Nutrition is difficult. There is no denying that. It requires an incredible amount of self-control to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet every day.
Aside from a select few individuals—it’s not possible for people to maintain a perfect diet. Life happens, things get in our way, and we may make a mistake.
This is normal. There’s nothing wrong with this—and if handled well, will not impact your long-term ambitions.
Use the following simple tips to help you maintain your diet long term
Picking the Right Food
It’s common knowledge that food influences us. But to what degree? Is it possible that the foods you choose are responsible for your headaches, why you felt more tired this week, or your inability to lose weight?
It’s difficult to recognize part of our diet is messing with us—but if you eat similar foods every day, the way you feel becomes the new normal. You don’t notice because it’s been there for so long.
Consider for a moment, if you eat a fairly consistent diet day to day and part of that diet doesn’t agree with your body, how much could it impact your health over several years?
Try to identify when you’re not feeling well. This can help pinpoint what foods you had eaten that may have triggered the distress. Try eliminating certain foods that are known to have unwanted side effects on people. For example, foods classified as high FODMAPs have been demonstrated to cause abdominal discomfort after consumption due to their fermentation in the body.
Even “healthy” foods can have unwanted side effects on your body, it just depends on how your physiology is built. It’s definitely worth taking the time to figure out if any foods in your diet negatively impact your life.
Make one decision differently
Our days are made up of a continuous string of choices. With each choice we further define our days—have you made good choices so far?
When it comes to diet, I find grading my days to be a helpful way to keep me on track. A decision is either good or bad. At the end of the day if I find 85% of my decisions were good – I got a B for the day.
Each time we eat is an opportunity to make choices. Will you have pizza or will you have something more nutritious? There’s no right or wrong. But depending on the choice you make—and continue to make—there will be distinctly different outcomes. Pizza in moderation is fine, but if you choose pizza more often than not—you can’t expect to stay healthy.
Even just a bit of unhealthy food every day can cause enormous changes to your body.
Check out this hypothetical:
|Calories per slice: 285||Eats one slice of pizza every day||Eats one slice of pizza every week||Eats a slice of pizza every month|
|End of Year Differences||+ 104,025 cal||+ 14,820 cal||+3,420 cal|
|29.7 pounds||4.2 pounds||0.98 pounds|
This isn’t to say that if you eat 1 slice of pizza every day for a year, you will gain 30 pounds. Rather, it shows how a little too much food every day can cause significant weight changes. This is why making one small change in your eating can have profound effects on your life.