Many of us care about the way we look and feel. We strive towards different health and fitness goals. Some people are willing to work for great results, and some, well, not so much. However, for those who do care about working for their desired results, they usually want them to last, rather than be a quick, temporary fix. Quick fixes, especially when they’re in regards to weight loss, usually end up being short term light and long term darkness. As well, you’ll likely end up giving up eventually, going back to your old routine or bad habits, gaining a lot of weight back, and you’ll end up with your time, effort, energy, and hard work being completely wasted.
Most of us wants great results not only for today and tomorrow, to look good for an upcoming event, or even to fit into those old skinny jeans that you love and stored way up towards the ceiling in your closet. But we desire great results, like I said, for the long term. Many of us are actually looking for a permanent lifestyle change that will be healthy, yet maintainable. And to be honest, I truly feel that changing and improving something in a healthy manner is the best way of getting great long term results.
Anyone can starve or diet until they’re incredibly pencil, supermodel thin. But what good will that do anyone. That not only sounds like a bad idea to me, but if you’re a foodie, passionate, and generally love eating and indulging in yummy things in life, starving is not the way to go. Besides, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time, desire, or need for developing some horrible eating disorder just to look a little more acceptable and beautiful to others (and myself). No thanks. The best way to go about making a permanent healthy lifestyle change, is to create a gameplan of what you hope to achieve, and to be willing to follow that plan with a determined mindset. And yes, it’s that simple.
One thing that I noticed throughout my personal journey and recent changes in my diet, is that despite having more vigorous workouts and burning more calories while at the gym, I still wasn’t achieving my goals. Well, at least not quick enough. And I completely understand that great results take not only a lot of effort and work, but they also take time and patience. Having said that, at first, I still couldn’t figure out the problem.
I was cooking at home more. I removed salt and sugar from my diet (except for fresh fruit). I stopped eating Skippy peanut butter on a spoon. And unless I’m eating out at a restaurant, and there happens to be salt in something already, I don’t eat salt. I don’t use salt in any of my cooking. I started removing things from my diet like olives, daily soups from Whole Foods (no offense, yum), and other things that contain a lot of sodium. As well, I stopped eating things that came out of a can. Weird right? I know, I was insanely into canned tomato sauce with noodles (you know, when I wasn’t entertaining or cooking for anyone but myself). It must’ve been the fact that they contain so much salt and sugar.
My food doesn’t look as good as it used to when I’d add more salt and oil. And I mean, the love is still in the food, but it just hasn’t looked the same. Perhaps I’m just a perfectionist and I know the kind of food I’m capable of cooking, so I’m extra hard on myself, I don’t know. I will still use salt and my old cooking routine when I do entertain, so have no fear my friends and family. Either way, I’m going to share some pictures, which are mostly dishes that actually tasted great (or maybe my kids were being nice)! Eating this healthy will change your taste buds and make you appreciate food differently that you might be used to.
Portion Control, Counting Calories, and Eating Less
There was something that I recently realized that was needed to help me achieve my goals better and quicker. Just one thing. Yes, one thing, and one thing only. I was over-eating. I was clearly lacking self-control when it came to the amount of food I was eating. And even though I’ve been eating healthier in so many ways, I was still consuming a lot of calories. Moderation is imperative for everything in life, even when it comes to healthy food.
With my new, positive, healthy lifestyle changes, the one thing that I kept forgetting to care about, was the fact that calories still matter. This is something that I learned at a young age. Whether you’re on a low fat or fat-free diet, a carb-light Atkins type of thing, or whether you’re simply trying to eat healthier and live an all around healthier lifestyle, our portions are too big. We need to care about how many calories we’re consuming, and start cutting them down whenever possible.
If you want to indulge more, do so, but care about the choices you make. In other words, choose your calories wisely. Indulge in low calorie foods that will keep you full for a longer duration. As well, eat smaller portions. Don’t eat a lot of raw nuts thinking that you’re going to lose weight, because they’re “a healthier choice.” No, it won’t happen, and it doesn’t work like that. This is not the “Raw Detox Diet.” This is a permanent lifestyle change. Well, at least it is for me, and for those who are in the same boat.
Nuts are a good source of protein, but they’re still high in calories and you shouldn’t over-indulge. And yes, I know the many health benefits that eating nuts have. But remember, moderation is key, and if you’re trying to lose weight, achieve a certain goal, or improve your lifestyle by eating all around healthier, it’s important to remember portion control. You and I don’t need to sit there and count calories, but it’s not the worst thing to read nutrition facts more, follow serving sizes, and in a pun-intended, raw nutshell, to eat less and care about portion control.