The more I learn about habits, the more I believe that simplicity is the best policy — especially when it comes to food. We can all agree that it would be nice to have everything run on autopilot.
Chores, exercise, eating healthy and getting your work done just happening automatically without temptations and everyday normal problems popping up putting us on the spot against our new goals and routines.
Like I mentioned in last week’s blog, if you ever feel like you can’t stay constant on your new eating habit and routine it’s because of the start-and-stop cycle. The start-and-stop cycle is a continuous pattern that people can experience in pursuit of eating healthy that prevents them from experiencing a sense of balance, ease, peace, and freedom with food.
When you’re in the start-and-stop cycle, you find yourself eating “perfectly” for a period of time, but because it’s too restrictive and difficult to maintain for the long-term you end up getting off-track. That period is then followed by guilt which leads right into feeling like you need to “reset.”
If we don’t know any substitute for fat products or if we don’t know how to regulate our alimentation, motivation alone cannot make us go very far. Healthy ways to eat are many, depending on your taste and cultural habits. There isn’t one unique way of healthy eating, that’s why I’ll try to introduce easy ways to healthy eating without feeling deprivation and frustration.
Here’s my secret: I’m not a fan of restrictions or numbers when it’s time to eat. ood, and the time we spend eating it, should be enjoyed — it’s one of the great pleasures of life, and to constrain it with complicated rules and numbers is completely unnatural. We’ve all been on one of those diets or plans where you have to count and track everything you eat. While that might work for some people for a short-term fix, that’s not realistic to maintain 365 days a year for your whole life.
Most of the time, we’re not eating in situations where it’s even possible to track every ingredient, use measuring cups to dish out a portion, or know what’s even in the dish. We go out to eat, we eat at our friends’ or our family’s homes, etc. That’s what normal life looks like! That’s why counting and tracking don’t work for our everyday life and why it becomes cumbersome or not even possible to keep up with. And when you’re not able to count and track something, you then don’t have the skills you need in order to navigate your food choices.
In this blog I will list some tips for following a healthy lifestyle “diet” everyday without worrying too much and without sacrificing your pleasure
1.Combine Healthy Vegetables, Starch and Protein at Every Meal
It’s the synergy of these three healthy food groups that will help you avoid tiredness and snacking between meals! If your lunch break is reduced to a sandwich opt for combining it with mixed vegetables, bread or whole grain bread.
2. Avoid Processed Foods
This one should come as a no surprise. It’s listed first because if you were to throw out every other message you’ve heard about healthy food and retain only the three words “eat whole foods,” you would dramatically improve the way you eat if you’re currently doing something different.
But this single guideline flies in the face of the way people eat in the Western world today, so you’ll have to reject the shiny pseudo-food that food manufacturers want you to buy. Some specific examples of what this rule implies: Brown rice instead of white, Fruits instead of fruit juice and Whole wheat flour instead of white.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Proteins
Proteins are broken down into amino acids in your gut before they are absorbed. These amino acids make up different tissues that build, repair and maintain the body. Fish, shellfish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, lentils and beans are great sources of protein your body can use to make tissues such as collagen and elastin.
4. Cook Your Own Food
It doesn’t stop with preparing meals: just about any food worth eating can be prepared at home, bringing you one step closer to the food you eat and giving you complete knowledge of every single ingredient that goes into it.
5. Eat a Variety in Moderation for a Balanced Diet
I encourage you to eat a wide variety of foods from all food groups: wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, meat and other protein-rich foods. It’s a healthy eating habit you can cultivate. Remember to take everything in moderation and enjoy the food you love.
Choosing minimally processed, real foods that provide maximal nutritional benefits is the main idea behind the switch to clean eating lifestyle focused on longevity. My biggest advice is to start slow and small, with one or two products you heavily consume already and then see how that goes and start implementing it with other product categories. The main goal is to consume foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
This is a great thing for your health. It means you’ll get a broad mix of vitamins and minerals, rather than potentially getting way more than you need of certain ones and none of many others, as you might if you were to eat the same few foods over and over.
Cultivating and growing your overall wellness builds resilience, reduces the risk of illness, and ensures positive interactions on a daily basis. Your well-being not only affects your life, it also influences others you are closely connected to.
Investing in your health and wellness can start at any age and is a lifelong process. The goal should always be to make tweaks to make the action become a realistic lifestyle for you. We must make time for things that are “necessary” but also allow this new behavior and new lifestyle to enter the conversation of longevity, well-being and necessity.
Stop looking for the perfect diet or the perfect combination of foods. Eat in a very healthy way but allow yourself to have one favorite food, in moderation, every single day. Don’t try to completely change your life in one day. Although it might seem simple to make those changes, it is extremely hard to keep up with them.
One of my favorite parts of the whole process is to search and get to know more about products that fit into my fit lifestyle and are on the same page as me in terms of longevity in what I do. I might be a professional swimmer now and somehow be ‘forced’ into watching my diet and what goes into my body, but I know for a fact that one day when I don’t swim anymore I will still be very worried and concerned about my health.
I always say that in order to make any new habit easier to do, we should always start with an incredibly small new thing that isn’t reliant on motivation and willpower. Motivation comes and goes, and willpower is something that is easily exhausted as it is used throughout the day. A new habit needs to be so easy and simple that an individual can’t say “no” to doing the habit, it’s just naturally achieved. Everyone is unique. Not everyone requires a fully scheduled day to reap the health benefits of a routine, so make the choices that work for you, knowing they’ll only make you healthier and more efficient with your time.
Identifying barriers and challenges ahead of time can be an effective way to address them before they become overwhelming. I know it can be super easy to give up on goals and new habits when life gets challenging. That’s why it’s critical to remind yourself that a day or even a week of setbacks will not ruin your path to achieving your new goals.
Remembering to always look forward by envisioning what life might look like if you stick to your new habits and make the changes necessary to live more healthfully and in line with your values and aspirations. These are the things that will keep your hope, motivation and enthusiasm for achieving your goals at a high level throughout the process of change.
With the increase in demand, the availability for natural and organic products of all types has also increased so it shouldn’t be hard to find substitute foods and drinks for what you already have been consuming. Things such as “Low-sugar”, “No Artificial”, and “zero calories” should do the work in getting your attention, but make sure you read the labels and be aware if the packages are lying or not.
Luckily the availability for low-sugar natural products has been on the rise and I have been able to refuel and replenish my body with the right amount of calories, vitamins and electrolytes while staying on track of my lifestyle goals. Products such as Hydra Guard Sports Drink are available on the market and online and they help me on a daily basis with my training routine.
Paul Millsap, 4x NBA All-Star and Hydra-Guard Partner has always made his nutrition and health a priority, which reflects his elite performance and extremely successful career in the NBA. Paul’s ability to maintain playing at the highest level has been nothing short of amazing. It's a professional career that every athlete strives for.
The key for longevity in any athlete’s career is to take care of their bodies first and that's something that Paul has obviously done very well. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink caught Paul’s attention in early 2019, when he officially partnered with them in efforts to bring the brands healthy benefits more readily available to more households across the country.
"Being a professional athlete naturally encourages me and my family to live a healthy lifestyle. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink raises the bar to unprecedented heights with its beverage innovation. It’s packed with electrolytes, and being an all natural sports drink with low sugars is a game changer, this product is changing the industry," says Paul.