What better way to start the New Year than to give yourself a clean slate and kick start your plan for clean living and healthy eating in the coming year. Unfortunately, having failed New Year resolutions in the past makes some people unwilling to make any further attempts. This is because most resolutions are made with lots of good intentions but not much preparation. However, can your health and well-being be something left to chance? Obviously not.
Let’s look at some of the health risks of obesity, which continues to be a growing epidemic in the US. The potentially serious complications that can occur due to obesity include high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, breathing disorders, difficulty sleeping, gallbladder disease, sexual health problems, and cirrhosis. The psychological effects of obesity include depression, shame, guilt, social isolation, and lower work achievement. The list of the complications is endless.
The importance of good nutrition in overcoming obesity cannot be overstated. Healthy eating is about feeling great, stabilizing your mood, having more energy, and improving your health. If you have not been successful in maintaining a strict diet by depriving yourself of foods that you love, probably a better way to do it would be to make small manageable changes that will gradually take you to your goals. Here are a few steps you might want to consider:
- Cook your own food. This is well worth the time and effort because it puts you in control of the quality and quantity of all ingredients that go into your meals.
- Replace unhealthy foods such as fried chicken with healthy alternatives like grilled fish.
- Instead of strictly counting calories try to add more color, variety, and freshness to your food.
- If you must buy processed or packaged food make sure you read the labels so that you are aware of salt or sugar content.
- Gradually cut down on sugar consumption. Added sugar is the single biggest problem in the Western diet. Studies have linked sugar to diabetes, depression, and suicidal tendencies. By gradually reducing the amount of added sugar your taste-buds will have time to adjust and you will be able to rid yourself of those sugar cravings.
- Drink plenty of water. It helps flush out all the toxins and waste products.
- Moderation is the key to staying on a healthy diet. Have the foods that you like but control the portion sizes and take your time to eat slowly and relish the food.
By making these simple changes you will be able to lose the extra weight gradually but steadily and you may even have fun during the process.