‘Tis the season to eat drink and be merry. You’ve had Thanksgiving dinner. And, next up are all the office and social holiday parties, not to mention the Christmas feast that awaits us all in just a few short weeks. Since eating is such a huge part of the American culture, we’re ranked pretty high as one of the most obese countries in the world. If you’re like me, then you know that healthy is the new sexy. And, you don’t want to fall in that category. But sometimes when you’re trying to be healthy, mistakes happen.
Here are some common mistakes people make when trying be healthy:
1. Believing that eating healthy means that you have to give up on good flavor and food from animal sources. Vegetarianism and veganism are great concepts. Thanks to research, we know so much more now about antioxidants and phytonutrients that veggies provide, but its also okay to eat meat and carbs, too. MODERATION AND PORTION CONTROL ARE KEY. Don’t think that you have to juice everything and eat like a rabbit. Fried chicken is bad, baked chicken is good. Play around with seasonings and experiment to find the options that keep your palate dancing.
2. Thinking that your genetics is your destiny…Not true! Just because your mama’s overweight, doesn’t mean “You get it from your mama”. You are responsible for creating your own habits. You’re never forced to follow other people’s bad ones. It’s also important that you realize that just because Dad had a heart attack, doesn’t mean you have to take the “We all have to die from something” approach. A [bad] gene will not express itself unless there is an internal environment that helps to nurture it. We have the choice to stop the emotional eating and change the toxic environment in which we live.
3. Thinking that being “slim” equates to being healthy. Skinny people get cancer, have strokes and suffer from diabetes too. Our society will lead you to believe that being skinny means picture perfect health…or perfection period. Please know that consuming healthy fats help your brain to function. And, muscles are an important part of our bodies. Protein helps with muscle building….so don’t skip it. Try to consume some protein with every meal. It also helps to keep you full longer.
4. Thinking that taking vitamins will make up for all the crap that you eat. Vitamins are only supplements to your diet. Of course the manufacturer’s will market them, leading you to believe that you can pop them and care less…Never, EVER try to substitute, only supplement.
5. Thinking that it’s too expensive to eat healthy. The ultimate fast food is a fruit or a veggie. On your way out the door and want a snack? Grab a piece of fruit and a bottle of water. Sugary sodas, salty snacks and fat-ladened meats are definitely less expensive upfront, but we have to re-program the way we think. Taking the time to plan healthy meals, including protein, lots of veggies and carbs in moderation (along with exercise and plenty of water), will save you medical bills in the long run.
BMWK – how do you plan to stay healthy during this holiday season?