HEALTHY LIVING IS NOT A DIET!
What do these things mean exactly? These are two very broad terms that are used alot and connotate some very similar meanings as well as many different meanings. Lets start with the term DIET.
Diet = restriction.
For the last couple of weeks I decided to undertake a little bit of research on myself based on my previous blog post on crash dieting and fad diets. I put myself on a super clean 'diet' in the lead up to an event where I had a tight fitting outfit that I didn't want to look bloated in. Many would laugh at me saying this but when I bloat.... I bloat! So I decided to eat completely clean and not allow myself any form of flexibility. Anyone who knows me or works with me knows that I do not regularly do this nor endorse massive restriction. I was still eating my normal calories but different foods.
The minute I deprived myself of any flexibility and put the pressure on, I failed. I wanted everything that I wasn't allowing myself. I never usually want for chocolate or massive bowls of pasta but because I was limiting my carb intake slightly that is all I could think about. Why am I sharing this strange piece of information with you? I have done this demonstrate the effect of pressure. I personally believe that as soon as you put yourself on a diet or follow one of the latest trends which will ultimately advise you to cut some of your favourite things out from your eating routine you want and crave for them even more. This is absolutely true of what I realised last week. 80% of the time I eat very well and enjoy cooking myself healthy, balanced food and will have a little bit of what I fancy, when I fancy. This little bit of flexibility means that I never feel deprived and never feel like I am on some sort of diet.
Healthy living = balanced lifestyle.
This ties into talking about the term healthy living. Healthy living does not imply complete and utter 100% clean eating all the time with no flexibility. Healthy living means having a well rounded knowledge base around the foods that you are consuming and how much of these foods you are consuming. I believe the approach I have and that I recommend to my clients is sensible, sustainable and non restrictive. Ultimately, we all want to take good care of our bodies and our physical and mental health and to do this effectively we do need to eat healthy foods but a big part of this is about enjoying your life and allowing yourself some room to have fun, otherwise what is the point? Calorie awareness is absolutely important because everybody is completely different which is often why blanket ''diets' simply will not work because they are not designed for YOU, they are designed for anyone....but not really. Healthy living is all about balance and having a very good understanding of what you are consuming. If something comes out of a shitty packet with 10 million ingredients on the back do not expect there to be much goodness left in that food. At least if you cook foods from scratch you have complete awareness of what nutritional goodness you are getting in your daily routine.
Healthy living is what works!
Healthy living ultimately refers to a life long approach which can be applied to your everyday habits. A diet refers to a short term fix that will ultimately restrict you and put you under pressure to perform. If you start with some small sensible changes to make your lifestyle healthier then these can be maintained and stuck to. Ditch the processed crap, cook from scratch and have a varied diet. Processed foods are generally not good for you but a little bit of what you love is! So the best advice I could give you is to allow yourself some freedom and know when to stop!