An estimated 45 million Americans will go on a diet this year. Yet nearly two-thirds of us are overweight.
But what if there was another way? What if you could ditch the diets and still achieve your goals?
I’m not talking about some crazy fad diet or unscientific “hack.”
I’m talking about developing a nutritional culture.
Nutritional culture is all about making healthy eating habits part of your everyday life, without deprivation or calorie counting.
Sound impossible? It’s not!
A diet is a plan that people use to lose weight or to control their weight.
Most diets are usually unsustainable for most people because they are too restrictive, and people cannot maintain them for a long period of time.
More often than not, diets are not just restrictive but also bound to a set time frame.
The existence of a start of the diet implies that of an end, and after that, it would only feel natural to get ‘back to normal eating.’
That normal eating is based on the multitude of bad food choices available to us all.
Those in turn, lead to overeating and ruined nutrition!
Culture has a huge impact on the way we eat.
Our culture tells us what is considered to be good food and bad food, what is appropriate to eat and what is not.
Our culture also dictates how we should behave around food, and what foods are associated with celebration or sadness.
Our nutritional culture is also heavily influenced by our cultural values.
In some cultures, it is considered important to have large meals that include many different types of food.
In other cultures, people prefer smaller meals that focus on one type of food.
And in still others, fasting or avoiding certain foods altogether is seen as a sign of strength or piety.
However, nowadays, and especially in the USA, the global nutritional culture is warped beyond belief.
We tend to be so busy that eating fast food, for the most part, is now the new normal.
But nutritional culture is all about making the right food choices, without any strict diets and calorie counting.
It’s about making a shift in your eating HABITS and maintaining them for a lifetime!
Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Choose Whole Foods
The reason why modern-day, fast-food diets don’t work, is that they usually don’t provide sufficient nutrients of good quality.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need is to rely on whole food products.
This means that you should try to eat foods that have been minimally processed and are as close to their natural state as possible.
There are a lot of benefits to eating whole food products, but most importantly, they will keep you satiated, which means you won’t need an unhealthy snack every hour!
Choose foods like grass-fed beef meat, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and dairy products.
These are the products that will provide the body with enough nutrients for healthy functioning.
Cheat More Frequently
Wait, did I just say “eat cheat foods more frequently?!” Was there a horrible mistake made before publishing this?
Not really. I actually advise clients to eat those same bad foods more frequently… But in lesser amounts.
If people eat cheat foods more frequently, those foods will become less special and the desire for them will decrease.
The same goes for anything that we do frequently- the more often we do it, the less special it becomes.
This is because our brain gets used to the stimulus and stops releasing as much dopamine (the “pleasure” hormone).
So listen up, as long as the balance is in favor of the nutrient-dense, whole food products, everything is alright!
The goal of establishing better food habits is to help you boost your health, wellbeing, and to feel good.
The nutrients from your newly established eating habits can actually be put to work, if you exercise.
The quality protein will help recover your muscles, the carbohydrates will fuel them, and the fat will help all nutrients get absorbed better, as well as improve your hormonal health!
So really, pairing good eating habits with exercise is a no-brainer. It has too many benefits to miss out on it.
While it might be easy to think of yourself as lazy or undisciplined, it’s probably more accurate (and helpful) to think about yourself as misinformed.
The good news is that with a little education – and maybe some gentle encouragement – even the most dedicated junk-food addict can become a nutritional culture buff.
Are you up for the challenge?