A healthy and diverse diet can help your body feel and perform at full capacity. However, it takes time for your body to begin feeling noticeable effects of a diet rich in micronutrients, macronutrients, and whole foods. The body will “communicate” how it’s adjusting to your improved diet changes, which can look like weight loss, improved skin, better digestion, and higher energy levels.
The key thing to remember when embarking on a health journey is to be patient with yourself as your body needs time to physically adjust to the changes in your diet as well as maintain this new healthy habit. Research shows that it can take up to 21 days to form a new habit! Many people may become discouraged when they do not see results right away, but it’s important to not only take note of the small improvements but also remember the long-term goal: to make healthy eating a conscious choice every single day for prolonged health and well-being.
Nutrition experts agree that tracking your daily progress is important to see how healthy eating can affect you in the short- and long-term. This can look like counting your daily macronutrient intake (the calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrates that directly fuel your body), monitoring your portion sizes, or tracking your weight. If you’re choosing to track your weight, it may fluctuate in the beginning, but after a couple of weeks, you can better evaluate how your new habits are impacting your body composition.
To track progress, a food journal is a great tool that can provide a sense of accountability and encouragement, allowing you not only to track short-term goals and achievements but also to note how certain foods make you feel over time. Listening to your body’s cues is key as they are important for achieving whole-person health. Making diet changes can have an impact on your mood and performance, and to best track those changes, a food journal can be helpful
Real change happens when you form new habits in a gradual, healthy way. This could mean devising a grocery list and meal plan ahead of each week to take the guesswork out of eating healthily. Meal prepping can help prevent those instances when you’re super hungry and don’t have the patience to cook. It also ensures you have healthy food on hand to sustain your healthy eating goals.
Though sticking to eating schedules and meal plans are one way to maintain healthy eating plans, there’s something to be said about not being so strict. Enforcing a strict mind-set around food may have the opposite effect than you intend, such as making you feel as if healthy eating is something you “have to do” instead of “want to do.” Allowing yourself to indulge in foods you consider a “treat” can be really rewarding if you have the right mind-set: understanding that healthy eating is a long-term lifestyle practice. Treating yourself once in a while is a great way to ensure both long-term growth and a happy, healthy body.
14 Aug, 2020