many Americans, the habits that have been formed and “cemented” in our brains from all of the years of poor nutritional choices can seem almost impossible to break.

Additionally, I believe that most people, when asked will tell you that they would love to eat better than they currently do. For many of them, however, the major issue is support and accountability. I know of so many people, myself included, who would start a new eating plan and then after a few weeks, would find themselves back at square one wondering what happened to all of that excitement and hope. What is important to understand when a new eating plan is started is that there has to be an appropriate support system in place, and there must be someone else available for accountability since we are prone to travel down the wrong path, especially when we’ve grown so accustomed to a particular pattern of eating that included certain foods that we are now trying to de-emphasize in our daily eating plans.

How Can Poor Nutritional Habits Sabotage Your Health

With the massive health-care problems that we currently face, and with the majority of Americans moving into the golden years of their lives, there is a great need for us to re-evaluate our eating habits and take action right now to change them. We all know about the impact of poor nutrition on our health, but many of us tend to believe that we’re somehow immune to it. It’s amazing how much differently I view life now than I did when I was in my teens. Back then, I felt I could eat everything my little heart desired because I was young and I didn’t really care about healthy eating or about my figure. Fast forward to today…now, I can feel the effects of poor eating on my body almost instantly. When I find myself eating out more than usual due to a busy week, my body now “speaks” to me in ways that let me know that my diet is not what it should be. I’m glad for those signals because it then gives me the opportunity to get my eating back on track.

What I have found as I have counseled other women is that their lives tend to be perpetually busy, and they can’t seem to truly commit themselves to healthy eating during this season of their lives. I totally understand them, however, I can’t seem to shake the thought that today may be all that we have and we’re not promised tomorrow. I know of so many people my age who are already dealing with difficult health conditions and diseases due to poor eating habits. Thus, we really owe it to ourselves to begin adopting healthy eating strategies today. If we take the mindset that we’ll do it tomorrow, we might end up acting too little too late. Though it may be difficult to commit to healthy eating, I think it’s critical to a long and healthy life to take some small yet progressive steps to improve your nutrition. It will make a world of difference, and when you do, you’ll find that it’s not as difficult as you thought it would be, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner. So, what can you do today to help yourself?

How You Can Improve Your Nutrition and Accelerate Your Weight Loss Results!

For starters, I would recommend talking to your spouse and/or a trusted friend about your desire to make some changes in your nutritional habits. It’s important that you not overload them with all your history of frustration with your past eating failures, but I do suggest that you tell them how you’ve been feeling lately about how you’ve been eating, and share with them about your need to make some changes in your lifestyle that will help you make a step toward better health. Share with them why you sense a need to make these changes, and let them know that their help and support will be instrumental in your eventual success. Another important recommendation here is to make sure you do not cast blame or talk about them in any way. You want to own your own struggles and take responsibility for all of your actions. I also believe it is important that they know that though this may affect them, you plan to take the slow and progressive path toward their goals, not the quick “all-or-nothing” approach that you might have utilized with little to no success before. This approach will communicate to them that you need them, and it will motivate them to do whatever they can do to assist you on your journey. Who knows, they might also be encouraged and motivated to make some changes along with you (a nice perk).

As far as working to improve your nutrition, the first place to start is to take a look at your current eating habits. Are you eating the right foods? What do you snack on? Do you skip meals? When do you eat your meals? Other considerations include whether you’re eating too much food when you sit down for meals, and whether you’re drinking enough water? Something that has helped me was to begin an educational process so that I made myself knowledgeable about what good nutrition actually was. Many Americans have no clue about good nutrition which makes all of their efforts to eat well and lose weight a no-win proposition. Don’t let this happen to you. If you’re going to lose the battle, don’t let it be because you didn’t know the rules of engagement.

Here are some guidelines that I hope you will find helpful when working to improve your nutrition. First, on the day you decide to begin your diet make-over, work to incorporate one new healthy food item into your daily diet right away! Notice that I said “one” new food item and not many new food items. Remember, the race is given to he who endures to the end, so don’t be like the hare…jumping out to the big lead only to be bypassed by the tortoise. As you incorporate one new item, then take a look at your current diet and see what you can take from your daily plan as well. So, in essence, you’re adding something healthy, and at the same time, taking something not-so-healthy away. Do this for a whole week in order to allow yourself to adjust to the new healthy food item, and/or the omission of the unhealthy food item. If you experience success with your first week, then look to do the same with another food choice that needs to be modified.

There is one qualifier that I’d like to mention here. I don’t believe that we need to cut out foods completely from our diets, so if you make an exchange, make sure that you understand that it’s only for the purpose of helping you to succeed in emphasizing foods that you need to eat more of, and de-emphasizing those foods that you should eat less of. As you get good at making these adjustments to your weekly eating plan, then you can begin planning weekly menus that incorporate those foods you like, within a menu of foods that you need for good health. Now, you’ll be more comfortable eating those foods you like to eat in much more moderate and manageable ways. If you find that you still struggle with self-control, then you might need to take a more drastic step and eliminate that food or to permit it but with much more stringent guidelines (ie, your spouse is the only one who can give this particular food to you, and at only specially designated times). It may not sound like much, but just by making some small changes like this can mean a significant reduction in calories within a few weeks, which eventually turns into significant weight loss for anyone who also struggles to attain and/or maintain a healthy body weight. Many people also report feeling extremely more energetic when their eating habits change for the better…which often leads to increased productivity at work and in the home.

I am convinced that lasting change for all of us, regardless of where we are, begins with one small and successful dietary change. From there, the sky is the limit to how far we can go. All it takes is a little effort and a lot of perseverance. Remember, the race is given to the one who endures to the end. I believe that can be you…but do you?

By applying what you’ve read, I believe that you’ll start to understand why today has to be the day to start giving your body what it needs to thrive…not just survive! I hope that you’ll have some simple and practical strategies to combat poor eating in your life and start experiencing better health and vitality. Lastly, you will truly understand how improved nutrition will accelerate your weight loss results, improve your energy levels, and potentially change your life.

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