Thursday, January 2, 2020

Unhealthy Habits That Are Putting a Stop to Your Healthy Eating Benefits

Many of us have decided to eat healthier in the new year. Today, The Weekend Gourmet's correspondent explains how we sometimes take actions -- often without even realizing it -- that sabotage our efforts and reduce the health benefits of our newly implemented dietary changes. The following article  may contain affiliate links.
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Food and health are intrinsically linked. That’s a fact most of us have been aware of since the phrase, "You are what you eat" became a well-known phrase. Honestly, this wasn’t a hard concept to work out even before this phrase became popular. If you have too much sugar or fat in your diet, then it's no surprise that you open yourself to a wide range of health conditions, including:
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
Each of these health conditions can cause significant concern, leading us to head to the doctor for a checkup -- or perhaps take out direct term life insurance "just in case." This is a totally reasonable response. Addressing health issues like these head on is the only real chance we have to improve our health moving forward.

In most cases, however, something as simple as switching to a healthier diet can help to eliminate -- or at least manage -- even the most life-threatening food-related conditions. While you might still want to keep that life insurance policy on standby, you’ll certainly be able to live a much-improved life moving forward. You're more likely to achieve health improvement if you get healthy eating right.

Sadly, plenty of people have yet to feel the benefits of their ‘healthy eating’ efforts. They instead find that their health deteriorates or stays at the same level -- despite making positive changes. This can be very frustrating, but it’s rarely the unfairness it might seem. In most cases, a healthy eater who fails to see the results they’re expecting can usually chalk their lack of progress to making the following critical mistakes.

#1: Failing to Eat Enough
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Not eating enough food is perhaps the worst mistake most of us make when we embark on a healthy eating plan. For some reason, there’s a false belief that a good diet is a sparse one. But...guess what? That couldn’t be further from the truth! Realistically, eating too few calories for extended periods is as bad for your body as eating too many. Period. If you’re eating a few crackers for lunch and a lettuce leaf for dinner, your blood sugar and other physical issues are never going to level out. Instead, the recommended daily caloric intake is 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women, irrelevant of diet. Failure to reach these caloric limits will see you burning more calories than you consume, and ultimately do a whole load of damage. To ensure you meet this caloric goal, focus on eating adequate portions of healthy foods that meet calorie guidelines the right way.

#2; Eating Too Much
While less common, there are also those who make the mistake of thinking that they can overeat as long as they’re eating healthy foods. This belief is not helped by specific diet programs that offer ‘sin-free’ foods that users can supposedly eat to their heart’s content. In this instance, all we can say is that such plans are rarely useful guidelines for what’s classified as a long-term healthier diet. Even so-called ‘superfoods’ contain calories, and binge eating even the healthiest meals can still cause you issues in the long run.

Ultimately, portions that are too large will still impact blood sugar balance, mess with your metabolism, and more. You could even end up with a higher calorie intake than you had before you embarked on your "healthy eating" efforts! To avoid this pitfall, be sure to eat reasonable portions of all foods -- even now that you’ve gone healthy. Eat only what you need to feel comfortably satisfied. Then, keep the rest for leftovers -- rather than eating it all ‘because you think you can.

# 3: Failing to Find Balance
Balance is the key to a healthy diet, yet it’s something many of us drastically miss the mark with when we embark on a healthy eating plan. Too often, we focus on removing foods rather than making sure we’re eating everything we need for optimal health. Before you realize it, you may be subsisting entirely on a diet of salads and fruit which -- while healthy -- will never be enough to provide the balance of nutrients you need to see health improvements.

Instead, you should think about healthy replacements to the nutrients you know you need. Think fiber, iron, and key vitamins. Then, make sure you alternate key healthy additions like lentils, beans, and even leafy greens to get everything you need nutritionally. Incorporate meat some days and legumes others. Whatever you do, don’t get into lousy salad habits and convince yourself it’s the right thing for you. It really isn’t, and your body will soon tell you so!

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#4: Misinformation About What’s Healthy
It’s also worth noting that there’s a whole world of misinformation out there about what a healthy diet should actually look like. By listening to various resources rather than a trained dietician or health professional, your healthy diet could soon let you down. For instance, you may have heard the consensus that pasta is healthy. That’s not wrong, but it does contain high amounts of carbs and could lead to unhealthy consequences if you indulge too much or too often.

The same can be said for influencers who recommend things like all-smoothie diets or solely eating salads. While these options may be beneficial for short periods, they’re no way to achieve a long-term healthy diet you can rely on. The solution? Always seek professional opinions so you can be 100% clear how healthy a specific food item is for well as how often you should enjoy it. A dietician or physician is the best person to dispel ‘healthy food’ myths and really help you get on the right eating track moving forward.

#5: Stepping Into the Right Food Mindset
Setbacks with healthy eating can be disheartening, but there’s no need to let them hold back your long-term efforts. In reality, understanding where you’re going wrong and how to change it can become the key to unlocking the right long-term food mindset at last. By mastering this step, your health should start to improve -- and those life insurance premiums may reduce right alongside it!

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