I read a lot about secrets. The secret to eating healthy; the secret to losing weight. And as a 56-year-old who has starved herself, spent probably hundreds of dollars on diet pills: Dexatrim, Hydroxycut, Green Tea Fat Burner, Jillian Michel’s Fat Burner; I’m here to tell you, THERE IS NO SECRET. It all boils down to a couple of things: #1 disciplining your mind to change; and #2 preparation: two concepts that won’t cost you any money, nor cause you to risk your health to be healthy. Of the two I think disciplining your mind is the most difficult – at least it was for me.
DISCIPLINE YOUR MIND
I took those pills in the past because I needed an accountability back-up. It’s not that I wasn’t ready to change the way I was eating, nor was it because I believed that the pills held any magic powers. Reluctantly I will admit that the pills helped. In the past, not so much because I depended on them fully to keep me from eating the foods I wasn’t supposed to eat. I took the recommended dosage and not only did they keep me from the forbidden foods, but they suppressed my appetite so much I wasn’t eating the foods I SHOULD be eating. Absolutely NOT cool. And I bet you can guess what happened after I stopped taking the diet pills (because staying on any diet pill forever is inadvisable).
- Did I return to eating the foods that I’d stopped eating? YES! I loved those foods. I just believed that they were my problem.
- Did I start gaining weight again? YES! Of course I did because only the pills, not mental discipline, were controlling my food choices.
- Did I return to the pills again … and again? YES! I was convinced they were what I needed to suppress my appetite of those foods that I believed were my roadblock to weight loss.
But now I know better. It’s NOT the pills, cutting out the foods you absolutely love, starving yourself to unconsciousness, or believing there’s some secret that you’re just not privy to. It’s about – and has always been about – disciplining your mind to accept your change of diet (VERY challenging but doable), eating fattening foods in moderation if at all, and then the preparation of getting used to your new eating style.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY/DECIDE HOW YOU’LL EAT
- FIRST: Research. Instead of latching onto the quick-fixes that will definitely help you to lost weight but aren’t guaranteed for longevity, pay attention to what your body is telling you. You may have to eliminate some foods and re-introduce them to discover how they are affecting your body. For instance, I had to eliminate bread, salt, and dairy and then re-introduce them one at a time to discover that they all contributed to inflammation in my body.
- THEN decide what foods your body needs: What works for me is eating like a vegan with very little, if any, processed foods. I used to be a vegan, but as an older woman, I worried that I might not be getting all the nutrition I needed – particularly with Omega-3’s. Research showed that consuming fish for Omega-3’s was preferable to supplements, and also that all fish oils aren’t created equal – something I needed to know since I’m not ready to go back to eating fish. In this pic, you can see that this fish oil pill contains fish ingredients (anchovy, herring, mackerel and sardine), but is high in Omega-3’s unlike other brands I’ve bought.
PREPARE FOODS FOR CONVENIENCE
- After you decided how you’re going to eat, preparing your healthy foods for easy access will help you stay on track. As a person who is eating like a vegan, I eat LOTS and LOTS of vegetables and fruits in salads and smoothies. (Actually here’s a secret: you don’t have to be a vegetarian or a vegan to eat LOTs and LOTs of vegetables. A plate where vegetables outnumber your starches is a plus no matter WHAT eating plan you’re following. TELL YOUR FRIENDS!) But eating the same veggies all the time can get a bit boring so I prepare them in different ways using various kitchen gadgets. My spiralizer is definitely a favorite:
A carrot is always gonna be a carrot, but it’s definitely a whole lot more interesting when you spiralize it into corkscrew curls. 🙂
Along with spiralizing, I cut my veggies and fruits, place them into freezer bags and freeze them; and for salads I cut up my ingredients, place them into containers in the fridge for easy access.
I won’t pretend that eating healthy is as convenient as driving up to a McDonald’s drive-thru. Honestly it’s all a matter of personal choice. At some point we just have to decide whether we want to spend as much time preparing to eat healthy as we do preparing to look good in our favorite outfits.
Here’s to your health!