Simple is good. There is a deluge of information, advertisements, articles, tv spots, etc. talking about losing weight and eating right. Many of these sources focus on one or two aspects of a person’s diet. There are a few good sources that utilize a proper balance, and many of those have an inherent aspect to them that I am about to discuss.
In the midst of all the information and all of the advice (some good and some bad) stands two things to do to maintain a healthy life: (1) eat right and (2) exercise. Many of us have trouble doing one or the other (or both) and that amounts to discipline. But a lot of people that have trouble eating right say they aren’t sure what to do. What should I look for? What should I avoid? Indeed, the brief time I spent reading packaging labels left me frustrated, upset, confused, lost, and overwhelmed. No wonder people that count calories have such a difficult time at it. But here’s the deal, unless you have a food allergy, or have been given specific instructions by a doctor to avoid certain foods (i.e. to prevent drug reactions) then you don’t have to keep count or track or whatever you call it. There are some simple guidelines that you can follow to make eating right a whole lot easier to follow through with. These guidelines all center around understanding what a good choice is for your diet so that more often than not, you are making a good choice. (I use the term guideline because when the majority of your choices are healthy, the few that are unhealthy will not be detrimental to eating right. In other words, it’s not the end of the world and there is no failing. The only real failure is when you stop making healthy choices altogether.)
Fresh is Best – Out of the garden or in the store. This includes both individual items you might eat (an apple or bannana for a snack) as well as entire meals and even seasonings. Flavors also come to life when you use fresh ingredients.
Keep it Simple – When you need to buy something manufactured for you (for whatever reason), try to keep to the more simple products. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t even buy it. Fewer ingredients also often mean it’s going to be better for you. I know, I know, I already said that you don’t have to read labels. I still check ingredients (well, I might read the nutritional labels too, but that’s just for fun) but it’s only every once in a great while, often when we are trying something new, and all it takes is a glance. If you turn the package over and you see the name of the product it’s supposed to be and salt, it wasn’t all that big of a deal. But if you turn it over and you see 10 things… and it’s peanut butter, then aren’t you glad you looked? Also, when you follow the first guideline, you don’t have to worry about this one as often.
Now, I could list all sorts of things not to eat, but I really believe that if you follow these two guidelines, all of the calorie, fat, etc. intakes that people are so concerned about will be taken care of. Food should be enjoyed, even the pursuit of what to eat.