Finding balance in life is a struggle. We strive to find the right balance between work and family, discipline and treating ourselves, but often are left with regret no matter what our choice is.
A part of living life to the fullest is enjoying treats, the finer things, or the guilty little pleasures that we all have. On the other hand, we feel better when we take care of our bodies. We’re more confident when we look our best and feel our best because we’re in great shape. A healthy dose of a clean diet and exercise even limits depression.
Simply put, we’re overall happier when we’re healthy.
But (there’ll be a lot of but’s in this blog post) life can get pretty boring and monotonous if we limit ourselves from everything as well.
So how do you find the right balance between eating healthy, which will make you feel great, live longer, and even improve your mental health, and eating junk food every now and then?
I think it all lies in how we approach it
We far too often place an enormous amount of urgency on eating healthy and getting to a certain weight or look. We flip our diet upside down in a matter of days, then quit a couple weeks down the road when we can’t take the limits we’ve placed on ourselves.
Eating healthy isn’t something that should happen over night. It’s a lifestyle change and you should approach it as such: something that is going to stick – for a lifetime.
- Start by working on one meal at a time. Begin with eating a healthy breakfast everyday. Once you’ve made this a part of your routine and can’t start your day without a healthy and big breakfast, then move onto the next meal, then the next, and then start in on the snacks.
- As for ‘cheating’ on junk foods or unhealthier foods, go ahead, but pay attention to how you feel after you’ve splurged on some ice cream. Is there regret? If there is, if you feel like crap after downing a bucket of chocolate chip mint (my favorite), hold on to that feeling and remember it for the next time you’re thinking about cheating.
As you begin to eat healthier, and a healthy diet starts becoming more of a routine, you’ll have fewer cravings. They’ll still be there, but you’ll just have fewer of them.
The other thing that happens with fewer cravings is more enjoyment of eating the wrong foods. There isn’t as much guilt because 90% of the time you’re eating healthy and a treat is actually a treat, and it’s not going to have much of an effect on how you look. It’s when you make those treats regular occurrences that they begin to pile up in the form of pounds around the waste-line.
Just like I don’t have regret or feel guilty when I have a cigar once in a while because most of the time I’m not smoking them. Things are much more special when they aren’t a part of your routine. Eating crap as a part of your routine also becomes monotonous, they aren’t treats if they’re consumed on a regular basis, and we’re often left feeling bad about ourselves as a result.
Take your time if you’re trying to move towards a healthier lifestyle, but also don’t forget to enjoy yourself as well. Life is going to pass us all by pretty quickly, we may as well experience it while we can.
For the majority of us, dramatic changes in our diets end up back firing. This is one case where slow and steady wins the race.
What’s your favorite ‘treat’?