What is a healthy diet & why don’t we follow it?

If you want to eat healthily, it’s important to know which food to eat and why. Your body requires a well-balanced diet, with a good supply of the right carbohydrates (for example, brown bread, pasta & rice instead of white) plenty of fruit and vegetables, protein (such as fish or white meat) low-fat dairy products and plenty of fluid.

Of course, we know all of this so why don’t we follow it?

Most of us know what kinds of food we should be eating, but the reality is we’re just not doing it enough of the time.

Is this phrase familiar to you?

“I’ll start my diet/being healthy/going back to the gym/ again on Monday”

Why is it always Monday? Why, when we fall off the healthy wagon will we only get back on it again the following Monday? Even if we fall off it on a Tuesday, we’ll still wait almost a week to get back on it again!

Then, we feel guilty that we didn’t stick to our plan, our self esteem drops and we scold ourselves for being weak. Now we look in the mirror and don’t just see the weight we were aiming to lose, we see a loser!

Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?

Maybe this is because we set our selves a mountain to climb and only feel able to tackle it at the beginning of the week?

Surely then, the answer is to not set ourselves up for a fall. Instead of putting pressure on ourselves to stick rigidly to a plan, why not just make small promises to ourselves that realistically, we can keep? How much better would we feel about ourselves if, at the end of a full week, we had managed to fulfil these promises? No weakness or self loathing in sight – just a positive you, ready to make some new changes in the week to come.

We need to stop seeing healthy eating as a huge mountain of a challenge. Just pick a few things to change that week and stick with it. 

There’s a huge misconception that healthy eating has to be bland & boring. It’s another reason why so many of us fall at the first hurdle. If you’re not enjoying the food how can you expect to stick with it. If you’re following a healthy eating plan & it makes you feel deprived & is doing nothing for your taste buds – you’re following the wrong one!

How likely are you to give in to the smell of a bakery or the sight of rows of chocolate bars if you have deprived yourself of anything sweet all week – you’d need to be super human!

A healthy diet is about moderation. It’s about eating the right things most of the time, and allowing yourself a treat some of the time. It’s all about balance.