The Top Secret to a Healthy Lifestyle in 2018
It’s 2018. With a new year comes new chances, new hopes, new resolutions, and a new batch of vague blog posts that cover many of the same diet and exercise tips you’ve heard before. Before long, your inbox and newsfeed will be cluttered with a variety of overused health tips and recommendations. If you’re hoping for something deeper, read on to learn about one of the best ways to improve your health in the new year.
Get ready to look past diets and move beyond the typical “restricted” mindset that so many of us are trapped by. Forget cutting out certain foods, setting a calorie limit every day, or feeling guilty over what you ate. Make 2018 the year you start “intuitive eating”.
Intuitive eating may sound complicated, but the concept is actually quite simple. It boils down to a few easy steps:
- Eat when your body tells you to
- Eat what your body tells you to
- Stop eating when your body is full
This way of eating – paying attention to your body’s internal messages can lead to happiness and health that lasts for a lifetime. While many typical diets can certainly provide results in the short term, intuitive eating is an approach that you can stick with your entire life.
Ask Yourself What’s More important…
Losing weight quickly and only keeping it off for a few months or losing weight slowly and consistently and keeping it off for your life? The short-term results can be gratifying, but nothing will benefit your health as much as a long-term solution that you actually stick with.
A study published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association analyzed groups following two different health plans. One group followed a modest diet that consisted of subtle calorie restriction and nutritional education. The other group learned about size acceptance (being healthy for the benefits to your body, not the benefits to your looks) and intuitive eating.
While over 40 percent of the dieting group began to lose their commitment or quit over time, less than 10 percent of the intuitive eating group felt the urge to quit. The dieting group did experience weight loss initially but quickly regained it in the long run. In some cases, they gained even more weight in addition to the pounds they added back on. The intuitive group exhibited weight stability in the long-run and even further weight loss in some cases.
The study also measured variables such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, body image, relationship with food, and more. The intuitive group exhibited improvement in all measured health aspects! The dieters, on the other hand, did not see such dramatic health improvements.
Intuitive eating may help you lose weight and keep it off, and re-build and maintain a healthy attitude about food and your body. Whereas dieting can lead to guilt, shame, dissatisfaction with your body, and short-term weight loss followed by long-term weight gain, intuitive eating can provide a host of benefits.
So there it is. For 2018, throw away everything you’ve previously heard or followed, throw out the rules, throw out the guidelines, get rid of the restrictions, and start listening to your body instead.
Try to view food from a neutral standpoint – there is nothing healthy or unhealthy. Make decisions based on the signals your body sends you, how certain foods make you feel, and your intuition.