Simple Steps to Start Getting Healthy: Choose and Start Following a Diet
In the last blog, we looked at some of the ways that guys can start making meaningful strides to get healthy by creating an exercise routine that works for them. The key messages were to take things slow and gradually increase the amount of exercise done daily. Rather than overdo it right away and struggle to be consistent, we emphasized making a routine and working to build upon it. When trying to get healthy, it is important to remember that it’s normal for your journey to take time
This time around, we are going to look at another angle of getting healthy: improving what you eat. Your body is only as healthy as what you put into it, and this highlights the necessity of eating well and striking the right balance of nutritional intake. Unsurprisingly, changing your diet requires some of the same techniques as building and exercise routine.
Before we get into the details, let’s first note a few things. Everyone’s body is different and has different dietary needs. What works for some may not work for others, and it is advised to do extensive research into any structured diet before starting to make sure that it is right for you. For some, it may be necessary to speak to a licensed physician or nutritionist before undertaking any strict diet plan.
With that out of the way, let’s dive right in!
Which Diet is Right for You?
When people hear the word “diet”, they immediately think of weight loss. The declaration “I’m on a diet” has come to mean that a person is watching what they eat in hopes to lose weight, not necessarily to be healthy. A diet is simply just what foods we choose to eat.
In that light, it is best to rethink how you approach changing your diet. We suggest that you consider a change in your diet to a stride toward eating foods that work best to maximize your body’s health. Rather than be “on a diet”, consider yourself “following a diet”. These subtle changes in your approach will help you be in a clearer and more positive headspace about a new diet plan.
Luckily, there are dozens of diets and eating plans that can help you achieve your goals. But first, you need to define your goals clearly. Whether you are trying to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and add more muscle mass, there is a diet out there for you to follow.
As mentioned above, it is critical to do your research about which diet to follow thoroughly, or consult a professional for their guidance.
How to Start Following a New Diet
Just like starting an exercise routine, following a diet is hard work! It’s easy to cheat with a favorite snack or order take out over cooking a solid meal; we are human after all. Succumbing to cravings is natural and takes some serious self-control to overcome, and even the best build cheat days into their routines to satisfy their urges.
Because it is difficult to radically change your diet on the spot, we suggest devising a more manageable approach. Similar to our advice on beginning a comprehensive exercise routine, the key to starting and maintaining a healthy diet is to take a step-by-step implementation process. Your body works best when it follows a routine, which is why completely uprooting your current diet for a new one is not advised. In fact, it can be harmful to your body to radically change your diet without proper preparation.
The first step in gradually implementing a new diet is to separate foods into three categories: foods to avoid completely; foods that are ok; and foods to eat more of. Isolating the foods to avoid is a good starting point because it is likely that those foods are doing the most harm to your body. Start practicing self-control and eliminating those foods entirely before altering your diet any further.
At this stage, it is also helpful to start taking supplements designed to help achieve your goals. The combination of elimination and taking supplements is a powerful 1-2 punch, especially for a weight loss diet. Supplements will give your hard work a boost and assist you in achieving your goals quicker.
Once you have gone a few days without eating any foods on your “forbidden” list, you can start to plan your recipes that include foods on the other lists. Identify a few go-to meals you can cook with ease as well as a few delivery options that also follow your diet in case of emergency. A diet like the Keto diet, which is strict and unforgiving of mistakes, requires a lot of preparation and planning to follow, and it’s best to approach all new diets with the same care.
With a few recipes and meals under your belt, you’ll be ready to take the next step and fully implement the diet plan. Because this gradual process will have taken a few weeks and will have made you feel better, subconsciously you will begin to feel a mental shift in preference towards following the diet. It will no longer be a chore, but rather just how you eat.
Those first few weeks as you navigate balancing your social life and your diet are the most important, and next time we will cover some tips and tricks to help you stick with it!People photo created by karlyukav - www.freepik.com